The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Dec. 13 to officially authorize an ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, Reuters reported.
Republican lawmakers allege that Biden’s 53-year-old son Hunter Biden profited from foreign business dealings, specifically in Ukraine and China, while Biden served as Vice President under President Barack Obama.
"The House has now spoken, and I think pretty loudly, pretty clearly with every single Republican voting in favor of moving into this official impeachment inquiry phase of our constitutional duty to do oversight," Jim Jordan, Republican lawmaker and Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters.
The 221-212 vote was along party lines as tensions between Republicans and Democrats have heightened over bitter disagreements on foreign aid and and U.S. immigration policy.
“We do not take this responsibility lightly and will not prejudge the investigation’s outcome,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “But the evidentiary record is impossible to ignore.”
The White House dismissed the effort as unsubstantiated and argues the inquiry is politically motivated.
Presidential son Hunter Biden has admitted to making “mistakes” in his finances but maintains his father was not involved.
On Dec. 11, Hunter Biden defied a subpoena to testify privately, saying he would testify only in public. Members of the committee on Dec. 13 said they would take steps to hold him in contempt of Congress, which may lead to prison time.
The move is widely expected to fail to remove Biden from office because Democrats have a Senate majority. An official inquiry could give Republicans more leverage when negotiating with the administration.
"House Republicans are not joining me. Instead of doing anything to help make Americans' lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies," Biden said.
Hunter Biden has been the subject of a years-long criminal investigation and faces multiple federal charges related to lying about drug usage and unlawful weapons possession.