US House launches Republican impeachment inquiry against Biden

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden based on his son’s controversial international dealings — a move Biden himself slammed as a “baseless” stunt.

Every Republican rallied behind the politically charged process despite lingering concerns among some in the party that the investigation has yet to produce evidence of misconduct by the president.

The Democratic-led Senate would be unlikely to convict the US leader even if the inquiry did lead to an actual impeachment trial.

Regardless, the procedure guarantees Republicans a new, high-profile platform to attack Biden as he campaigns for reelection in 2024 — and to distract from the federal criminal trials facing his almost certain challenger Donald Trump.

The 221-212 party-line vote put the entire House Republican conference on record in support of an impeachment process that can lead to removal from office.

Biden, in a rare statement about the impeachment effort, questioned the priorities of House Republicans in pursuing an inquiry against him and his family.

“Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies,” the president said following the vote. “Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts.”

Authorizing the monthslong inquiry ensures that the impeachment investigation extends well into 2024, when Biden will be running for reelection and seems likely to be squaring off against Trump — who was twice impeached during his time in the White House.

Trump has pushed his GOP allies in Congress to move swiftly on impeaching Biden, part of his broader calls for vengeance and retribution against his political enemies.

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