Republicans Want To Impeach Biden Early Next Year, After Hunter and Uncle James Face the Cameras
From the initial hearings to the Senate trial, an impeachment of President Biden could have major implications for his legacy, his family, and the 2024 election.
If Republicans in the House have it right, it is more likely than not that the House will impeach President Biden in early 2024, once the president’s son Hunter and brother James sit before a key committee to answer questions about their foreign business dealings and any involvement Mr. Biden may have had. It could, though, be a difficult lift for the GOP.
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Congressman James Comer, plans to interview the president’s son and brother in December. Following those sworn depositions, the Judiciary Committee chairman, Congressman Jim Jordan, says the House is likely to vote on articles of impeachment. The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Jason Smith, is also aiding the investigation.
Mr. Jordan would be tasked with drafting the articles of impeachment, which would likely accuse the president of engaging in an “influence-peddling scheme” during his time as vice president and as a senator. Mr. Comer has spent nearly a year investigating the Biden family and has yet to discover any foreign transactions sent directly to the president, but he claims two “loan repayment” checks sent to the president from James Biden after a lucrative payout from Communist China do represent such corruption.
“It will be the speaker and the conference that decide” when to move on impeachment, Mr. Comer told the Sun. In a statement released Wednesday, Speaker Johnson hinted that the House is likely to vote on articles of impeachment after the depositions of Hunter Biden and James Biden.
“Earlier today, I received an update from Chairmen Comer, Jordan, and Smith on the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the speaker said. “At this stage, our impeachment inquiry has already shown the corrupt conduct of the President’s family … It has also exposed the tens of millions of dollars from foreign adversaries being paid to shell companies controlled by the President’s son, brother, and their business associates.”
Mr. Comer tells the Sun that he is unsure how many more public hearings his committee will hold as part of the official impeachment inquiry, saying he prefers closed-door sworn interviews. “It’s easier in a serious issue like this to do it like the January 6 Committee did and just do it all in depositions,” he said. “You can get a whole lot more information covered than in a hearing.”
The impeachment of Mr. Biden could have real implications on his own political standing if history is to be believed. The two modern presidents to be impeached, President Clinton and President Trump, both saw their approval ratings climb between the opening of an impeachment inquiry and the actual vote on the House floor.
It would be hard for ratings to go much lower for the incumbent president, however, with some polls show Mr. Biden’s current approval rating among Americans at 37 percent.
Another question for Republicans and the White House is who will prosecute the case against the president in the Senate, and who will Mr. Biden call on to defend him.
In the past, presidents who face a Senate trial have called on government lawyers to aid them. For Mr. Clinton was defended in the upper chamber by his White House Counsel, Charles Ruff. Mr. Trump was also defended by his government counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Mr. Biden’s White House Counsel is a seasoned attorney with experience in the counsel’s office in beating back Republican congressional investigations, and would be a prime candidate to be the lead defense attorney.
Ed Siskel, who joined the White House in September, made his bones during the Obama administration when dealing with Republican congressional investigations — including of the Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” affairs.
Mr. Biden — like Messrs. Clinton and Trump — would likely also hire other lawyers to join the team. One prominent attorney, Abbe Lowell, who is representing the president’s son in his ongoing criminal trial, could come to the president’s defense, though that may present a conflict of interest.
Republicans, for their part, would have to choose their “impeachment managers” — members of the House who would act as the prosecutors in the Senate trial. Messrs. Comer, Jordan, and Smith would be the odds-on favorites to take three of the spots, and the remaining slots could be filled by other lawyers and pugilists in the House.
It is also unclear how large the impeachment manager team would be. During Mr. Clinton’s trial, there were 13 House Republicans designated as managers, compared to the seven Democrats who argued for Mr. Trump’s conviction.