The GOP-led House has passed a Republican resolution to formalize an impeachment inquiry against the president

The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to formalize the party’s ongoing impeachment probe into President Joe Biden’s alleged corruption and influence peddling. The resolution was passed on a 221-212 vote, along party lines. 

Every present Republican voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry, while every Democrat voted against. There was one Democrat absentee. 

Biden released a statement regarding the inquiry, saying that House Republicans are wasting their time on a “baseless political stunt” that “is not supported by facts.”

The GOP began investigating Biden’s alleged misdeeds after the party retook control of the house following 2020’s midterm elections, with the House Oversight Committee and House Judiciary Committee leading the probe. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced an impeachment inquiry in September, claiming that the committees had uncovered a “culture of corruption” surrounding the Biden family.

Citing witness testimony and files retrieved from a laptop belonging to Biden’s son, Hunter, Republicans allege that the Biden family received around $24 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine while Biden was vice president. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees.

Hunter Biden plays a key role in the allegations, with the president’s son accused of striking business deals with multiple foreign clients in exchange for access to his father. Hunter’s former business partner, Devon Archer, told the Oversight Committee in July that Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, was given to him solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy. 

President Biden denies any knowledge of or involvement in his son’s business activities, despite emails between Hunter and his clients suggesting that Hunter arranged meetings. Archer also alleged that Joe Biden dined multiple times with Hunter’s clients, and that Hunter received money transfers immediately after at least two of these encounters.  

With the inquiry formalized, Republicans say that they will have greater investigative powers, particularly when it comes to compelling witnesses to testify. Earlier on Wednesday, Hunter Biden defied a subpoena to testify before a closed-door hearing of the Oversight and Judiciary committees, stating that he would only answer questions in a public session. 

Such a session would be broadcast live by news networks, and would give Democrats the opportunity to filibuster and deliver speeches in defense of the Bidens. Classified information could also not be discussed in a public hearing.

Prior to the vote, Oversight Committee chair James Comer said that “we expect to depose the president’s son, and then we will be more than happy to have a public hearing.”

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