Republicans vote to approve impeachment inquiry into President Biden, add 'sidecar resolution'

 December 14, 2023

President Joe Biden's year just went from bad to worse following a House vote authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry into his activities.

The formalization of the process was a necessary step, given that the White House had used the inquiry's previous status as an excuse to stonewall with regard to subpoenas.

According to the Washington Examiner, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Republican leaders adopted a "sidecar resolution" into the full impeachment inquiry vote. That way, subpoenas can be enforced.

The Examiner noted:

The inquiry is examining three main items: whether Biden improperly used his position of power to enrich himself and his family, whether he used his influence to pressure the Department of Justice to avoid prosecuting his son Hunter Biden for certain charges, and how involved Joe Biden was in his family’s foreign business dealings.

It also explained the sidecar insertion:

The Washington Examiner had numerous conversations with senior GOP aides to understand their expectations for how the inquiry would transpire in the wake of the sidecar's passage.

The aides conveyed confidence that they are already on sturdy legal ground to enforce their subpoenas, but the sidecar, they said, will allow them to avoid back-and-forth legal fights about the subpoenas, saving time and resources.

As a result, several witnesses who were called to testify but refused to do so after being stopped by the Department of Justice will now be compelled to do so, with extreme legal consequences if they refuse.

The passing of the formal impeachment inquiry, which happened along a party line 221-212 vote, resulted in cheers from the Republican side of the lower chamber earlier this week.

Ahead of the vote, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said, "We are now at a pivotal moment in our investigation. We will soon depose and interview several members of the Biden family and their associates about these influence-peddling schemes. But we are facing obstruction from the White House."

He added, "The White House is seeking to block key testimony from current and former White House staff. It is also withholding thousands of records from Joe Biden’s time as Vice President. President Biden must be held accountable for his lies, corruption, and obstruction. We have a duty to provide the accountability and transparency that Americans demand and deserve."

Comer, and Republican leaders like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) have spearheaded multiple investigations into the Biden family.

The impeachment inquiry process will afford Republican leaders a higher level of investigative power, including enforcing subpoenas.

President Biden responded to the impeachment inquiry vote by playing the victim.

"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," he said.