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What we know about the Biden impeachment inquiry What we know about the Biden impeachment inquiry
(5 months later)
Months of investigation have yet to uncover evidence of misconduct by Joe BidenMonths of investigation have yet to uncover evidence of misconduct by Joe Biden
Months of investigation have yet to uncover evidence of misconduct by Joe Biden
The Republican-led US House of Representatives has formally backed an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.The Republican-led US House of Representatives has formally backed an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Lawmakers voted 221 to 212 - entirely along party lines - on Wednesday to authorise a resolution that accuses the president of bribery, corruption and influence-peddling off his "brand".Lawmakers voted 221 to 212 - entirely along party lines - on Wednesday to authorise a resolution that accuses the president of bribery, corruption and influence-peddling off his "brand".
Months of investigation have yet to uncover any concrete evidence of misconduct by Mr Biden, and the allegations have been panned by Democrats and even some Republicans.Months of investigation have yet to uncover any concrete evidence of misconduct by Mr Biden, and the allegations have been panned by Democrats and even some Republicans.
But Republican party leaders have built support for the inquiry by arguing that the administration is "stonewalling" and that investigators need more authority to gather evidence.But Republican party leaders have built support for the inquiry by arguing that the administration is "stonewalling" and that investigators need more authority to gather evidence.
The White House has condemned the investigation as a "political stunt" designed to hurt the president's re-election bid.The White House has condemned the investigation as a "political stunt" designed to hurt the president's re-election bid.
Voting to authorise an inquiry is not the same as voting for impeachment, but it advances the likelihood the House will seek to impeach Mr Biden early next year.Voting to authorise an inquiry is not the same as voting for impeachment, but it advances the likelihood the House will seek to impeach Mr Biden early next year.
The House has ultimately opted to impeach three of the last four times this step was taken.The House has ultimately opted to impeach three of the last four times this step was taken.
Why do Republicans want to impeach Biden now?Why do Republicans want to impeach Biden now?
Why do Republicans want to impeach Biden now?
Impeachment inquiry 'based on lies' - White HouseImpeachment inquiry 'based on lies' - White House
Impeachment inquiry 'based on lies' - White House
What is the inquiry about?What is the inquiry about?
Ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched the inquiry in September claiming Republicans had unearthed a "culture of corruption" surrounding Mr Biden.Ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched the inquiry in September claiming Republicans had unearthed a "culture of corruption" surrounding Mr Biden.
But at the inquiry's first hearing later that month, two of the party's own expert witnesses told lawmakers they did not believe there was enough evidence to warrant impeachment.But at the inquiry's first hearing later that month, two of the party's own expert witnesses told lawmakers they did not believe there was enough evidence to warrant impeachment.
Since then, the House oversight committee has issued a flurry of legal summonses, demanding testimony from several members of the president's family, including his son and his brother.Since then, the House oversight committee has issued a flurry of legal summonses, demanding testimony from several members of the president's family, including his son and his brother.
On Wednesday morning, Hunter Biden defied a congressional subpoena to testify behind closed doors to lawmakers. He told reporters at Capitol Hill he would only give evidence in a public setting and called Republican investigators "shameless".On Wednesday morning, Hunter Biden defied a congressional subpoena to testify behind closed doors to lawmakers. He told reporters at Capitol Hill he would only give evidence in a public setting and called Republican investigators "shameless".
Many of the claims revolve around Hunter Biden's business dealings abroad and his father's alleged involvement in themMany of the claims revolve around Hunter Biden's business dealings abroad and his father's alleged involvement in them
Many of the claims revolve around Hunter Biden's business dealings abroad and his father's alleged involvement in them
Senior Republicans have claimed that the White House is rebuffing their information requests, withholding thousands of documents from the National Archives and blocking key witnesses from testifying.Senior Republicans have claimed that the White House is rebuffing their information requests, withholding thousands of documents from the National Archives and blocking key witnesses from testifying.
In a USA Today opinion piece, current House Speaker Mike Johnson wrote that evidence was mounting "and the pushback from the White House and others must be addressed". In a USA Today opinion piece, external, current House Speaker Mike Johnson wrote that evidence was mounting "and the pushback from the White House and others must be addressed".
"We have no choice," he said at a Tuesday news conference. "We have to take the next step. We're not making a political decision. It's not. It's a legal decision.""We have no choice," he said at a Tuesday news conference. "We have to take the next step. We're not making a political decision. It's not. It's a legal decision."
Voting to formalise an inquiry places Republicans in "the strongest legal standing to pursue needed information and enforce subpoenas", Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole said in a statement on Tuesday.Voting to formalise an inquiry places Republicans in "the strongest legal standing to pursue needed information and enforce subpoenas", Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole said in a statement on Tuesday.
Several of his colleagues, including impeachment sceptics, have been careful in arguing that backing an impeachment inquiry does not mean they are impeaching Mr Biden.Several of his colleagues, including impeachment sceptics, have been careful in arguing that backing an impeachment inquiry does not mean they are impeaching Mr Biden.
But the steps taken this week raise the odds that Mr Biden could be impeached in the House early next year - though he is all but certain to avoid conviction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.But the steps taken this week raise the odds that Mr Biden could be impeached in the House early next year - though he is all but certain to avoid conviction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
So what are the specific claims the inquiry will likely focus on?So what are the specific claims the inquiry will likely focus on?
'The Biden brand''The Biden brand'
The oversight committee says the Biden family and its business associates received more than $24m (£19m) from foreign sources in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia and Ukraine between 2014 and 2019. The oversight committee says, external the Biden family and its business associates received more than $24m (£19m) from foreign sources in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia and Ukraine between 2014 and 2019.
There is, however, no substantive evidence of any specific payments made to the then-vice-president or that he benefited directly from the payments.There is, however, no substantive evidence of any specific payments made to the then-vice-president or that he benefited directly from the payments.
But committee chairman James Comer has argued Hunter and other relatives "sold" Mr Biden - who at the time served as Barack Obama's vice-president - as a "brand" to reap millions from corrupt business schemes.But committee chairman James Comer has argued Hunter and other relatives "sold" Mr Biden - who at the time served as Barack Obama's vice-president - as a "brand" to reap millions from corrupt business schemes.
He has also said that "it appears no real services were provided other than access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself".He has also said that "it appears no real services were provided other than access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself".
Last week, the Kentucky Republican released bank records he claimed showed direct payments from Hunter to Joe Biden through a company he owned that received payments from China. Last week, external, the Kentucky Republican released bank records he claimed showed direct payments from Hunter to Joe Biden through a company he owned that received payments from China.
But lawyers for Hunter Biden quickly noted Mr Comer had mischaracterised payments between father and son that were already in the public record and happened almost two years after Mr Biden left office.But lawyers for Hunter Biden quickly noted Mr Comer had mischaracterised payments between father and son that were already in the public record and happened almost two years after Mr Biden left office.
"The truth is Hunter's father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck," lead attorney Abbe Lowell said."The truth is Hunter's father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck," lead attorney Abbe Lowell said.
"When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself.""When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself."
Lies about business dealingsLies about business dealings
The elder Mr Biden has said his son "has not made money" in China or elsewhere. He has also repeatedly said he never spoke to his son about his business dealings.The elder Mr Biden has said his son "has not made money" in China or elsewhere. He has also repeatedly said he never spoke to his son about his business dealings.
But Republicans say the evidence they've uncovered refutes both those claims.But Republicans say the evidence they've uncovered refutes both those claims.
Oversight Committee Chair James Comer has been accused by the White House of repeatedly mischaracterising evidence during the impeachment hearingsOversight Committee Chair James Comer has been accused by the White House of repeatedly mischaracterising evidence during the impeachment hearings
Mr Comer has alleged that the president "spoke, dined, and developed relationships with" his son's foreign business targets nearly two dozen times. Oversight Committee Chair James Comer has been accused by the White House of repeatedly mischaracterising evidence during the impeachment hearings
Mr Comer has alleged, external that the president "spoke, dined, and developed relationships with" his son's foreign business targets nearly two dozen times.
It is unclear, however, whether the existence or substance of any of these meetings rises to the level of an impeachable offence.It is unclear, however, whether the existence or substance of any of these meetings rises to the level of an impeachable offence.
In August, Devon Archer, an ex-business partner of Hunter Biden, testified to the House that Mr Biden was put on speaker phone with potential business associates "maybe 20 times" over the span of 10 years.In August, Devon Archer, an ex-business partner of Hunter Biden, testified to the House that Mr Biden was put on speaker phone with potential business associates "maybe 20 times" over the span of 10 years.
But he told lawmakers the phone calls were "casual conversations" that never delved into business, contradicting Republican claims of bribes, conflicts of interest or any material involvement by the president in his son's foreign ventures.But he told lawmakers the phone calls were "casual conversations" that never delved into business, contradicting Republican claims of bribes, conflicts of interest or any material involvement by the president in his son's foreign ventures.
Alleged bribery schemeAlleged bribery scheme
A key element of the inquiry has been claims Republicans have recently resurfaced after they first emerged in 2019 during former President Donald Trump's first impeachment.A key element of the inquiry has been claims Republicans have recently resurfaced after they first emerged in 2019 during former President Donald Trump's first impeachment.
An unverified tip to the FBI claimed Joe Biden pressured Ukraine's government to fire its top prosecutor to halt an investigation into the local Burisma energy firm, where Hunter Biden was on the board.An unverified tip to the FBI claimed Joe Biden pressured Ukraine's government to fire its top prosecutor to halt an investigation into the local Burisma energy firm, where Hunter Biden was on the board.
An FBI document detailing the claim - in which an ex-Burisma CEO says he paid $5m to both Joe and Hunter Biden - was obtained and released by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this July. An FBI document detailing the claim - in which an ex-Burisma CEO says he paid $5m to both Joe and Hunter Biden - was obtained and released, external by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this July.
The justice department had investigated the claim for eight months during the Trump administration, but ultimately abandoned its probe due to "insufficient evidence".The justice department had investigated the claim for eight months during the Trump administration, but ultimately abandoned its probe due to "insufficient evidence".
The former executive, Mykola Zlochevsky, also later rebutted the claim, according to a transcript of an interview released by Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin.The former executive, Mykola Zlochevsky, also later rebutted the claim, according to a transcript of an interview released by Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin.
He said he had had no contact with Joe Biden or any of his staff members and that Mr Biden had never helped him or the company while serving as vice-president,He said he had had no contact with Joe Biden or any of his staff members and that Mr Biden had never helped him or the company while serving as vice-president,
In his testimony, Mr Archer too said that he was unaware of any such payments.In his testimony, Mr Archer too said that he was unaware of any such payments.
Preferential treatment of Hunter BidenPreferential treatment of Hunter Biden
House Republicans have alleged that the justice department "impeded, delayed, and obstructed" an ongoing multi-year criminal investigation into Hunter Biden.House Republicans have alleged that the justice department "impeded, delayed, and obstructed" an ongoing multi-year criminal investigation into Hunter Biden.
This appears to have been confirmed in part by testimony from two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers, who said the government was "slow-walking" and blocking investigative steps.This appears to have been confirmed in part by testimony from two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers, who said the government was "slow-walking" and blocking investigative steps.
The department has denied these claims. Other witnesses called by Republicans in July testified that neither President Biden nor Attorney General Merrick Garland interfered in the investigation.The department has denied these claims. Other witnesses called by Republicans in July testified that neither President Biden nor Attorney General Merrick Garland interfered in the investigation.
But Republicans, who have claimed a broad "weaponisation" of the justice system under President Biden, have sought to contrast ongoing efforts to prosecute former President Trump with what they said was leniency toward the president's son.But Republicans, who have claimed a broad "weaponisation" of the justice system under President Biden, have sought to contrast ongoing efforts to prosecute former President Trump with what they said was leniency toward the president's son.
They pointed to a "sweetheart deal" reached between Hunter Biden and prosecutors earlier this year that would have seen him admit to criminal offences and avoid jail time.They pointed to a "sweetheart deal" reached between Hunter Biden and prosecutors earlier this year that would have seen him admit to criminal offences and avoid jail time.
But that plea agreement has since fallen apart, and the younger Mr Biden now faces federal charges over tax-related and gun-related misconduct.But that plea agreement has since fallen apart, and the younger Mr Biden now faces federal charges over tax-related and gun-related misconduct.
Related TopicsRelated Topics
Republican PartyRepublican Party
Hunter BidenHunter Biden
United StatesUnited States
Joe BidenJoe Biden