White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre held a news conference Thursday, a day after the Republican-led House authorized the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Watch the briefing in the player above.
The vote of 221 to 212, along party lines, put the entire House Republican conference in favor of an impeachment process that can lead to the ultimate sanction for a president: a punishment for this which the Constitution describes as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which can lead to impeachment if convicted in a Senate trial.
Biden, in a rare statement on the impeachment effort, questioned House Republicans’ priorities in pursuing an investigation against him and his family.
“Instead of doing anything to improve the lives of Americans, they are focusing on attacking me with lies,” the president said after the vote. “Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political operation that even congressional Republicans admit is not supported by the facts. »
Allowing the months-long investigation ensures that the impeachment inquiry will continue until 2024, when Biden will be up for re-election and appears likely to face former President Donald Trump – who was impeached twice during his term in the White House. Trump has pushed his Republican allies in Congress to move quickly to impeach Biden, part of his broader calls for vengeance and retaliation against his political enemies.
The decision to hold a vote came as Chairman Mike Johnson and his team faced increasing pressure to show progress in what has become a nearly year-long investigation focused on the family members’ business dealings of Biden. Although their investigation raised ethical questions, no evidence has emerged that Biden acted corruptly or accepted bribes in his current role or in his previous term as vice president.
“We do not take this responsibility lightly and will not prejudge the results of the investigation,” Chairman Mike Johnson and his leadership team said in a joint statement after the vote. “But the evidence is impossible to ignore.”
House Democrats united against the investigative resolution Wednesday, calling it a farce perpetrated by those across the aisle to avenge Trump’s two impeachments.