Sarah May
September 4, 2023

McCarthy says House vote necessary before launch of Biden impeachment inquiry

With signs increasingly pointing to the impending launch of an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has stepped forward to state that any such move will only occur following a formal House vote, as Fox News reports.

McCarthy's stance stands in contrast to the approach taken by Democrat former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the first impeachment inquiry into then-President Donald Trump.

GOP signals impending inquiry

Scuttlebutt about if and when the aforementioned impeachment inquiry will be initiated has been growing louder in recent days, with House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) telling Sean Hannity last week that such a development is “imminent,” as the Washington Examiner noted.

Referencing recent findings about email communications between then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter related to the latter's overseas dealings, Comer declared that the current commander in chief “was front and center” in corrupt dealings.

“There's consensus in our conference now that we are going to have to go to the impeachment inquiry. Obviously, that will be Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy's call, but I feel like we're there now, Sean. I feel like that is imminent,” Comer said.

Fox News also noted that McCarthy has reportedly signaled his agreement about the inevitability of an inquiry into Biden, quoting a GOP source who said that the speaker told colleagues last week that just such a process represents “the natural progression from our investigations that have been going on.”

The source said that House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) already informed members that McCarthy said to expect things to get moving in the direction of an inquiry this month.

McCarthy: Vote required

With that said, however, McCarthy made it clear on Friday that he does not support any sort of unilateral action in launching an impeachment probe and noted that he will insist that a formal House vote on the matter be held.

“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes,” McCarthy stated.

The speaker went on, “The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives. That's why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People's House and not through a declaration by one person.”

Such an approach would stand in stark contrast to the one adopted by Pelosi back in 2019, when she took it upon herself to announce the launch of the first impeachment inquiry of then-President Trump in relation to a telephone call he made to Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy.

Whether Republicans currently have the votes needed to approve an inquiry into Biden remains unclear, but it seems unlikely that McCarthy would bring such a measure to the floor if he was less than confident about its prospects for success.

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