WASHINGTON − House Republicans plan to hold a vote next week to formally authorize their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The move could mark a significant surge in their investigation into accusations the president financially benefited from his family’s overseas business dealings.
“You’re seeing a very deliberate investigation uncovering and following the facts. Following the truth where it leads,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said Tuesday. He added that the inquiry was reaching an “inflection point.”
GOP investigators have long accused Biden of reaping personal benefits from his family’s foreign business affairs. But they haven't produced evidence directly implicating the president.
Johnson has accused the White House of stonewalling the investigation and argued that the GOP “has no choice, if it’s going to follow its constitutional responsibility, to formally adopt an impeachment inquiry on the floor.”
With approval from the House, Republicans are pushing to strengthen their legal standing in court. While the White House has criticized GOP efforts as politicized, it has also gone so far as to dismiss some subpoenas. The administration cites an opinion from the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump declaring any impeachment inquiry moot without a formal vote in the lower chamber.
Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, called the impeachment inquiry a “baseless exercise to smear President Biden when their allegations have already been thoroughly fact-checked and debunked.”
Will Republicans rally around impeachment efforts?
Some Republicans moderates have cooled on the impeachment inquiry. They urge caution and patience as investigators do their work.
But GOP leaders' argument that a vote would bolster their investigation's legitimacy appears to have persuaded vulnerable Republicans to support further steps. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who represents a district Biden won in the 2020 election, said he was unsure whether he would have supported a vote “two months ago.”
But he's now supporting the inquiry and for White House “to provide the information” to GOP investigators. Bacon noted he's also part of an informal team to build support for the inquiry ahead of a floor vote.
Johnson has contended that moderates “understand this is not a political decision” and that approving the inquiry “is a legal decision. This is a constitutional decision. And whether someone is for or against impeachment is of no import right now.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House GOP gears up to authorize Joe Biden impeachment inquiry