House Republicans Launch Formal Impeachment Hearing

6-hour hearing expected to be the first of many
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
House Republicans Launch Formal Impeachment Hearing
Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., right, and Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.,speak during the House Oversight Committee impeachment inquiry hearing into President Joe Biden, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Republicans launched a formal impeachment hearing Thursday against President Joe Biden, promising to "provide accountability" as they probe the family finances and lucrative business dealings of his son Hunter and make their case to the public, colleagues, and a skeptical Senate, the AP reports. The chairmen of the Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees used the opening hearing to review the constitutional and legal questions involved with impeachment. They are trying to show what they say are links to Biden's son Hunter's overseas businesses, though key witnesses said they do not yet see hard evidence of impeachable offenses. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky, the Oversight chairman, said the lawmakers have "a mountain of evidence" that will show that the elder Biden "abused his public office for his family's financial gain."

Hours after the hearing wrapped, Comer issued subpoenas for additional banking records from the personal and business accounts of Hunter Biden and the president's brother, James Biden. He said the panel will continue to "follow the money and the evidence to provide accountability." It's a high-stakes opening act for Republicans, taking place just before a potential federal government shutdown, as they begin a process that can lead to the ultimate penalty for a president, dismissal from office for what the Constitution describes as "high crimes and misdemeanors." The hearing Thursday is expected to be the first of many as House Republicans explore whether they will pursue articles of impeachment against the president.

The White House pushed back with statements throughout the hearing saying nothing can distract from the Republicans' inability to govern as the shutdown loomed. Spokesperson Sharon Yang called the hearing a "baseless stunt" and said, "President Biden will always stay focused on the priorities of the American people—not these political games." The more than six-hour hearing came as House Republicans face scattered resistance to an impeachment inquiry from their own ranks and deep reluctance in the Senate from Republicans who worry about political ramifications and say Biden's conviction and removal from office are unlikely. Perhaps the weirdest tidbit to come out of the hearing is that Marjorie Taylor Greene was asked not to display "pornography," as she has previously shown pictures of Hunter Biden's genitals in hearings, Mediaite reports.

(Read more House of Representatives stories.)

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