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Republicans formalize impeachment inquiry, figure out why later

FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) listen as U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaks during a press conference about an impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and U.S. Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) listen as U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaks during a press conference about an impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2023.

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Republicans in the House of Representatives on Wednesday formally authorized an impeachment inquiry into alleged corruption by President Joe Biden. Now all they need is evidence.

They began probing informally months ago, but the only hearing held in advance of yesterday’s vote didn’t quite go how they planned: Witnesses testified that there was no evidence of Biden committing an impeachable offense.


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said as much yesterday as well, which points to the main flaw in the House GOP plan. Even if the House does manage to force through an impeachment of Biden, removing him from office would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Democrats control the chamber 51-49. Formalizing the impeachment inquiry does have one advantage in that it might help the GOP force the Biden administration to cooperate.

But Republicans do run the risk of appearing petty and vengeful at a moment when there are major issues on Congress’ plate, including funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the US government itself. Biden said as much in response to the news: “Instead of doing anything to help make Americans' lives better, [House Republicans] are focused on attacking me with lies."

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