A report published this week by POLITICO quoted multiple GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee — which would spearhead the drafting of any articles of impeachment — urging the chamber to move quickly toward a decision heading into 2024, which is a presidential election year in which Biden is seeking a second term in the White House.
“We understand that the further you go toward an election, the more politicized these conversations become. That’s why it’s all the more important for us to begin to take action sooner rather than later,” Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA), a member of the Judiciary Committee, told the news outlet. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), another member of that panel, added, “I think it needs to move with alacrity. I’ve always felt that we should be able to move faster. … But I do anticipate that it comes to Judiciary soon.”
The report also noted that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, predicted a decision would happen early in 2024 and said, “We can decide on whether or not there’s articles” after completing a series of depositions that lawmakers hope to complete in the coming weeks.
For months, the GOP-led House has been investigating whether the business practices of Biden’s family members fostered corruption in government — spurred by a money trail showing millions of dollars from foreign countries. Congressional investigators have also been looking into how the Department of Justice handled the criminal probe into the president’s son, Hunter Biden.
Biden and his allies insist there is no wrongdoing by the president and claim the investigative efforts by House Republicans are tainted by politics.
What happens in the coming weeks could prove critical.
Though some GOP members want quick action, the POLITICO report said centrist Republicans do not want a vote on impeachment articles without a “smoking gun.” A handful of GOP defectors could prove fatal to any impeachment articles, which require a simple majority to pass. The House is narrowly controlled by Republicans, and Democrats are almost certain to vote in a bloc against any articles brought forward.
Then there are outside factors that could significantly affect the timeline of events, such as new deadlines in January and February to avert a government shutdown after the passage of another short-term spending bill.
Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) — who is leading the impeachment inquiry with the help of Jordan and Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) — announced a wave of subpoenas and transcribed interview requests this month. Among the subpoena targets were Hunter Biden and the president’s brother, James Biden.
Planned depositions stretch over the next several weeks but could go longer if there is a legal fight. White House special counsel Dick Sauber wrote a letter to GOP leaders calling on them to withdraw the subpoenas and interview requests, saying, “you have misrepresented the facts” and “ignored the overwhelming evidence disproving your claims.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who took on the leadership role roughly one month ago, announced last week that he received a briefing from Comer and the other impeachment leaders on their progress.
“At this stage, our impeachment inquiry has already shown the corrupt conduct of the president’s family and that he and White House officials have repeatedly lied about his knowledge and involvement in his family’s business activities,” Johnson said.
“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. Now, the appropriate step is to place key witnesses under oath and question them under the penalty of perjury, to fill gaps in the record,” he added. “I commend the good work of Chairmen Comer, Jordan, and Smith. As we move forward toward an inflection point in this critical investigation, they have my full and unwavering support.”