In a case different from those of the past, House Republicans will likely hold their first hearing for an impeachment inquiry into President Biden on Thursday, NPR reports. When Republicans took power in the House of Representatives, they began trying to find evidence to make the case that Biden had profited from the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden. They have not found that evidence, but the thought of impeachment has increased public focus on their investigation. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has defended the launch of the impeachment inquiry in the absence of hard evidence, saying that finding evidence is the point of the inquiry. Under the Constitution, Congress can remove a president from office if it finds that the president committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
House Republicans allege that Biden benefited from the business dealings his son had in Ukraine and China when the older Biden was vice president. The president and White House have denied this, and investigators have not turned up any smoking guns from witnesses or financial records. That the alleged activity happened before Biden was president makes this presidential impeachment unlike any other in U.S. history, said scholars who spoke with NPR. The Biden inquiry breaks precedent in other ways, including that there is no known date when the offending activity occurred, because House investigators haven't produced evidence of such an event. But they are investigating the period when Biden's son Hunter was serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, almost 10 years ago. At the moment, McCarthy doesn't have enough votes within his own party to guarantee passage. Several Republicans from districts that Biden won in 2020 have said there isn't enough hard evidence to proceed with an inquiry.