Republicans launch controversial impeachment trial against President Biden

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

With just 2 weeks left until a possible federal government shutdown amid a lack of progress in fiscal year 2024 budget negotiations, House Republicans made the controversial decision to begin formal impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden.

The announcement was made by the president of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, under increasing pressure from fifty members of his party united in the Freedom Caucus, who threatened to seek his dismissal unless he began the impeachment process.

Unlike other similar political processes, the leader of the lower house did not do so through a vote in the plenary session of the House of Representatives for a simple reason: he lacked the votes to achieve its approval, because there is opposition to that procedure even within the ranks of his own party.

South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, the third-ranking Republican in the US upper house, said it clearly: “I don’t think this will be advantageous if it goes forward. I hate to see this become the working method every time there is a change in administration: trying to remove someone from office. I think we should win elections. This is, in my opinion, how you change the direction of this country.”

However, McCarthy appears to have preferred to protect his position as speaker of the House of Representatives than to defer to his own moderate co-religionists.

Even worse his decision to instruct two House committees to launch an investigation against the president of the United States in the middle of budget negotiations will have the effect of polarizing positions and making a settlement in federal budget negotiations more complicated for the 2024 fiscal year.

Singularly, the announcement did not take the White House by surprise, which was not only preparing for this moment, which had been telegraphed by Republicans, but also believes that President Biden could even emerge politically stronger if moderate voters interpret the Republican action as an extreme one.

That interpretation is not far from reality, since the investigation would be led by the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Ohio Republican James Jordan, and by the chairman of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, James Comer, two politicians with solid conservative credentials.

The launch of a formal impeachment inquiry against the president comes despite the fact that House Republicans have so far presented no evidence that the actions of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, politically benefited his father or that he took political actions in favor of his son or the companies he represented.

It is irresponsible that in the midst of significant challenges in the United States, especially the approval of the farm law and the 2024 fiscal budget, a party resorts to political maneuvers to please its most extremist sector despite the risk it represents for the governance of the United States.