After Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) was elected, House Republicans redoubled their efforts to impeach Biden. Johnson has warned against hastily opening an investigation while having previously accused the president of bribery.
The Heaviest Power That We Have
As Speaker, Johnson has emphasized a cautious approach to impeachment, citing the founding fathers while referring to it as the “heaviest power that we have” and asserting that he has no idea how it would turn out.
Bribery “Is What Happened Here”
However, he was outspoken in his criticism of President Biden as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, even going so far as to claim that bribery is “what happened here.” The claim that Biden accepted a bribe, which sprang from a discussion with a Ukrainian oligarch that the FBI received in a tip it could not confirm, has not been proven by House Republicans.
White House Denies Biden’s Involvement
The White House has vehemently disputed that Biden has done anything unlawful, pointing out that Republicans have scrutinized his brother’s and son’s financial affairs. Still, they haven’t been able to link the president to their international work.
White House Needs to Buck up on the Inquiry
But Johnson, who succeeded a prior Speaker who occasionally appeared hesitant to follow up on the issue, stated last week that the House would soon need to decide how to proceed with a joint inquiry by three committees. “I do believe that very soon we are coming to a point of decision on it,” he declared on Thursday.
You Follow the Truth Where It Leads
He declared, “I have been very consistent, intellectually consistent in this, and persistent that we have to follow due process, and we have to follow the law. That means following our obligation to the Constitution and doing appropriate investigations in the right way at the right pace, so that the evidence comes in, and we follow the evidence where it leads. You follow the truth where it leads.”
GOP Yet to Find the Smoking Gun
“We’ve not predetermined the outcome of this. We’ve not prejudged it,” he stated. However, he continued, “I think everyone can see how it is unfolding.” The Republicans have stirred the pot, but they haven’t shown any concrete evidence that the president has benefited personally from his family’s foreign business ventures or that his vice president’s judgments have been influenced by them.
Biden Making Moves to Help Son?
The main focus of the accusations is Biden’s attempt to dismiss Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin while serving as vice president. Republicans contend that rather than being motivated by Shokin’s inability to combat corruption, as Biden has claimed, those actions were made to help Biden’s son, who at the time was a board member of the Ukrainian oil business Burisma.
Biden’s Actions in Accordance to International Community
However, Biden’s actions were consistent with those of the international community, and documents from the State Department at the time indicate that the United States postponed money to Ukraine because of concerns over Shokin’s lack of significant changes.
Johnson Confident of Biden’s Misconduct
Johnson, though, has stated that he is certain that Biden committed misconduct. He made reference to Biden’s previous remarks regarding Shokin’s removal when he said on Fox News in August, “The president bribed or pressured a foreign leader to fire that country’s top prosecutor because the prosecutor was investigating his son, and he used $1 billion of U.S. taxpayer money to have that bidding done, and then he bragged about it on video.”
The US Concerned Over Shokin’s Lack of Assertive Prosecution
But Shokin was not bringing charges against Burisma; according to his subordinate, an earlier probe had been closed by the time Biden became involved. The United States’ apprehension of aiding Ukraine stemmed from Shokin’s lack of assertive prosecution.
Johnson Believes Biden Involved in ‘Pay-To-Play’ Scheme
Additionally, Johnson has expressed his belief that Biden’s activities are part of a “pay-to-play” system. “On Capitol Hill, a lot of people debate and quibble about what high crimes and misdemeanors are, but we know what bribery is.” In the same Fox News interview, he stated, “It’s someone paying you to do their bidding, and that’s what happened here.”
Johnson Hellbent on Investigation Since 2019
Since 2019, when former President Trump was facing impeachment proceedings for withholding money to Ukraine and pressuring Ukrainian officials to launch an inquiry against the president’s son, Hunter Biden, Johnson has been advocating for an investigation into the incident.
Johnson Insists No Impeachment Charge Against Trump Is Justified
“If President Trump’s requested informational investigation was justified, then no impeachment charge against him is justified. It can’t be an abuse of power by President Trump to inquire about an abuse of power that’s so painfully obvious by Vice President Biden,” Johnson stated during a markup of the articles of impeachment against Trump by the House Judiciary Committee.
A Much More Authentic Voice of MAGA
The senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.), believes that Johnson is a “much more authentic voice of MAGA” than his predecessor, whose backing by Trump contradicts an initiative spearheaded by the past president.
Mode of Force Behind This Impeachment Specific to Trump
“The mode of force behind this impeachment is entirely political and specific to Donald Trump. He thinks he’ll be the Republican nominee, and he doesn’t want to be the only person running who has been impeached by the House of Representatives. It’s as simple as that,” Raskin informed The Hill.
They’ve Got Nothing on Joe Biden
“But they’ve got nothing on Joe Biden. So if my friend Mike Johnson wants to be guided by the Constitution, he’ll do whatever he can to make the whole ludicrous impeachment drive go away as quickly as possible.”
Insufficient Evidence for the Supposed Impeachment
The fight for House Speaker did not halt the GOP’s investigations, but they have slowed down in the weeks after Republican witnesses testified that the party lacked sufficient evidence to support an impeachment.
Personal Loans Issued to Biden’s Family
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has identified two checks between Biden and his brother, James, that were received after he left office and were marked as personal loans since subpoenaing their personal financial documents.
A $200,000 Loan Repaid by James Biden
The GOP claimed that they emerged following significant economic transactions, however James Biden’s employment with an American corporation before the repayment of a $200,000 loan. After Hunter Biden obtained funds from a Chinese firm and then transferred a portion of the funds to his uncle’s business, the brothers exchanged a $40,000 check.
No Scintilla of Evidence of Inappropriate Behavior
Democrats contend that the money only reflects a brief loan that Biden’s family members made to one another while he was a private man. “Where’s the evidence? We’ve been at it all these months, and there’s no scintilla of evidence that there’s been any inappropriate behavior by the part of the Biden administration,” according to senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (Mass.), who is leading the committee’s investigation into Biden.
Investigation Supposedly Running on Fumes
“Not only does it appear as though it’s running on fumes, but it further diminishes the proper role of Congress in terms of administering the government.” Johnson referred to the Republicans as the “rule of law team” and stated that impeachment should not be “wielded lightly” in one of his first interviews as Speaker.
We’re Going to Find Out Very Soon How Big the Fire Is
However, he made it apparent that Republicans would move quickly to continue their inquiry. Johnson responded, “There’s a lot of smoke here. And we’re going to find out very soon how big the fire is.”
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