Republicans voted to formalize their ongoing impeachment inquiry into whether President Joe Biden was connected to or profited from his son Hunter’s shady business deals.
The 221-212 party-line vote opens the door for the GOP to get more evidence about schemes that have seen the Biden family get millions from countries including China, Ukraine and Romania.
And the Bidens will now have more of their bank records, mortgage details, emails, text messages and mobile phones subpoenaed, along with anything else Congress wants to see.
Since the start of 2023, Republicans have been investigating Joe Biden over his alleged connections to his son Hunter’s extremely lucrative multi-million dollar influence peddling scheme spanning decades.
‘You do not need a full vote of the House to do an impeachment inquiry to do the investigation that we’re constitutionally obligated to do,’ GOP Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told DailyMail.com ahead of the vote.
‘But they’re blocking witnesses from testifying, the National Archives is withholding thousands of documents,’ he claimed.
And the White House is ‘not going to acknowledge or recognize these subpoenas without a vote,’ continued Emmer.
He said that new Speaker Mike Johnson when faced with that fact said, “Well, if we’re gonna have to go to court to get these enforced anyway, you might as well eliminate any objection that they have,’ Emmer continued.
Speaker Johnson and his leadership team applauded the House for taking a ‘critical step in our investigation’ with approving the impeachment inquiry.
‘As President Biden continues to stonewall lawful Congressional subpoenas, today’s vote of the full House of Representatives authorizing the inquiry puts us in the strongest position to enforce these subpoenas in court,’ Johnson, Emmer, Majority Leader Steve Scalise and GOP Chair Elise Stefanik said in a joint statement.
As a result of full authorization, Republicans plan to bring in Hunter associates Rob Walker, Eric Schwerin, Tony Bobulinski and Kevin Morris. They also hope to get the rest of the Biden pseudonym emails that the GOP says the National Archives is failing to provide.
President Biden slammed the ‘baseless’ House Republican impeachment ‘stunt’ in a statement following the vote.
He said there is a lot of work Congress needs to get done – including authorizing additional funding to Ukraine, Israel and the southern border.
‘There is a lot of work to be done. But after wasting weeks trying to find a new Speaker of the House and having to expel their own members, Republicans in Congress are leaving for a month without doing anything to address these pressing challenges,’ said the president.
‘Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies,’ Biden continued.
The vote came just hours after Republicans moved to start proceedings to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress when he defied their subpoena.
Republicans subpoenaed Hunter along with James Biden, Joe’s brother, for testimony last month. And Hunter was supposed to appear at 9.30am Wednesday for his scheduled closed-door deposition.
But the president’s son gave a dramatic five-minute address on Capitol Hill defending his father and explaining the struggles he’s had with his crack cocaine addiction while slamming Republicans for taking advantage of his situation.
Hunter then sped off in an Escalade away from the room where he was supposed to give closed-door deposition, violating the terms of the subpoena.
The National Archives has handed tens of thousands of documents over to House Republicans.
The DOJ, FBI, IRS and National Archives have made nine witnesses available to discuss ongoing investigations and the Treasury Department has made 2,000 pages of suspicious activity reports available.
The Oversight Committee has also obtained and pored over 37,000 pages of bank records and hours of whistleblower testimony.
But Republicans insist there is more to see.
They are, for example, demanding more information on the 82,000 emails Joe Biden sent using a pseudonym, related to both official and family business.
They are also looking for more information on Hunter’s 2014 and 2015 taxes – which Special Counsel David Weiss admitted the statute of limitations had been allowed to expire on Hunter’s failure to pay taxes on $1 million in income from Burisma.
‘So now you’ve got the indictments on nine counts last week, none of those about 2014, 15 which was — that’s a really important year for respect to the vice presidency.’
Republicans are probing the extent to which Joe Biden was involved in his son’s overseas business dealings. They point to Biden pressuring Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin – who was investigating Burisma and who he accused of corruption.
Rep. Byron Donalds on the Hunter Biden testimony before the House
Let The Games Begin: Biden Impeachment Inquiry Authorized By House
The House on Wednesday approved the launch of a formal impeachment probe into President Biden, just hours after Hunter Biden ditched Congressional testimony on Capitol Hill.
The 221-212 vote was along party lines, with Republicans formalizing a processes which began weeks ago, and Democrats criticizing the vote as a political stunt for retribution over the impeachments of former President Donald Trump – who was impeached for asking Ukraine about obvious Biden corruption, and his alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot.
Formalizing the impeachment process will grant Congress additional power by improving the likelihood that a court will authorize access to grand jury materials, as well as boosting the chances that Republicans will be able to overcome objections such as executive privilege, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House several weeks ago challenged House subpoenas and demands for transcribed interviews with Biden family members on the grounds that the existing impeachment probe, launched by GOP leaders in September, wasn’t valid because the House didn’t vote to authorize it.
“The impeachment inquiry is necessary now,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) told reporters this week, “because we’ve come to this impasse where following the facts where they lead is hitting a stone wall because the White House is impeding that investigation.” –WSJ
The inquiry has so far been two-pronged, with the House Oversight Committee focusing on the Biden family’s financial malarkey, and the House Judiciary Committee focusing on on the weaponization of the Justice Department and FBI.
“This vote will allow the House Judiciary, Oversight and Ways and Means committees to continue their investigations. The evidence mounting against the president cannot be ignored,” said House Majority Whip Tom Emmer in Wednesday comments to reporters.
“We know Joe Biden has lied to or misled the American people about his knowledge of his son’s business dealings over and over again, and it is very likely that he was involved in and benefited from his family’s corrupt business dealings as well.”
“No amount of evidence could convince Republicans that Joe Biden did nothing wrong because they’re not looking for truth, they’re looking for revenge,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the top Democrat on the House Rules committee, ahead of the vote.
Earlier Wednesday, Hunter Biden defied a subpoena to appear before the House to testify about his family’s dealings, instead saying in a Capitol Hill speech: “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business.”
The younger Biden has faced congressional and legal scrutiny regarding his overseas business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere as well as alleged tax evasion, and Republicans have sought to show links between Hunter’s work and his father.
While Hunter Biden said he was willing to testify publicly, he rebuffed a subpoena from House Republicans to answer questions behind closed doors on alleged links between his foreign business dealings and his father. “I’m here today to make sure that the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence and lies,” he said.
The younger Biden had previously said he was only willing to testify publicly so that Republicans couldn’t selectively leak portions of his statements. House leaders said the president’s son couldn’t dictate the terms of his testimony and said they would now initiate contempt of Congress proceedings against Hunter Biden. -WSJ
“He was just across the way at the Capitol, you’d think he could’ve come here and sat for questions,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH).