Another day, another controversy is brewing in the U.S. government.
On September 12, 2023, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that he was launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The inquiry is based on allegations that Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, Hunter Biden.
McCarthy apparently caved after months of pressure from Republicans for an impeachment inquiry. Republicans have accused Biden of corruption and abuse of power, but Democrats have dismissed the allegations as baseless.
It’s still early in the impeachment inquiry, and whether it will lead to any charges against Biden is unclear. However, the inquiry has already become a major political controversy, and it will likely dominate the news for weeks.
What are the allegations against Biden?
The allegations against Biden result from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. Hunter Biden served on the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, from 2014 to 2019. While Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma, his father was vice president of the United States.
Republicans allege that Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, in order to protect his son from corruption investigations. Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings and was seen as a threat to Hunter Biden.
Biden has denied the allegations against him. He has said that he never pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin and that he did not act improperly in any way.
What is the impeachment inquiry process?
The impeachment inquiry is being conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. The committee is expected to hold hearings and gather evidence. If the committee finds that there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, it could recommend that the House impeach Biden.
The impeachment process for a U.S. president is a critical constitutional mechanism designed to hold the highest office in the land accountable for any actions that may be considered “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Impeachment is a two-step process outlined in the United States Constitution, specifically in Article II, Section 4.
It begins in the House of Representatives and, if necessary, proceeds to the Senate.
The first step involves the House of Representatives. Impeachment proceedings typically start with a formal inquiry or investigation by one of its committees. If the committee believes there is sufficient evidence to support impeachment, it drafts and approves articles of impeachment, which are essentially formal charges against the president.
A majority vote in the House is then required to impeach the president. This process is a significant political and legal event and can be a highly partisan affair, as it reflects the will of the elected representatives of the American people.
Once the House has impeached the president, the case moves to the Senate for the second step of the process, which is the trial. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate impeachment trial. The Senate acts as the jury, and a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict and remove the president from office. If the president is convicted, the Senate can also vote separately on disqualifying the individual from holding future federal office.
It is important to note that impeachment is a political process as much as a legal one. While there are defined criteria for impeachment, such as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the interpretation of what constitutes impeachable offenses can vary, and it ultimately depends on the judgment of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Impeachment proceedings have been relatively rare in U.S. history, with only a few presidents facing impeachment trials, and successful removal from office has been even rarer, as it requires a high level of bipartisan support in the Senate.
What are the chances of Biden being impeached?
It is too early to say the chances of Biden being impeached. The impeachment inquiry is still in its early stages, and it is unclear whether the committee will find sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
I predict Biden won’t be impeached, but there’s no way to tell for sure…yet.
Even if the committee does find sufficient evidence, it is still possible that the House will not impeach Biden. The House is controlled by Democrats, and many Democrats are reluctant to impeach a sitting president of their own party.
If the House does impeach Biden, it is also possible that the Senate will not convict him. The Senate is controlled by Republicans, and it would take a two-thirds majority vote to convict Biden and remove him from office.
The political implications of the impeachment inquiry
The impeachment inquiry is a major political controversy, likely impacting the 2024 presidential election significantly. Republicans hope to use the inquiry to damage Biden’s reputation and boost their chances of winning the election.
Democrats are trying to defend Biden and prevent the inquiry from becoming a major distraction. They also use the inquiry to rally their base and energize their voters.
The impeachment inquiry is also likely to impact American politics more broadly significantly. It could further divide the country and make it more difficult to address important issues.
The future of the impeachment inquiry
The future of the impeachment inquiry is uncertain. It is possible that the inquiry will be completed quickly and quietly, or it is possible that it will drag on for months or even years.
The outcome of the inquiry will also depend on several factors, including the evidence gathered, the political climate, and the actions of the House and Senate.
Only time will tell what the ultimate outcome of the impeachment inquiry will be. However, it is clear that the inquiry is a major political event that will significantly impact the United States.