The House Rules Committee is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to progress towards an official floor vote on commencing an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The committee will mark up the impeachment inquiry resolution, paving the way for a subsequent vote.
The resolution, House Resolution 918, outlines the official steps for the impeachment inquiry but does not constitute an immediate impeachment vote, as cautioned by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) earlier in the week.
The significant move to advance the impeachment inquiry comes a day before Hunter Biden is slated to testify behind closed doors regarding alleged foreign influence-peddling business linked to President Biden. While Hunter Biden’s legal team has committed to public testimony, House GOP leaders are insisting on closed-door hearings under oath as a preliminary step due to the extensive investigation documents.
Refusal to comply with closed-door testimony could subject Hunter Biden to contempt of Congress proceedings, though the process faces potential obstacles given the involvement of the President Biden’s Justice Department, which holds executive power over any contempt charges.
Johnson emphasized that Republicans are compelled to push forward, citing the White House’s rejection of information requests. He stated, “The House has no choice if it’s going to follow its constitutional responsibility to formally adopt an impeachment inquiry on the floor so that when the subpoenas are challenged in court, we will be at the apex of our constitutional authority.”
The White House has consistently dismissed the inquiry as a “baseless exercise.” President Biden has categorically denied allegations of ties to Hunter Biden’s foreign influence-peddling businesses, characterizing the accusations as “just a bunch of lies.”
The upcoming floor vote holds significant implications for party unity, particularly for the GOP’s slim 220-213 majority. Achieving success in the impeachment probe vote necessitates near-unanimous support from House Republicans, putting them on record in favor of a process that could potentially lead to the president’s removal from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
House Democrats, unified in their opposition to the impeachment process, view it as a GOP tactic to divert attention from former President Donald Trump and his legal challenges. The vote represents a critical test of party cohesion entering a presidential election cycle. Johnson emphasized that the decision is a legal and constitutional matter, underscoring the gravity of the vote.