What is the ‘Impeachment Process’? Here’s the road to Joe Biden making unwanted history

WASHINGTON, DC: In a moment that could potentially rewrite the annals of American history, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has fired the metaphorical starting gun on an audacious battle that could lead to President Joe Biden becoming the first US President to be removed from office through impeachment.


Yet, amidst the political fervor and suspense that has gripped the nation, it is crucial to recognize that this journey is still fraught with uncertainty and challenges that lie ahead.

Kevin McCarthy announces impeachment investigation

McCarthy’s decision to unilaterally announce an impeachment investigation, sans a formal House vote, has intertwined the Republican investigations into President Biden with the ongoing funding skirmish that is currently rattling the halls of the Capitol.


The path embarked upon by Speaker McCarthy is emblematic of a strategic maneuver, possibly aimed at quelling a brewing rebellion within the ranks of ultraconservative critics who have repeatedly accused the speaker of failing to take a sufficiently hardline stance on government spending.

By taking this bold step, McCarthy appears to be acquiescing to their demands to pursue the President more aggressively, thereby seeking to unite his party behind a common cause, per The New York Times.


WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during his w
US House Majority Leader Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Speaker declared that three key committees—Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means—would be entrusted with the monumental task of carrying out an exhaustive inquiry into President Biden and his family.


The core of this inquiry revolves around allegations of financial impropriety and corruption that Republicans assert have long festered within the President’s circle. Months of diligent investigation have led them to believe that there exists ample evidence to warrant further probing into these allegations.

McCarthy’s announcement, however, goes far beyond mere rhetoric; it appears to set the stage for House investigators to wield their authority to issue subpoenas that could delve deep into the bank records of President Biden and his family members.


The scope of this inquiry encompasses not only financial documents but also the potential exposure of mortgage details, emails, text messages, and even the contents of their mobile phones—leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of truth and justice, as seen through the lens of House Republicans.

“House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct,” McCarthy said. “Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”


What is an Impeachment Inquiry?

Before delving further into the intricacies of this unfolding drama, it is imperative to understand what an impeachment inquiry entails.

An impeachment inquiry can be initiated by the Speaker of the House or any member of Congress who can secure a majority vote in favor of such an inquiry in the House of Representatives.

In the case of President Biden, several committees—Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means—had already been engaged in investigating allegations of corrupt practices during his tenure as Vice President, involving his son Hunter’s lucrative deals in countries such as China and Russia.


VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 14: United States vice-president Joe Biden (L) and his son Hunter Biden (R
United States vice-president Joe Biden (L) and his son Hunter Biden (R) attend a women’s ice hockey preliminary game between the United States and China at UBC Thunderbird Arena on February 14, 2010, in Vancouver, Canada (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 

These investigations unearthed evidence indicating that Biden had frequent meetings with his son’s foreign business partners and even included him in official trips aboard Air Force Two, thus further fueling suspicions of impropriety.


These discoveries, among others, were pivotal in Speaker McCarthy’s decision to formally announce an inquiry aimed at unearthing more evidence.

Consequently, the committees in question will be empowered to hold hearings and summon witnesses, including Hunter Biden, his business associates, and, intriguingly, President Biden himself. The cumulative findings of these committees will subsequently be submitted to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.

What are articles of impeachment?

The House Judiciary Committee will then assume the responsibility of preparing articles of impeachment—a set of proposed charges based on the evidence gathered during the inquiry.


The Republican-led Judiciary Committee will subsequently vote on whether to adopt these articles. Should they be adopted, the articles will proceed to the full House for debate and, ultimately, a vote to determine whether the President should stand trial on the charges.

It is worth noting that only a simple majority in the House is required to move forward with impeachment proceedings, and in the current political landscape, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by a narrow margin, this threshold is within reach. Should the articles of impeachment pass the House, President Biden would be officially ‘impeached.’


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Impeachment managers Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Diana D
The House impeachment managers leave the Senate floor after delivering the article of impeachment on Jan 25. (Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images)

Senate trial and historical precedents

However, the road to remove President Biden from office is fraught with further challenges. If impeached, the President’s trial would be held in the Senate, presided over by none other than Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.


In accordance with the Constitution, a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is required to convict the President and effectuate his removal from office.

No President has ever been successfully convicted in the Senate.

The trials of Donald Trump, who was impeached twice, and Bill Clinton, who faced charges of perjury and obstruction in relation to the Monica Lewinsky affair, both ended with acquittals. Richard Nixon resigned from office before formal impeachment proceedings could be initiated in the midst of the Watergate scandal.


WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a copy of The Washington Post as he
Donald Trump holds a copy of The Washington Post at the White House on Feb. 6, 2020 (Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images)

The probability of President Biden’s conviction remains a distant prospect, given the current political composition of the Senate. Democrats maintain a slim majority of 52 seats to Republicans’ 48, making it exceedingly challenging for an impeachment conviction to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, the Associated Press reported.


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