Updated Jul 25, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy floats "impeachment inquiry" into Biden

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday raised a possible "impeachment inquiry" into President Biden.

Why it matters: McCarthy has dangled impeachment against Biden cabinet officials, but this is the closest he's come to making that threat against the president personally.

  • The House speaker went so far as to kill a right-wing effort to hold a House vote on impeaching Biden over his border policies last month.

What he's saying: McCarthy said in a Fox News appearance that the House's investigation into business dealings by Biden family members is "rising to level of impeachment inquiry."

  • McCarthy said such a probe would provide the House "the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed."
  • Citing testimony from IRS whistleblowers to the Oversight Committee that the Justice Department slow-walked its Hunter Biden probe, McCarthy accused Biden of "weaponization of government to benefit his family," comparing him to Richard Nixon.

The other side: Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement House Republicans' impeachment threat is to "distract from their lack of any meaningful agenda and Trump’s own significant challenges."

  • White House spokesperson Ian Sams tweeted that Republicans' "eagerness to go after [Biden] regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless."

The backdrop: Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte on Monday offered to make U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who led the investigation into Hunter Biden, available for testimony.

  • "We are deeply concerned by any misrepresentations of our work ... that could unduly harm public confidence in the evenhanded administration of justice," he told House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland last month rebuffed the whistleblowers' allegations that DOJ officials meddled in Weiss's probe.
  • Earlier this month, Weiss himself himself pushed back on claims that he sought, and was denied, special counsel status to pursue the Hunter Biden case.

Between the lines: The House isn't ready to vote on Biden's impeachment yet — a move many swing-district moderates wouldn't go for. But McCarthy faces significant pressure from his right flank to go full bore.

  • By launching an inquiry, McCarthy would be kickstarting a lengthy process that many Republicans hope will yield evidence to strengthen the case for impeachment.
  • Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee are previewing what that process would look like by gradually building their case for impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
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