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Budding Biden Impeachment Inquiry: Lengthy Legal Wranglings Just Getting Started  

House Republicans have laid the groundwork for an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, and in the coming weeks, a flurry of legal volleying is expected to consume the capital. While both sides of the political aisle have come out with strong reactions to the proceedings and how they should be executed, the legal foundation of the inquiry is, in fact, prescribed in the Constitution.

Kevin Mccarthy“By design, impeachment is a complex series of steps and procedures undertaken by the legislature. The process roughly resembles a grand jury inquest, conducted by the House, followed by a full-blown trial, conducted by the Senate with the Chief Justice presiding,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

The most recent iteration of this process, explains House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, comes after what he says are “serious and credible” corruption allegations levied against Biden. Among the accusations are lying about business dealings between Biden’s family and foreign actors, including those with a Ukrainian energy company named Burisma, alleged improper payments directed to Biden family members through “shell companies” and bribery.

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy says. “That’s why … I am directing our House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public.”

From X (formerly Twitter)

The Recount @therecount ·Sep 13

"Rep. Goldman (D-NY) slams Rep. Mace (R-SC) for her accusations of Pres. Biden in support of an impeachment inquiry: “She says we should trust the evidence itself…I agree, because the evidence itself shows absolutely no connection between Joe Biden and any of those allegations. https://twitter.com/i/status/1702034251300962386"

The proceedings will be led by Rep. James Comer, chairman of the Committee on Oversight, Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Rep. Jason Smith, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. According to the Legal Information Institute, the House Judiciary Committee is next to act, and it will decide whether or not to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry. In order to do so, it will need to adopt a resolution asking the full House to move forward. After debate, the House will need a majority vote to continue.

Following that vote, the Judiciary Committee will conduct its own inquiry, which might include public hearings. At the conclusion of that committee’s inquiry, articles of impeachment will be prepared; each will need to be passed individually. At that point, the President will be considered “impeached,” and a Senate trial may begin, explains the legal resource.

In that case, the Senate then takes on the role of a jury while the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides. Once the trial is concluded, the Senate will vote on whether to remove the President. In order to do so, two-thirds of those present must vote to remove, and in that case, the Vice President would then, naturally, assume the role of President.

From X (formerly Twitter)

Rep. Jim McGovern @RepMcGovern ·Sep 12

"Everything you need to know about impeachment: McCarthy wants to impeach Joe Biden because he doesn’t like him & needs to put down a far right rebellion. But won’t expel George Santos who lied about his whole life & is charged w/ fraud, money laundering and more. What a joke."

“I don’t make this decision lightly. And Regardless of your party or who you may have voted for, these facts should concern all Americans,” McCarthy says. “The American people deserve to know that public offices are not for sale – and that the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically-associated family.”

Biden has not said much about the proceedings, but he was quoted in media outlets rebuking them as a political distraction. “The best I can tell, they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government,” said Biden, as reported by NBC’s Today.

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