Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday night that Republicans’ investigations into the business deals of President Joe Biden’s family members are “rising to the level of impeachment inquiry.”
McCarthy’s comments to Fox News’ Sean Hannity mark the furthest he’s gone on a potential impeachment inquiry. At the same time, he stopped short of explicitly saying he would move to formalize one against Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland or any other administration official. He also did not offer a timeline.
Instead, McCarthy touched broadly on several corners of the GOP probes ranging from payments Biden’s family members received from foreign companies to IRS whistleblowers who allege the Justice Department hampered the Hunter Biden investigation to an uncorroborated FBI document at the heart of the GOP’s bribery investigation to argue that the Republican investigations are building in the direction of what would be a historic impeachment inquiry.
“If you’re sitting in our position today, we would know none of this if Republicans had not taken the majority. We only followed where the information has taken us. But … this is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” McCarthy told Hannity.
McCarthy added that Republicans would “follow this all the way to the end and this is going to rise from an impeachment inquiry.”
Spokespeople for McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to questions seeking to clarify his remarks.
But McCarthy’s comments sparked immediate pushback from the White House. Ian Sams, a White House spokesperson for investigations and oversight, said Republicans’ “eagerness to go after” Biden “regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless.”
“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,” he added.
House Republicans previously punted on a Biden impeachment push by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) by sending her bill to committees.
But McCarthy has previously opened the door to an impeachment inquiry into Garland by House members if they could prove that he lied when he said U.S. Attorney David Weiss had complete authority over the years-long investigation into Hunter Biden. Both Garland and Weiss have denied the whistleblower allegations. Republicans have painted an impeachment inquiry as a step that would let them determine whether or not to ultimately hold an impeachment vote.
The Justice Department, in a letter obtained by POLITICO on Monday, offered to have Weiss testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee in late September or mid-October about the Hunter Biden investigation. Garland is already scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in September as part of a routine oversight hearing.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are ramping up a sprawling probe into the business deals of Biden’s family members as they hunt for a link to Joe Biden. Devon Archer, a former Hunter Biden business associate, is expected to meet with the panel next week for a closed-door interview.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also released an FBI document, known as an FD-1023, last week at the heart of the GOP’s Biden bribery investigation. In a conversation detailed in the document, the confidential human source recounts Burisma executive Mykola Zlochevsky alleging that he paid a bribe to the Bidens. No evidence has emerged that Joe Biden took a bribe. The FBI said in a statement that releasing the document, which Grassley says he got from a whistleblower, “at a minimum — unnecessarily risks the safety of a confidential source.”
Republicans have been under fierce pressure from their base who are eager to see them impeach Biden or another high-ranking administration official after former President Donald Trump was twice impeached.
Such a step faces a high bar within the House GOP conference, where they need almost total unity given their five-seat majority.
A swath of House Republicans, ranging from purple-district frontliners to old-school pragmatists and even some in the conference’s conservative corner, have been skeptical of calls to impeach Garland or Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was long thought to be their biggest target.
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