Next Steps in Biden Impeachment Inquiry: Understanding the Process
On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy set the stage for a political showdown that could potentially result in the removal of President Joe Biden from office. This is just the first step of a complex process, and there are several more steps that Republicans must navigate before Biden can be removed.
The process of removing a high-ranking official, like the President of the United States, involves two distinct phases: an impeachment inquiry and an impeachment trial. The impeachment inquiry marks the starting point, initiated by the House of Representatives. During this phase, lawmakers investigate and gather evidence related to alleged misconduct or wrongdoing by the official in question. It’s a comprehensive preliminary investigation to uncover facts and evidence to proceed with the process.
If this inquiry uncovers enough evidence, the House of Representatives proceeds to draft and vote on “articles of impeachment.” These articles are the formal charges brought against the official.
Once articles of impeachment are passed by the House, the process moves on to the impeachment trial. This is a more formal and structured phase that resembles a legal trial. The case is taken to the Senate, where Senators serve as jurors, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial if the President is the one facing impeachment. In the Senate trial, a significant two-thirds majority vote is required to convict the official, which would lead to their removal from office.
By initiating a formal impeachment inquiry, McCarthy has elevated the likelihood of President Biden, his son Hunter, and their associates having to appear before Congress to respond to allegations of corruption.
This development means that the Bidens could face subpoenas for their bank records, mobile phone records, text messages, mortgage details, and emails, along with other related documents.
Several committees, including Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means, have already been investigating allegations that Biden improperly leveraged his role as Vice President to benefit his son Hunter’s financial interests in countries such as China and Ukraine. These investigations have uncovered multiple instances where Biden had meetings with his son’s foreign business partners and even included Hunter in official trips on Air Force Two.
With this formal inquiry in place, the committees involved can now conduct hearings and call witnesses, potentially including Hunter, his business associates, and even President Joe Biden himself. Ultimately, the findings of these investigative committees will be presented to the House Judiciary Committee.
The Judiciary Committee’s responsibility will be to draft articles of impeachment, which are proposed charges based on the evidence collected. The Republican-led Judiciary Committee will then vote on whether to adopt these articles. If they pass, the articles will be presented to the House for debate and a vote on whether President Biden should face a trial based on these charges. A simple majority in the House, where Republicans hold a majority of 222 to 212, is all that’s required to proceed.
Should the articles of impeachment pass in the House, President Biden would then be officially ‘impeached.’ The subsequent trial would take place in the Senate and would be presided over by Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts. The Constitution mandates that a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is necessary to convict the President and remove them from office.
The specific charges against Biden in this case fall under several categories of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including abuse of power, obstruction of justice, bribery, and gross misconduct. It’s important to understand that many other actions the president has taken during his term are also impeachable offenses, leaving Republicans with other avenues should this impeachment fail.
His role in the border crisis, for example, classifies as a violation of the constitution while his insistence on following through with student loan bailouts following a SCOTUS ruling against them could be considered “undermining the rule of law,” which is another potential “abuse of power” charge. His actions during the pandemic included covering up information and censorship, while the targeted censorship of Hunter’s laptop could be considered election interference.
The entire process will ultimately end with Biden remaining in office. While The House of Representatives has the authority to impeach a President by a majority vote, removal from office requires a trial in the Senate and a two-thirds majority vote for conviction from the Democrat-led Senate.
On the other hand, Democrats may be aligning to allow Biden’s removal prior to the 2024 election so they can nominate a more electable candidate. It would be almost merciful to Biden if he was expelled from office and allowed to take a vacation in Delaware…permanently.