One day after Hunter Biden offered to testify publicly before Congress, House Republican leadership on Wednesday signaled they are pushing full-force ahead with their efforts to investigate President Joe Biden, with the possibility of holding a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry on the horizon.
In what could be seen as a significant advancement of their efforts, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told colleagues during a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that the House could vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry into the president in the coming weeks, a source familiar confirmed to Spectrum News.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., launched the impeachment probe into Biden in September without sending the inquiry to the House floor for a vote. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., similarly first announced the impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump about a month before the House voted to formalize it.
Republicans say what they have uncovered thus far paints a picture of “influence peddling” in the Biden family’s international business dealings, particularly with clients overseas. But they have yet to show evidence directly linking the president to wrongdoing or that Hunter Biden influenced his father’s decisions in office.
During a press conference at the Capitol with House GOP leadership and the chairs of the three committees currently leading the investigation following the party meeting on Wednesday, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., announced Republicans were launching a website, which will include a timeline, to display what the investigation has uncovered thus far.
“This week, the House Republican Conference is unveiling an impeachment inquiry website providing the public with a one-stop-shop for updates from each of our committees and the evidence they are uncovering,” she said.
Additionally, the lawmakers on Wednesday insisted they are surging ahead with efforts to interview individuals connected to Biden family business dealings over the next few weeks.
“Now, we have reached the point in the investigation that we need to hear from a handful of really key witnesses in this,” Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said. “The chairmen have issued a few dozen subpoenas and we expect that those would be complied with in an expeditious manner.”
“We need to talk to Eric Schwerin, we need to talk to Rob Walker, we need to talk to Tony Bobulinski and we’re in conversations with their lawyers and we think those are going to happen,” House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
In what could be considered the most aggressive action since the start of the inquiry, earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., issued subpoenas to Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden, requiring them to sit for a deposition in mid-December.
On Tuesday of this week, the younger Biden offered to testify publicly on Dec. 13, the date outlined in the subpoena, or another day in December instead, arguing closed-door testimony can be manipulated. Comer and House Republicans are insisting Biden participate in the private deposition first before the possibility of public testimony.
“Our committee will first interview and depose witnesses. We then, of course, would welcome Hunter Biden to testify at a public hearing at a future date,” Comer said at Wednesday’s press conference.
“We will have Hunter Biden in a deposition and frankly, I think in an open hearing — I think that would be great,” Jordan added.
The subpoenas to the Biden family members and others are bitterly opposed by Democrats, and the White House has called for them to be withdrawn.
In a letter to Comer and Jordan calling on the subpoenas to be withdrawn shortly after they were issued, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president made the point that the House has not authorized a formal impeachment inquiry by a vote of the full House – adding significance to Emmer’s comment that such a vote could come soon.
“House Republicans should really focus on American families instead of the president’s family. That’s what Americans want to see,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “Focus on the American families and their needs and what they want and not the President's family.”
Hunter Biden is charged with three firearms felonies related to the 2018 purchase of a gun during a period he has acknowledged being addicted to drugs. The case was filed after an expected plea deal on tax evasion and gun charges imploded during a July hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report