US House panel sets first Biden impeachment inquiry hearing for next week

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability is scheduled to hold the hearing to explore constitutional and legal questions

By Reuters

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 19 Sep 2023, 9:13 PM

The Republican-led US House of Representatives is set to hold its first committee hearing on September. 28 on its long-shot impeachment inquiry against Democratic President Joe Biden launched by Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week.

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, whose chairman is Republican Representative James Comer, is scheduled to hold the hearing to explore constitutional and legal questions, a spokesperson for the panel said on Tuesday. Two other House committees also are taking part in the inquiry.

McCarthy announced the inquiry into Biden, who is running for re-election next year, after facing pressure from far-right lawmakers in his party who were furious that Democrats, when they controlled the House, impeached Republican former President Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021. Trump was acquitted both times by the Senate.

Republicans allege that Biden profited from his son Hunter's business dealings while serving as vice president between 2009 and 2017 but have not released any concrete evidence of misconduct. Biden has denied wrongdoing.

White House spokesperson Ian Sams on Tuesday accused Republicans of trying to "distract from their own chaotic inability to govern" by "staging a political stunt."

The oversight panel's statement about the hearing referred to Biden's "involvement in corruption and abuse of public office." The panel intends to subpoena personal and business bank records of Hunter Biden and James Biden, the president's brother, the statement said.

The Constitution establishes an impeachment process under which Congress can remove a president from office. The House can approve formal charges — articles of impeachment — by a simple majority. The Senate then holds a trial and can remove a president with a two-thirds majority vote. Democrats control the Senate, making conviction and removal highly unlikely.

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