U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) speaks during a press conference regarding the impeachment investigation of U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol on November 29, 2023 in Washington, U.S.
House Speaker Mike Johnson said Saturday. He believes Republicans have the votes to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.
“I believe it will happen,” Johnson told Fox News about the Republican-led impeachment inquiry. “I don’t think there are any Democrats willing to work with us on this effort, but we should.”
Mr Johnson said Republicans “have an obligation to do this”, adding: “We cannot stop the process.”
Republican leaders and key Republican committee chairs on Friday made the case for why they believe the questionnaire is necessary, arguing it would strengthen their legal position in court and preventing the White House from investigating the president and his son’s overseas business operations. accused of “obstruction”. Deal – a claim that was forcefully refuted by the White House.
Johnson, who appeared alongside House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, insisted the investigation would not be used as a partisan political tool.
“Elise and I twice served as part of Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team when Democrats used the team for brazenly partisan political purposes. We denounced that use. . This is something completely different,” Johnson said.
“Right now, we’re at a standstill because the White House is blocking at least two or three Justice Department witnesses from coming forward,” withholding evidence from the National Archives, he continued. “A formal impeachment vote on the floor would allow us to take the next necessary steps, and I think that’s what we need to do at this point.”
“This is a baseless, politically motivated attempt to smear President Biden with lies,” White House Office of Counsel Press Secretary Ian Sams told CNN in a statement Saturday. “It reflects how House Republicans are focused on the wrong priorities.” It’s time to address real issues that Americans, like the president, actually care about. ”
House Republicans have so far moved to formalize an impeachment inquiry against Biden, but have not been able to secure the votes to do so.
In September, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called on his committee to launch a formal impeachment inquiry amid growing pressure from Biden’s right to move forward with an impeachment inquiry, but he questioned whether there was evidence to impeach the president. It is clear that the council remains divided over this issue.
In response to a question about Hunter Biden’s lawyers requesting a public hearing in lieu of a deposition, Stefanik said the request was “unacceptable” and that “the only correct response to a subpoena is This is a deposition.”
“The public hearing lasts five minutes on the Democratic side and five minutes on the Republican side. It’s a very public coverage opportunity,” Stefanik said. “We want to approach this from a legal and factual standpoint, and the only way to do that is to take a deposition.”
“This is a precedent,” Johnson added. “In every modern Congressional investigation, depositions are taken first, followed by public testimony. Why break that precedent now?”
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.