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Biden to face formal impeachment...

Biden to face formal impeachment inquiry in U.S. House

By: Frank Corder - December 13, 2023

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, S.C., after attending a Mass on Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Mississippi’s congressional delegation split down party lines on Wednesday’s vote, with Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2) opposing the impeachment inquiry and Congressmen Trent Kelly (R-MS 1), Michael Guest (R-MS 3) and Mike Ezell (R-MS 4) supporting the resolution.

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to formally move forward with an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden by a vote of 221 to 212, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting in opposition.

Biden, a Democrat, becomes only the fifth U.S. President to face a formal impeachment inquiry by the House. The other Presidents were Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump faced impeachment inquiries twice during his lone term as President.

Mississippi’s congressional delegation split down party lines on Wednesday’s vote, with Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2) opposing the impeachment inquiry and Congressmen Trent Kelly (R-MS 1), Michael Guest (R-MS 3) and Mike Ezell (R-MS 4) supporting the resolution.

House Republicans have been investigating Biden’s business dealings with his son, Hunter, for months, looking into the President’s role in influence peddling to help obtain lucrative contracts in foreign countries. Under former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House committees were directed to investigate the Bidens given what he called “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption.” But no formal vote was taken in the House to authorize the inquiry. Wednesday’s resolution approved in the chamber formalizes the inquiry, further allowing the House Judiciary, Oversight and Ways and Means Committees to continue their work to determine if the elder Biden’s involvement reaches the impeachable standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The White House has repeatedly called the inquiry a “baseless fishing expedition,” saying there is no evidence to support an impeachment of Biden.

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter Biden last month, and he was to sit for a closed-door deposition on Wednesday. However, the younger Biden skipped the deposition, choosing instead to hold a press conference outside of the U.S. Capitol where he refused to appear in a closed-door setting. He called the Republican-led inquiry “baseless.”

“I am here to testify at a public hearing, today, to answer any of the committees’ legitimate questions,” Hunter Biden said before leaving the Capitol grounds, adding, “Let me state as clearly as I can, my father was not financially involved in any of my business – not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not in my investments at home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist.”

Hunter Biden’s failure to attend the deposition opens him up to contempt charges. He is already facing federal tax and gun charges currently making their way through the court system.

“We’re disappointed that, you know, he did not show up,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to the press. “If you do it in an open format now, you’re going get filibusters, you’re going get speeches, you’re going get all kinds of things. What we want is the facts.”

Both Jordan and Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said they would pursue contempt of Congress against Hunter Biden.

With the formal impeachment inquiry now authorized in the chamber, further investigations and related hearings are sure to be scheduled when members return from the Christmas break in the new year.

If the House inquiry finds sufficient grounds, articles of impeachment will be drafted and sent to the full chamber for a vote. A simple majority in the House is needed to formally impeach a President.

The matter then moves to the U.S. Senate where an impeachment trial would be held. If two-thirds of the Senate find the President guilty of the crimes outlined in the articles of impeachment, the President is removed from office. However, all Presidents under impeachment have been acquitted and remained in office, with Johnson avoiding removal by one vote in 1868.

You can read the impeachment resolution – H. Res 918 – here.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: frank@magnoliatribune.com