Latest News 03-12-2023 00:06 14 Views

Johnson says vote on Biden impeachment inquiry is ‘necessary step’ after WH ‘stonewalled’ GOP investigations

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is looking to move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry vote against President Biden, saying that it is a 'necessary step' as the White House continues to stonewall investigations by House Republicans into alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family.

Johnson's remarks came during a Saturday appearance on 'Fox & Friends Weekend,' where he, along with House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., spoke to several topics and were asked about plans to bring forth a vote on impeachment.

'It's become a necessary step,' he said. 'Elise and I both served on the impeachment defense team of Donald Trump twice when the Democrats used it for brazen, partisan political purposes. We decried that use of it. This is very different. Remember, we are the rule of law team. We have to do it very methodically.'

'Our three committees of jurisdiction — judiciary, oversight, ways and means — have been doing an extraordinary job following the evidence where it leads,' he continued. 'But now we're being stonewalled by the White House, because they're preventing at least two to three DOJ witnesses from coming forward, a former White House counsel, the national archives . . . the White House has withheld thousands of pages of evidence.'

Reaffirming his belief in moving forward with the process, Johnson said a 'formal impeachment inquiry vote on the floor will allow [Republicans] to take it to the next necessary step.'

'I think it's something we have to do at this juncture,' he added.

Johnson's comments came after multiple Republicans said Friday that a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry of President Biden is likely to come before the House of Representatives breaks for the December recess.

House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., told reporters he expected his committee to get the legislation 'sometime next week,' which will likely tee up a House-wide vote shortly thereafter.

Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., said that he anticipates a House-wide vote 'before we will break' on December 15.

'I think that every Republican should be convinced about voting for the impeachment inquiry, there’s plenty of smoke there,' Gimenez said.

The Republicans spoke after a closed-door House GOP Conference meeting where the three chairmen investigating Biden and his family — Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky.; Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Ways & Means Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo. — reiterating their case for lawmakers.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern, R-Okla., said that the meeting had been held 'to see where the votes are and make sure everybody’s communicated with, people have had their chance to understand what an impeachment inquiry is versus impeachment.'

'It’s important we get it done as soon as possible so that we can move forward with this investigation,' Hern said.

Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., said a vote would likely come 'soon' and contrasted the push to formalize Republicans’ impeachment inquiry with how House Democrats handled former President Donald Trump, moving forward with the impeachment process without a House-wide vote.

'We’re actually trying to do it the right way,' Murphy said.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., directed the House to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden in September, but the White House has dismissed the probe as illegitimate without a formal vote on the matter.

The administration’s resistance to cooperating with House investigators’ subpoenas has inspired even Republicans in districts won by Biden in 2020 to support formalizing the inquiry.

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., told Fox News Digital, 'This is what the administration has asked for.'

'The administration made it very clear, they weren't going to actually work with our constitutional authority, unless we did the vote. Fine,' Schweikert said.

Oversight Democrats sent out a five-page memo Friday morning rebutting Republicans’ claims, citing a 'mountain of evidence' they said clears Biden of any wrongdoing.

'Rather than accept these facts, Republicans have resorted to cherry-picking and distorting facts in order to justify continuing this sham investigation aimed at satisfying the demands for retribution of President Trump who was twice indicted and now faces 91 felony counts,' the memo read.

Fox News' Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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