House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday he is calling on his committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, even as they have yet to prove allegations he directly profited off his son’s foreign business deals.
The move comes amid increasing pressure from his right flank to move ahead with the inquiry, including some on his far right who have threatened to oust McCarthy from his speakership if he does not move swiftly enough on an impeachment inquiry. McCarthy is also trying to secure votes as part of negotiations to keep the government funded beyond the September 30 deadline to avert a shutdown.
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption,” the California Republican said in remarks outside his office on Capitol Hill. “They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. That’s why today I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.”
The House-led GOP investigations have yet to provide any direct evidence that the president financially benefited from Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
McCarthy said he is tapping House chairmen Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Jason Smith of Missouri and Jim Jordan of Ohio to lead the inquiry.
McCarthy and other prominent House Republicans are also expected to make a forceful pitch at a Thursday special conference meeting on Republican-led congressional investigations, sources familiar told CNN earlier Tuesday.
The development comes as the California Republican has been signaling all recess, as CNN has previously reported, that he’s moving closer to moving forward with such an investigation, related to the president’s son Hunter’s business dealings.
In recent weeks, McCarthy has privately told Republicans he plans to pursue an impeachment inquiry into Biden and hopes to start the process by the end of September, according to multiple GOP sources familiar with the conversations. While McCarthy has already publicly threatened to launch an inquiry, sources say that McCarthy has sent even stronger signals about his intentions behind closed doors.
Punchbowl first reported McCarthy’s expected message on an impeachment inquiry.
The expected next step also comes as McCarthy is laying the groundwork to argue to Republican House members that they need to keep the government funded so they can pursue all of these investigative threads. The government faces a funding deadline by the end of this month in order to avert a government shutdown.
But Tuesday’s news will mark a real effort by McCarthy to start moving ahead and get House Republican skeptics on board with proceeding. A source familiar says McCarthy will not put anything on floor until they know what the numbers are. House Republican leadership will need to formally whip votes at some point which they have not yet done.
McCarthy did not mention holding a vote to launch the inquiry during his remarks Tuesday.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.