Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Tuesday, which was swiftly slammed by Democrats who say it is without any merit.
“The illegitimate impeachment inquiry launched by Extreme MAGA Republicans is regrettable, reckless, and reprehensible,” tweeted Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the House minority leader. “It is a political revenge tour that lacks any factual or constitutional basis. Democrats will defend the truth and fight right-wing extremists at every turn.”
McCarthy’s announcement on Tuesday came as Congress returned to session, giving in to pressure from the more extremist conservative members of his Republican caucus.
During his announcement on Capitol Hill, McCarthy said he directed House committees to open the impeachment inquiry of President Biden and whether or not he was involved in the foreign business dealings of his son Hunter Biden, who used his father’s name to secure business dealings.
Despite Speaker McCarthy claiming 150 transactions involving the “Biden family” and business associates were flagged as suspicious activity by U.S. banks, Republicans have been unable to present any evidence of misconduct by Biden or his involvement in his son’s financial or business relationships.
President Biden has repeatedly told reporters he has had no involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings and that he loves and is proud of his son, who is a recovering addict. Hunter Biden is facing a criminal gun charge for lying on a federal form that he was not using drugs at the time of purchasing a firearm in 2018. He also pled guilty to misdemeanor charges for not paying income taxes.
Despite the legal troubles of President Biden’s son, Democrats have made clear that no evidence merits a committee impeachment inquiry. An inquiry is not a formal impeachment, which requires a full House vote. For that reason, Democrats have dismissed the inquiry as nothing more than political theater by Republicans as the nation heads into the 2024 elections.
“Impeachment should not be used to further political agendas. It is a constitutional process, and it should not be taken lightly or foolishly,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told theGrio.
Jackson Lee, who has served in Congress since 1995 and has gone through impeachments during the Clinton and Trump presidencies, said the impeachment process is “very serious.”
“It is a process that should not be entered into lightly, and there should be evidence worthy of even using the term,” she told theGrio. “To date, I’ve seen no evidence even worthy of using the term as it relates to President Biden.”
Even President Biden’s opponent in the Democratic presidential election, Marianne Williamson, has thrown doubt at Republicans’ impeachment attempts.
“Republicans, you do you. That’s just what they do,” Williamson told theGrio. Echoing the sentiments of Democrats who say the perils of the president’s son are his and his alone, Williamson said, “Hunter Biden is not his father.”
The presidential candidate noted that just like in the election interference case and classified documents case against former President Donald Trump, a federal special counsel already assigned to the Hunter Biden probe will ultimately determine if there was any wrongdoing.
“It is important that we respect the separation between the judicial system and politics. This has to do with indictments that emanate from the prosecutor that are then agreed upon by a grand jury,” said Williamson. “We’ll see what happens whether or not Joe Biden or Hunter Biden are indicted of any crime. Until then, this is not about us having an opinion about it.”
The bestselling author and spiritual leader added, “We should all hope more than anything, regardless of what our politics are, regardless what we think about any of these men, we should hope for a fair and just due process within our legal system.”
Gerren Keith Gaynor is a White House Correspondent and the Managing Editor of Politics at theGrio. He is based in Washington, D.C.
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