Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested that House Republicans may be approaching the point where they’d pursue an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden, the California Republican’s most explicit threat of impeaching the president to date.
“We’ve only followed where the information has taken us. But Hannity, this is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” McCarthy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday.
McCarthy’s comments come amid a series of congressional investigations in the Republican-led House that have targeted Biden, his administration and his family members – most prominently his son Hunter. House Republicans have demanded that US Attorney David Weiss, a Donald Trump appointee, answer questions about allegations from two IRS whistleblowers that the tax investigation in the Hunter Biden criminal probe was tainted by political interference, claims Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland denied. Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two federal tax misdemeanors as part of a plea deal.
In response, the White House criticized House Republicans’ eagerness to attack the president “regardless of the truth.”
“Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what the @HouseGOP wants to prioritize. Their eagerness to go after @POTUS regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams tweeted Monday night.
McCarthy’s remarks are the closest he’s come so far in suggesting the House GOP would pursue impeachment against Biden and it comes as the House speaker is increasingly under pressure by hardline conservatives in his conference to investigate the president and his administration. House Republicans have also floated possible impeachment inquiries against Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The House speaker has previously resisted right-wing calls to impeach Biden over concerns that doing so could imperil the party’s slim majority in the House, especially because such a pursuit would go nowhere in a Democratic-led Senate.
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, voiced support for impeaching Biden on Tuesday, telling CNN’s Manu Raju he thinks that the House will ultimately do so.
“It’s time for the speaker to weigh in, and he has the evidence over the last seven months it’s accumulated,” Norman said, standing outside the Capitol ahead of a Freedom Caucus news conference.
“If there’s not accountability now for the highest office,” he added, “when is it going to be?”
The House voted in June to send a resolution offered by GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado to committee, effectively pausing a move to bring a privileged motion to the floor that would have forced members to vote on impeaching Biden. At the time, McCarthy urged his conference to vote against the resolution.
CNN has also previously reported McCarthy said in a private call with Trump that he personally backed the idea of expunging the former president’s two impeachments and would bring it up to the conference to gauge support. Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison highlighted the Trump impeachment storyline in his response to McCarthy’s comments, saying, “It’s clear that Donald Trump is the real Speaker of the House.”
“He has made sure the House majority is little more than an arm of his 2024 campaign, and Kevin McCarthy is happy to do his bidding – promising to expunge Trump’s own bipartisan impeachments, and now threatening President Biden with a baseless impeachment to distract from their lack of any meaningful agenda and Trump’s own significant challenges,” Harrison said.
CNN has reported that Weiss has offered to testify at a public congressional hearing this fall, according to a letter sent to lawmakers on Monday. The new letter from the Justice Department proposes several dates in September and October when Weiss would be willing to testify to the House Judiciary Committee, which is led by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Republican allegations of political interference in the Hunter Biden probe have been met with adamant denials from Weiss, Garland and other top Justice Department officials who were involved. In previous letters to Congress, Weiss has maintained that he was “granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.