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The Biden Impeachment Starter Marriage

The fact that Republicans are still trying to find an impeachable offense speaks to the convoluted nature of the inquiry’s origins.
The fact that Republicans are still trying to find an impeachable offense speaks to the convoluted nature of the inquiry’s origins. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
December 28, 2023

It’s been months since Kevin McCarthy authorized several House committees to begin impeachment inquiries into Joe Biden—caving to the wishful and amorphous demands of his MAGA wing and the G.O.P. base. For years, these cohorts and their elected representatives in the lower chamber have insinuated, typically in the just-asking-questions tense, that the president profited from his son Hunter’s various business dealings in Ukraine and China, and that then-Speaker McCarthy, with the power of the gavel in his hands, was duty-bound to investigate. Even if, as Republicans privately acknowledged, they were fumbling in the dark to paint what McCarthy described as a “picture of corruption.”  

Three months and one speaker fight later, however, the investigations—spanning Judiciary, Oversight, and Ways and Means—have yet to yield much of anything, though it’s not for lack of trying. Yes, they’ve found bits of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Hunter traded on his father’s name for financial and political benefit. (There’s really no other explanation for how Hunter, then in the throes of a drug addiction crisis, ended up on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.) More recently, the committees have scrutinized James and Sara Biden, the president’s brother and sister-in-law, whom Joe Biden loaned money in 2017 and 2018.