The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has embarked on an impeachment inquiry against Democratic President Joe Biden. Spearheaded by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, this move signifies an attempt to score political points at the onset of the election campaign cycle. This development is steeped in political context, partly influenced by former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments and the desire to balance the score. We delve into the charges against President Biden, largely centered around allegations related to his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
1. Political Context:
The backdrop for this impeachment inquiry is the history of impeachments involving former President Donald Trump. The Democrats impeached Trump twice, first over allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress linked to his interactions with Ukraine, and later for “incitement of insurrection” following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Kevin McCarthy’s pursuit of Biden’s impeachment may be seen as an effort to counterbalance the scales, potentially influencing voter support for Democrats in upcoming elections.
2. Charges Against Biden:
The primary focus of the impeachment inquiry centers on Hunter Biden’s business dealings and whether President Biden benefited from them during his tenure as Vice President under Barack Obama. The charges include:
a. Foreign Payments: The House Oversight Committee’s August memorandum alleged that the Biden family received over $20 million from foreign sources in countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. However, investigations failed to uncover evidence suggesting that these payments directly benefited President Biden.
b. Influence Peddling: Republicans aim to scrutinize whether the Biden name was exploited as a brand to influence business decisions in favor of the President. While a former business partner of Hunter Biden claimed that Joe Biden participated in phone conversations with Hunter’s associates, a Democrat-aligned watchdog group found no substantial evidence of conflict of interest.
c. Impropriety in Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings: The inquiry will likely explore allegations of impropriety in Hunter Biden’s business activities, with potential implications for his father. These allegations encompass claims that Joe Biden attempted to pay off prosecutors to end an investigation into Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter Biden served. However, these claims, based on an “unverified FBI tip,” have not yielded supporting evidence.
Additionally, the inquiry will consider whistleblower testimonies from former Internal Revenue Service employees, which suggest that the Justice Department interfered in an investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax returns. This claim has been denied by the department and refuted by other witness testimonies presented by Republican lawmakers.