Kevin McCarthy (Republican), US House of Representatives Speaker, calls for formal impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden amid pressure from right flank

The move comes amid increasing pressure from his right flank to move ahead with the inquiry, including some on his far right who have threatened to oust McCarthy from his speakership if he does not move swiftly enough on such an investigation. McCarthy is also trying to secure votes as part of negotiations to keep the government funded beyond the September 30 deadline to avert a shutdown.

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption,” the California Republican said in remarks outside his office on Capitol Hill. “They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. That’s why today I am directing our House (committees) to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.”

Launching an impeachment investigation is also likely to divide GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, as some Republicans – even frequent critics of Biden and his administration – have said publicly they think pursuing such a probe is a bad idea. CNN reported Monday that Republicans in the Senate are nervous that the push could backfire politically and give Biden a boost – all the while distracting from their efforts to paint the president as out of touch on the economy.

And some members of McCarthy’s conference have also pushed back against the impeachment effort, raising the question about whether in such a narrowly divided chamber, does the speaker have a majority to support an inquiry – a vote McCarthy does not appear willing to have at this point.

But McCarthy is facing an increasingly impatient right flank among House Republicans. His announcement came just hours before conservative Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz – who has been agitating for the effort to formally launch an impeachment inquiry – brought forward a motion to remove McCarthy as speaker if he does not comply with his list of demands.

Gaetz accused McCarthy of violating an agreement the California Republican made in order to win enough support to be elected speaker in January. “Mr. Speaker you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role,” Gaetz said. “The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate and total compliance or remove you pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair.”

That’s, apparently, just the tip of the tit-for-tat politicking over the Bidens (father and son) in the House.

Dr Galston believes the inquiry is “98 per cent politics and 2 per cent substance”. And Thomas Gift believes the move could backfire against Republicans and help the president.

“A lot of the American populace, despite all of what we hear about political polarisation, are relatively centrist,” Dr Gift says.

"They care about healthcare, they care about education, they care about the environment, they care about the economy – and that’s where they want legislators to be putting their focus.

“When there are other big challenges going on, I think a lot of Americans, particularly moderates and swing voters who are going to be critical in the lead-up to the 2024 election, could just see that [inquiry] as an overreach.”

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The US is quite the car crash for political debate these last few years. The Republican party is flailing about amidst two huge problems it has. The first is a dying voter base - old age is taking its toll. To address this it is doing two things - trying to prevent democratic voters from voting and creating outrage & fear from any issue it can identify. The second is Trump and his nutter fan base. The party is obliged to tag along as there is no alternative available. The only action is feels able to take in the middle of Trump’s multiple impeachments and trials - is to create an impeachment of Biden. The republicans appear to have no real policies, only outrage, and a leader that is a liability for the US and the world. What a state to get into.

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Months of Republican investigations, however, have yet to unearth any concrete evidence of misconduct by Mr Biden, and the allegations have been widely panned by Democrats.

Here’s what we know about the specific claims that the inquiry is likely to focus on.

See article.

No smoke so, presumably, no fire.