U.S. House Republicans on Wednesday voted to authorize impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, in a 221-212 vote along party lines.
“The impeachment power resides solely with the House of Representatives,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, a hardliner within the Republican party, told reporters.
“If a majority of the House now says we’re in an official impeachment inquiry as part of our constitutional duty to do oversight, that carries weight. That’s going to help us get these witnesses in,” said the Ohio Republican, one of the leaders of the impeachment push.
Republicans hope that the impeachment inquiry vote would give them better legal standing to hold the president’s son Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress should he fail to show.
Hunter Biden, the first child of a sitting president to be criminally indicted, appeared at a news conference outside the Capitol Wednesday morning, when he again offered to testify in a public hearing, after refusing to appear at a closed-door deposition Republicans demanded.
As of now, no substantiated evidence has surfaced to demonstrate that Joe Biden, in his current or past official capacities, engaged in the misuse of his position or accepted illicit payments. However, ethical concerns have been raised regarding the international business dealings of the Biden family.
Less than a year ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the U.S. president will be fighting a Republican impeachment bid while his son Hunter Biden struggles to avoid prison in tax and gun-related cases.
This year has seen President Biden’s popularity fall amid still elevated inflation and intensifying Israel-Palestine conflict, among other factors.
An NBC poll last month found that Biden’s popularity stood at its lowest in his presidency, with most voters viewing him in a “negative” light.
“It is the widespread disillusionment that any government operating under the current inept rules will accomplish nothing of use to the average citizen that I find most worrisome,” Greg Cusack, a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives and a longtime Democrat, told Xinhua.
“It is this sentiment that I think is behind the reported serious erosion of support for Biden among not only people of color but also of the young,” Cusack said.
On the Republican side, the race has been dominated by former President Donald Trump, who is only bolstered among his voting base by the four criminal indictments he faces.
With Trump taking a wide lead, former Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott, among others, recently dropped out of the 2024 Republican presidential campaign