House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed confidence on Saturday that Republicans possess adequate votes to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. In an interview with Fox News, Johnson stated, “I believe we will. I suspect no Democrats will assist in this effort, but they should.”
He emphasized the GOP’s obligation to proceed with the inquiry, asserting, “we cannot stop the process.” Johnson, joined by House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik, contended that the inquiry wouldn’t be wielded as a partisan political tool, drawing a distinction from past instances.
“Elise and I both served on the impeachment defense team of Donald Trump twice, when the Democrats used it for brazen partisan political purposes. We decried that use of it. This is very different,” Johnson remarked.
He pointed out impediments faced by the Republicans, asserting, “Now we’re being stalled by the White House because they’re preventing at least two to three DOJ witnesses from coming forward” and withholding evidence from the National Archives. Johnson proposed that a formal impeachment inquiry vote would propel the process forward, deeming it a necessary step.
In response, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, Ian Sams, criticized the move, stating, “This is a baseless, politically-motivated attempt to smear President Biden with lies, and it reflects how this chaotic House GOP is focused on the wrong priorities, when they should be working on real issues Americans actually care about like the President is.”
As of now, House Republicans have been striving to formalize their impeachment inquiry into Biden but have encountered challenges in securing sufficient votes. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had urged his committees in September to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Biden, facing mounting pressure from the right flank. However, the conference remains divided over the existence of evidence warranting the president’s impeachment.
Addressing the issue of Hunter Biden’s lawyers seeking an open hearing instead of a deposition, Stefanik deemed the request “unacceptable” and emphasized, “the only correct response to a subpoena is a deposition.” She reasoned that an open hearing might devolve into a mere public spectacle, advocating for a legal and factual approach through a deposition.
“It’s the precedent,” Johnson added. “Every investigation of Congress in the modern era, the deposition has come first, and the public testimony follows. Why would we break that precedent now?”
This paraphrased rendition maintains the key elements and quotes from the original article while presenting the information in a slightly rephrased manner. The focus remains on the statements of House Speaker Mike Johnson, the White House’s response, and the broader context of the Republicans’ push for a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.