White House Spokesman Decries McCarthy’s Launch of Biden Impeachment Inquiry

The White House strongly opposes the House impeachment push against President Joe Biden, claiming lack of evidence and political motives.
White House Spokesman Decries McCarthy’s Launch of Biden Impeachment Inquiry
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to members of the press outside his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 7, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

A White House official responded to the announcement that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will initiate impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden.

White House spokesman for oversight and investigations Ian Sams responded on X, calling Mr. McCarthy’s move “Extreme politics at its worst.”

“House Republicans have been investigating the President for 9 months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing,” Mr. Sams wrote. “His own GOP members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn’t have support.

The announcement that the House would start its impeachment inquiry came on Sept. 12, and the California Republican cited the president’s involvement in the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden, as part of the motivation for the investigation.

“House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct. Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Today, I am directing our house committee 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,” Mr. McCarthy said.

The announcement included details on the investigation, including that it will be led by Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.),  Jason Smith (R-Mo.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairmen of the oversight, ways and means, and judiciary committees, respectively.

Previous Impeachment Talks

Mr. Sams previously responded to reports that Mr. McCarthy would endorse an impeachment inquiry, with the spokesperson encouraging Americans to ask why the inquiry was being launched.
A Sept. 12 Punchbowl News report indicated that the top House Republican planned to tell his Republican colleagues in a closed meeting that launching the impeachment inquiry would be the logical next step.

“Will anyone ask Speaker McCarthy why an impeachment inquiry is the ‘next logical step?’” Mr. Sams posted online. “The House GOP investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS. In fact, their own witnesses have testified to that, and their own documents have showed no link to POTUS.”

Mr. McCarthy previously said in an Aug. 27 interview on Fox News’ ”Sunday Morning Futures“ that the impeachment inquiry would be a ”natural step forward” in light of recent committee investigations.

The California lawmaker said that an impeachment inquiry could provide Congress “the apex of legal power to get all the information they need” to investigate concerns over whether President Biden misused his office to assist in his family’s businesses.

Mr. McCarthy and the House leadership have reportedly scheduled a closed-door session for the morning of Sept. 14 so that House members can be updated on the investigations led by the House judiciary and oversight committees.

Mr. Sams went on in his Tuesday response to the impeachment inquiry news, saying, “Reminder: McCarthy already said weeks ago on Fox he’d move forward with an impeachment [sic] An appearance in which he based his impeachment push on non-existent obstruction of a non-existent request,” he wrote. “Why no mainstream accountability for that falsehood?”

On Sept. 1, the Republican leader made it plain that a formal vote on the impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden would be required for the House to move forward.

“To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes,” Mr. McCarthy told Breitbart News.

“The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,” he continued. “That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.”

Those comments only came after Mr. McCarthy said days before, on Aug. 22, that if the president and his family members continued to stonewall congressional investigators, an inquiry would be necessary to obtain the Bidens’ bank records and other documents.
“The whole determination here is how the Bidens handled this. If they provide us the documents, there wouldn’t be a need for impeachment inquiry. But if they withhold the documents and fight like they have now to not provide to the American public what they deserve to know, we will move forward with [the] impeachment inquiry when we come back into session,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Connection to Other House Member

The White House spokesperson also connected the impeachment efforts to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

“McCarthy is being told by Marjorie Taylor Greene to do impeachment, or else she’ll shut down the government. Opening impeachment despite zero evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS is simply red meat for the extreme rightwing so they can keep baselessly attacking him,” he wrote. “They admit it.”

Ms. Greene previously dismissed the White House’s criticism of her promise that she won’t vote for a government funding bill if the House doesn’t launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

“The White House is attacking me for demanding an impeachment inquiry before I’ll vote to fund one penny to our over bloated $32 TRILLION dollar in debt failing government,” Ms. Greene wrote on Sept. 2 in a long thread on X.

“We have the evidence they have desperately been trying to hide to just ask the question. Should we inquire? Should we just take a look? Dare we investigate further?” she added. “The answer is YES but the White House is outraged at my audacity to demand it.”

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates pushed back against Ms. Greene’s demands, saying that she is part of a “hardcore fringe” of the Republican Party that prioritizes a “baseless impeachment stunt.”

Mr. Bates added that “the last thing the American people deserve is for extreme House members to trigger a government shutdown that hurts our economy, undermines our disaster preparedness, and forces our troops to work without guaranteed pay.”