EIn a statement, the Republican leader of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, disclosed that he asked “a House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry”, arguing that Biden “lied” to the American people about the controversial deals of the child abroad.
The opening of an impeachment process has been demanded for months by the ‘Trumpist’ wing of the Republican Party.
Regardless of whether the case progresses against Biden, the investigation could potentially drag on into next year, when the president, who is running for re-election in 2024, will face the Republican field led by Trump.
Here are the main points about the inquiry to remove Biden:
What are the Republicans’ accusations against Biden
Since gaining a majority in the House of Representatives (lower house) in January, Republicans have aggressively investigated Biden and his son.
Hunter Biden, the 50-year-old son of the Democratic president, has become the favorite target of the American right, who accuse him of having made dubious deals in Ukraine and China when Joe Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president (2009-2017 ), taking advantage of knowledge networks and his father’s name.
Does it mean Biden will be impeached?
Not necessarily, although all investigations opened in recent history have resulted in the impeachment of a president.
Never has a president been removed from office in the history of the United States. Three were accused: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021. But they were all exonerated.
Richard Nixon preferred to resign in 1974 to avoid certain impeachment by Congress due to the Watergate scandal.
For Biden’s impeachment, the House would have to approve at least one accusation against him, which requires a majority vote.
How the impeachment inquiry works
Although McCarthy had already said that the House would hold a vote to launch the inquiry, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives did not make that promise today.
The Constitution does not require a vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry, nor do the rules governing the House. But authorization resolutions have been passed in previous presidential impeachments.
It is unclear whether McCarthy would have enough votes in the House to pass an impeachment resolution. Some Republicans in the lower house oppose opening an inquiry, claiming there is not enough evidence against the president.
Once an impeachment inquiry has concluded, the House traditionally tasks the Judiciary Committee — the panel authorized to file articles of impeachment — with holding hearings and drafting impeachment charges.
How long will it last
There are no rules about how long an impeachment inquiry can or should last. The investigation into Biden could last just a few months or up to a year, depending on what McCarthy and Republican leadership believe is the right time to conclude or move toward articles of impeachment.
The only real deadline would be the end of this Congress, which is January 2, 2025.
What is the next step if the Republicans have decided to impeach the president?
If Republicans decide there is enough evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of power by Biden to move forward, the Judiciary Committee would likely mark the articles of impeachment. If these articles were voted on in the committee by a simple majority, they would reach the House plenary, where a majority vote would be necessary to remove Biden.
The impeachment charges would then be transferred to the Senate, where Democratic leaders would likely have no choice but to hold a trial.
If Biden were convicted by the Senate, he would be the first president to be removed from office. But such an outcome seems unlikely given that Democrats have a 52-48 majority.
Read Also: White House criticizes investigation to remove President Biden
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