House Republicans could vote whether to impeach President Joe Biden as soon as January, Politico reported Tuesday—but some within the party have signaled they are skeptical about voting in favor of impeachment, indicating the effort may not have the support it needs to pass.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee that is helping spearhead the investigation, told Politico Republicans plan to wrap up interviews with as many as 15 witnesses, including Hunter Biden, by the end of the year.
The GOP is hoping to hold a vote sooner, some Republicans have said, well before the 2024 November election, when votes in favor of impeachment could hurt vulnerable Republicans who represent districts that voted for Biden in 2020, and threaten Republicans’ slim 221-213 majority in the House.
Some Republicans have also indicated they don’t believe there’s enough substantial evidence to impeach Biden, signaling that the GOP may not have the 218 votes it needs to approve articles of impeachment, assuming all Democrats vote against them.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced in September the House Judiciary, Oversight and Ways and Means committees had opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden, centered around whether he personally benefited from or aided his family’s business dealings. The committees have gathered troves of bank records and interviewed a long list of Biden family associates, but have yet to reveal any “smoking gun” evidence that could implicate Biden, despite broad accusations of wrongdoing—including an unfounded bribery allegation—from the GOP committee leaders and some of their witnesses. They have, however, revealed evidence that suggests Hunter Biden used his father’s name to enhance his own reputation and spoke to his father in the presence of his business associates. President Biden has repeatedly said he has had no involvement in his family members’ businesses.
56%. That’s the share of registered voters who oppose an impeachment inquiry into Biden, according to a September NBC poll that found opinions on the issue were divided along party lines with 88% of Democrats opposing an inquiry and 73% of Republicans supporting it.
Even if the House votes to impeach Biden, he would almost certainly be acquitted in a trial before the Democrat-controlled Senate, which requires votes from two-thirds of members in order to remove the president.
What To Watch For
Republicans have suggested bringing an article of impeachment against Biden alleging he obstructed its investigation by failing to fully cooperate with their inquiry, but the White House could argue against the charge by pointing to a 2020 Justice Department opinion that found impeachment inquiries are effectively invalid without a formal vote by the full House.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has expressed some skepticism about the merits for impeaching Biden, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity shortly after winning the gavel “next to the declaration of war, impeachment is probably the most serious power that Congress has.” After receiving a briefing on the matter last week, Johnson said the inquiry has reached an “inflection point” and expressed support for continuing the probe.