Speaker McCarthy opens an impeachment inquiry into President Biden

USC students and faculty react to the implications of the GOP’s recent move.

A split image of Joe Biden (left) and Kevin McCarthy (right)

Last Tuesday, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called for a House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

McCarthy’s announcement comes in the wake of the indictment of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and increased pressure on the speaker from far-right Republican House members threatening to remove him.

According to McCarthy’s Speaker of the House website, “The Biden family was afforded special treatment by the Biden administration — treatment they would not otherwise have received if they were not related to the President.”

Students at USC have mixed feelings about the impeachment inquiry.

“I don’t really see [Biden] as a good president. I think I would support the idea of impeachment,” said Lance Jones, a freshman studying animation and digital arts. “When Biden first became president, the first thing he did was cut the middle class… I really just did not like that.”

Skyler Pak, a senior studying communication and philosophy, politics and economics, expressed support for Trump’s impeachment, but not Biden’s.

“There’s been several indictments against [Trump] and many illegal actions, and I don’t think Biden’s actions have been that intense,” Pak said.

Sophia Schreiber, a business administration major, said she has not had much time to keep up with impeachment proceedings.

“I don’t even know why Biden is getting impeached,” Schreiber said. “I’m not a big politics girl.”

The impeachment inquiry — which will be conducted by the House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees — are expected to focus on President Biden’s alleged collaboration in illicit foreign business dealings that Republicans are saying were conducted by Hunter Biden.

This is not the first time Republicans on the hill have sought to investigate Biden’s alleged involvement in his son’s business engagements with overseas firms.

According to the Associated Press, House Republicans have emphasized a 2019 bribery claim alleging that President Biden pulled strings in Ukraine to stop an investigation into Burisma, an oil and gas company that Hunter Biden was on the board of. The Department of Justice investigated the bribery claim for eight months during Trump’s presidency, but closed the matter.

Some Democrats have mocked the decision by Speaker of the House McCarthy to launch the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told NBC News that “after seven months of this wild goose chase, aimless fishing expedition, they haven’t found anything on Joe Biden.”

House Republicans are divided in their support of the impeachment inquiry. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., cited a lack of evidence linking Biden to his son’s business dealings as a reason to not move forward.  “I don’t see the glaring evidence that says we need to move forward, I didn’t see it in the Trump case and voted against it. I don’t see it in this case,” Capito told CNN.

Though the inquiry is likely to draw heavy media attention, the trial is unlikely to result in a conviction and removal of President Biden from his post, said Robert Shrum, the director of the Center for the Political Future at Dornsife. He said that Hunter Biden’s indictment will likely result in probation.

“This is a case that is almost never brought to a federal criminal level,” said Shrum. “This is a father who has had a very troubled son, who has done everything he can to try to help him. I think a lot of Americans have been through that.”

Annenberg Media reached out to Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield district office for comment, but did not hear back.

The impeachment inquiry — which could last anywhere from a few months to a year, according to Associated Press — will proceed as President Biden launches his 2024 reelection bid.