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The Biden Impeachment Inquiry

Andrew M. '27

As the US federal government was on the verge of a shutdown, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of federal employees, service people we rely on daily, and the economy of the country itself, hung in the balance. Yet, despite the chaos, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives was focused on something else—impeaching Joe Biden.

Now former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, announced on September 12th that he would be directing a House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, alleging that he and his family used the Biden name for self-profit. Three committees are handling the impeachment inquiry—the Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees—each focusing on different aspects of the investigation.

It is important to note that this is only an impeachment inquiry; this has not yet evolved into articles of impeachment. An impeachment inquiry simply means the House is investigating any allegations which may constitute impeachable offenses that they could subsequently use as grounds for articles of impeachment. In 2019 and 2021, President Trump faced similar impeachment inquiries which did result in articles of impeachment. To fully remove a president from office, the articles of impeachment must be passed by the House with a simple majority vote, in which case they are sent to the Senate where a political trial is held and a vote to convict the president is held. No president has ever been convicted by the Senate before.

What are the allegations against Joe Biden?

So far, most of the allegations have been related to President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, whose role in foreign business dealings has been questioned on previous occasions. Unfortunately for Republicans, the evidence revealed so far does not link the President to any of his son’s actions directly. However, Hunter Biden’s actions are at best questionable and at worst super sketchy.

Here are some of the specific actions by members of the Biden family which have been outlined by the Oversight Committee in their inquiry:

In 2014, then-Vice President Biden hosted the President of Romania at the White House. Five weeks later, a Romanian, a Romanian businessman involved in a corruption prosecution in Romania began depositing money into the accounts of a Biden associate, who later transferred a fraction of the money to Biden family accounts. None of the deposits went directly to Joe Biden himself, however, making it difficult to argue that Biden directly benefited.

Then, less than two months after Vice President Biden left office, a Chinese state energy company wired $3 million to a Biden associate’s account through the exact same bank involved in the Romanian case; later, a portion of that money was transferred to the accounts of Biden family members. The oversight committee obtained “WhatsApp” messages to support this case; again, however, nothing directly links President Biden to the dealings.

In the spring of 2014, Hunter Biden joined the Ukrainian energy firm ‘Burisma’ as counsel to the Board of Directors. After a meeting with owner Mykola Zlochesky in Lake Como, Italy, Hunter Biden was promoted to be a full member of the board. In April of that year, Burisma was involved in a three-way deal with the Kazakhstan government and a Chinese state-owned energy company. Hunter Biden represented Burisma in this transaction. Later, a Kzakhstani oligarch wired money through a Singaporean entity to one of Hunter Biden's Rosemont Seneca entities. The next day, the exact same amount of money was transferred to a car dealership, where Hunter Biden bought a new car. This entire situation would have seemed just a tad questionable rather than an impeachable allegation if it weren’t for the fact that Hunter Biden had never had any experience in the energy sector before accepting the position. In fact, Hunter Biden had just been discharged from the U.S. Navy for testing positive for cocaine. This specific case was also a massive aspect of Donald Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, in which Trump held a phone call with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens’ involvement in these foreign business dealings with the Ukrainian energy company. Many of the Burisma allegations were corroborated by Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden, who was called to testify by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Later, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma and its owner, Zlochesky, for fraud. Another associate of Hunter Biden, Vodym Pozharskyi, suggested that because of the investigation, Vice President Biden asked then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin. When Shokin was asked to resign, Biden called to thank Poroshenko.

While all of these cases and evidence seem to suggest that there are definitely some fishy things going on, so far it seems as though the only thing linking the actions of his son or other associates to Joe Biden is his last name.

What’s next?

There will still be plenty of hearings left in the inquiry and perhaps more damning evidence proving wrongdoing, but for now, the case against Joe Biden is simply not enough to draft articles of impeachment. Republicans are divided on the issue; some agree and say there isn’t enough evidence to impeach the President, while others strongly believe that there has been wrongdoing. Democrats all stand united, with Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) apparently meeting with other Democratic lawmakers who led both of the Trump impeachments to strategize on how to handle the current inquiry against Biden. They have a choice of either deciding whether Democrats should stand up and defend Hunter Biden’s actions or let Hunter Biden go and simply argue that his father had nothing to do with the questionable business activities.

So, if it’s not enough, why are Republicans pushing this in the first place?

Kevin McCarthy had been on thin ice ever since his tremendous fifteen-round speakership elections. Part of the deal that got McCarthy the position he desperately wanted was that the far-right members within his caucus could call a snap vote at any time to remove McCarthy as speaker. As those same far-right members of his party were threatening to allow the government to shut down, Speaker McCarthy knew he had to act to avoid another catastrophic failure on his watch. He used the impeachment inquiry as leverage for the far-right members to agree to a last-minute deal they got through on Sunday night. For McCarthy, unfortunately, this was still insufficient for political survival as speaker of the House.

For now, President Biden is okay. But this reveals a larger issue that has plagued American politics for the past few years now, and that is polarization. The constant attacks against one another clearly are not helping our country whatsoever. The United States government nearly shut down because of this new age of pesky politics and retribution, and indeed it has on multiple occasions in the last few years. While checks and balances are immensely important to a functioning democracy, the nation must also make sure that we aren’t grasping at straws and wasting precious time and resources on useless squabbles exacerbating the issues in the country.

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