Speaker Mike Johnson: Sufficient support exists for House to authorize Biden impeachment inquiry

 December 3, 2023

With speculation swirling about the possibility that a House impeachment inquiry vote could come before the chamber breaks for its December recess, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has stepped forward to express confidence that he has the votes for such an effort to succeed, as Just the News reports.

During a Saturday chat with Fox & Friends, Johnson was asked about his chances to marshal sufficient support for an impeachment inquiry, to which he replied, “I believe we will...”

Getting in a small dig at those on the opposite side of the aisle, Johnson added, “I suspect no Democrats will assist in this effort, but they should.”

Johnson's remarks came during his weekend Fox appearance, which occurred alongside GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

The speaker asserted that an impeachment inquiry vote is now “a necessary step” that will likely take place in the very near future.

Explaining the rationale behind his position, Johnson said, “Elise and I both served on the impeachment defense team of Donald Trump twice when the Democrats used it for brazen, partisan political purposes.”

“We decried that use of it,” Johnson went on. “This is very different. Remember, we are the rule of law team. We have to do it very methodically,” he added of the inquiry process.

Noting that substantial work has already been done in terms of probing the president's activities, Johnson said, “Our three committees of jurisdiction – Judiciary, Oversight, Ways and Means – have been doing an extraordinary job following the evidence where it leads.”

He did, however, complain that those committees continue to be “stonewalled by the White House, because they're preventing at least two to three DOJ witnesses from coming forward, a former White House counsel, the national archives...the White House has withheld thousands of pages of evidence.”

As The Hill also noted, Johnson now feels as though there is little choice left in terms of whether to proceed down the road toward a formal impeachment inquiry vote, with the speaker saying, “I think it's something we have to do at this juncture.”

“The evidence is so clear you cannot look away,” Johnson observed. “The Constitution requires the House to follow the truth where it leads. We have a duty to do this. We cannot stop the process.”

Democrats, for their part, have continued to blast the very notion of an impeachment inquiry, with the White House saying earlier this fall – after then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an inquiry without a formal vote – that such a push was “extreme politics” at its worst and claiming that “House Republicans have been investigating the president for 9 months, and they've turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.”

That assessment is one with which Johnson clearly disagrees, with the Louisiana Republican saying last month, “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.”

As such, Johnson maintained, “Now, the appropriate step is to place key witnesses under oath and question them under penalty of perjury, to fill gaps in the record,” and precisely where those proceedings may ultimately lead, only time will tell.