In remarks Tuesday at the Capitol, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the questions House Republicans are raising about the Biden family finances need to be investigated — and may lead to President Joe Biden’s impeachment.
But McCarthy won’t commit quite yet.
“When more of this continues to unravel, it rises to the level of impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
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The House speaker continued, “What that simply provides is that [which] the American public has the right to know, and this Congress to get the information to be able to know the truth.”
McCarthy made similar remarks a day earlier to Sean Hannity of Fox News.
“We will follow this to the end,” he said, first floating the idea late Monday on Fox News. “And this is going to rise to an impeachment inquiry, the way the Constitution tells us to do this. And we have to get the answers to these questions.”
McCarthy’s remarks on Capitol Hill represent his most committed comment yet on a potential Biden impeachment. McCarthy had previously sidelined impeachment efforts from more conservative representatives, like Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
Take a look —
.@SpeakerMcCarthy clarifies his remarks on potential Biden impeachment: “What that simply provides is that the American public has a right to know and this allows Congress to get the information to be able to know the truth.” pic.twitter.com/Spe2u2z6ly
— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2023
Starting an impeachment inquiry is not the same as bringing articles of impeachment against Biden. Rather, starting an inquiry is simply the first step.
McCarthy on Tuesday gave no timeline for launching an impeachment inquiry into Biden. An impeachment probe could be as lengthy or swift as the House determines, potentially stretching into campaign season.
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Biden’s White House isn’t happy about it.
White House spokesman Ian Sams said the House GOP’s “eagerness to go after POTUS regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless,” using shorthand for the President of the United States.
“Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what the House GOP wants to prioritize,” Sams said on Twitter.
Republicans in Congress have ramped up investigations of Biden and his son Hunter Biden. House Republicans are digging into the family finances, particularly payments the younger Biden received from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that became tangled in the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump.
Hunter Biden has since reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of having failed to pay income taxes for several years. He began appearing in court Tuesday.
But Republicans continue to pursue a more controversial theory stemming from the first Trump impeachment about Burisma, with newer information. An unnamed confidential FBI informant claimed that Burisma company officials in 2015 and 2016 sought to pay the Bidens $5 million each in return for their help ousting a Ukrainian prosecutor who was purportedly investigating the company.
Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released the FBI’s so-called FD-1023 form providing a full, public look at the allegations. Critics say the claims remain unverified.
Grassley is working with House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., who had subpoenaed the FBI for the document.
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The ousted prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was facing criticism from the U.S. and its allies not only over his pending investigation into Burisma, but also over his failure to investigate public corruption in Ukraine.
Biden has repeatedly said he never speaks to his son about his overseas business dealings.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined Tuesday to entertain questions about potential impeachment proceedings, reflecting the administration’s thinking that it is a political diversion.
McCarthy’s brief comments late Monday on Fox appeared intentional rather than simple banter with the show’s host, Sean Hannity. He said that Biden’s actions are “rising to the level of impeachment inquiry.”
The speaker’s appearance came as Trump was meeting at his Bedminster, N.J., club with Ohioans including Rep. Jim Jordan, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who would presumably lead an impeachment inquiry. A spokesman for Jordan said the visit was about unrelated Ohio matters.
Republicans have complained about the administration’s slow response to some committee queries. McCarthy said that if the administration “denies us the ability to get the information we’re asking for, that would rise to an impeachment inquiry.”
Trump’s first impeachment by the House, which resulted in charges that he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens, all while threatening to withhold military aid from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, lasted several months in 2019. Trump was later acquitted by the Senate.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.