This week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) commissioned a formal impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden over suspected involvement in his son’s business dealings.
For Context: Shortly after the 2022 midterm elections gave Republicans a majority in the House of Representatives, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee launched an investigation of potential financial misconduct and national security risks stemming from international business conducted by Biden family members, most notably President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Will it Work? McCarthy isn't holding a House vote to open an investigation, and instead directed three Republican-led House committees to investigate potential impeachment-worthy offenses.
Some deem this proof of House Republican divisions on the issue. The efforts appear spearheaded by far-right Freedom Caucus members, while Moderate Republicans from more politically-diverse districts appear less enthusiastic about the probe.
If the probe sways moderate Republicans toward impeachment, the next step would be a vote in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority. The Hill (Center bias) quoted one unnamed Republican senator calling the whole ordeal a "fool’s errand."
How the Media Covered It: There is palpable impeachment fatigue across the media spectrum. This is the third push in four years to impeach a president, and the proceeding appears to be losing its edge among American voters and media figures.
Even among Biden's critics in right-rated outlets, some are warning that a failed impeachment effort could embarrass Republicans and damage the party's moderate members.
Left-rated voices are dismissing the probe as political theater. McCarthy is being framed as a vulnerable figure working to preserve his position by giving in to right-wing demands.
What's Next: As some right-rated voices are pointing out, the investigation has already presented evidence that Hunter Biden financially benefited from his father's political position. What remains to be proven is whether this connection amounted to corruption or influence peddling by then-Vice President Biden.
Left-rated outlets have so far been dismissive of these findings. If this trend continues, left-rated outlets might not cover findings of the impeachment probe as prominently or fully. Be sure to continue getting multiple perspectives on this story.
More from AllSides
- What is AllSides' Bias? In a reader-driven survey, we met our own standards for balanced coverage.
- Opinion from the Center: "The president may have cost himself the backing of some of his loyal supporters without achieving much political benefit in return."
- Common Ground: Art has immense potential to bridge political differences and unite across divides. Here's one example.
Snippets from the Left
"The reason for McCarthy’s flip is plain: He doesn’t have the support to open an impeachment inquiry through a floor vote, but to avoid a revolt from hard-liners, he had to announce an inquiry anyway. Substantively, his declaration means little. House Republicans have more or less been conducting an impeachment inquiry for months; formalizing the process simply means they may be able to subpoena more documents from the president. The effort is all but certain to fail."
"Mr. McCarthy may wield the gavel. But the far-right rebels who opposed his election as speaker, of whom Mr. Gaetz was a ringleader, now wield the ax poised above Mr. McCarthy’s exposed neck — an ax that he handed them in exchange for them letting him pretend to be in charge. With the omnipresent threat of voting him out of his dream job, the conference’s fringe is leading the speaker around by the nose hairs. And whenever they feel he’s getting a bit sassy, they give those hairs a sharp yank."
Snippets from the Right
"Just about three years ago, the allegations against both Hunter Biden and his father were regarded as fabrications cut from whole cloth. The laptop was fake — perhaps the sophisticated concoction of Russian intelligence. The claim that Hunter Biden received millions from foreign sources, including the wife of Moscow’s former mayor, was 'false' according to attorneys ... Credulous Democrats internalized these claims and retailed them broadly, only for the ground to collapse out from under them."
"House Republicans (and some Senate Republicans) already are doing a good job, in their legitimate oversight capacity, of exposing the Biden family’s ethical problems. They need no impeachment inquiry to keep doing so. By prematurely turning their investigations into an impeachment investigation, they make the substantive mistake of treating political grifting as a constitutional matter worthy of a major disruption of representative governance."
Snippets from the Center
"As we have written, there is currently no proof that Joe Biden was involved in the business deals of his son, Hunter, or that the president ever benefited from those deals or ever used his position as vice president to assist the companies on his son’s behalf."
"Three House committees will be empowered to look into possible impeachable offenses, and McCarthy pledged Tuesday to go 'wherever the evidence takes us.' Still, McCarthy will have to be nimble if he is to avoid several tripwires. For a start, moderate House members — especially the 18 Republicans who represent districts carried by Biden in 2020 — are notably less enthusiastic about any move toward impeachment, given the dearth of evidence so far."