In a major political development, the US House approved a resolution on December 13 to formalise an impeachment enquiry into President Joe Biden over the international dealings of his son, CNN reported.
The GOP-led House voted 221-212 on the resolution, as the Republicans put the weight of their majority behind the investigation. This comes as the President’s son, Hunter Biden, defied a Republican investigator’s subpoena for closed-door testimony and reiterated that he is willing to testify publicly as part of the GOP-led investigation into the President.
However, even as Republicans issue new subpoenas and schedule more depositions, including with the President’s brother and son, they still have not uncovered credible evidence that backs up their loftiest claims against Biden, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden has slammed the Republicans over the resolution and has termed the impeachment inquiry as a “baseless political stunt”.
“The American people need their leaders in Congress to take action on important priorities for the nation and world,” Joe Biden said in a statement. He slammed Republicans for blocking the funding for Ukraine and Israel regarding the respective conflicts, as well as accusing them of not supporting the strengthening of border security.
“On December 12, I met with the President of Ukraine, who is leading his people in a battle for freedom against Russian aggression. He came to America to ask us for help. Yet Republicans in Congress won’t act to help,” Joe Biden said.
“The people of Israel are in a battle against terrorists, and they are waiting for our help. Yet Republicans in Congress won’t act to help,” President added.
“We have to address the situation at our southern border, and I am determined to try to fix the problem. We need funding to strengthen border security, but Republicans in Congress won’t act to help,” he further said.
This comes after the Republicans blocked an emergency spending bill providing new security assistance for Ukraine and Israel, while pressing for tougher measures against immigration at the US border with Mexico.
Hinting at the possibility of a Government shutdown — that the US barely avoided in September after a last minute deal — Biden further said that the Republicans are driving the US towards ‘self-inflicted economic crises’ at a time of economic progress.
“We need to continue our progress on the economy and make sure inflation keeps going down and job growth keeps going up. That means avoiding self-inflicted economic crises like a government shutdown, which Republicans in Congress are driving us toward in just a few weeks because they won’t act now to fund the government and critical priorities to make life better for the American people,” Joe Biden stated.
He added, “There is a lot of work to be done. But after wasting weeks trying to find a new Speaker of the House and having to expel their own members, Republicans in Congress are leaving for a month without doing anything to address these pressing challenges”.
Taking his attack further, Joe Biden accused Republicans of ignoring the real issues and instead attacking him with “lies” and this “baseless political stunt”.
“I wake up every day focused on the issues facing the American people – real issues that impact their lives, and the strength and security of our country and the world. Unfortunately, House Republicans are not joining me. Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies. Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts,” Joe Biden said.
“The American people deserve better. I know what I am going to remain focused on. I would invite Republicans in Congress to join me,” he added.
Part of the reason for Wednesday’s vote comes from the White House telling the trio of GOP-led congressional committees leading the investigation that its subpoenas were illegitimate without a formal House vote to authorise the inquiry. Reluctant, more moderate Republican lawmakers started to get on board with their party’s investigative efforts, according to CNN. The inquiry was launched by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy back in September.
Since then, a trio of committees leading the investigation have interviewed various officials from the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service while also obtaining a mountain of documents and new bank records, including from Biden family members, CNN reported.
(with inputs from ANI)