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Leading US Republican announces formal impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden

The US House of Representatives will open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden (Getty Images)
The US House of Representatives will open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

The USHouse of Representatives will open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, its most senior Republican member has announced.

Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, said the inquiry would investigate “serious and credible” allegations of “abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” made against Mr Biden.

Lawmakers will convene behind closed doors for a meeting to discuss the impeachment later this week, Mr McCarthy said.

Republicans have claimed, without evidence, that Mr Biden profited while serving as vice president from 2009 to 2017 from his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business ventures.

The White House dismissed the impeachment push as politically motivated, urging Mr McCarthy not to “cave to the extreme, far-right members who are threatening to shut down the Government unless they get a baseless, evidence-free impeachment of President Biden”.

“The consequences for the American people are too serious,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said.

It comes as Republican leadership hopeful Donald Trump, who was twice impeached by the House but in both instances acquitted by the Senate, faces more serious charges in court. He has been indicted four times this year, including for trying to overturn the 2020 election that Mr Biden won.

Mr Biden is also seeking re-election next year.

Kevin McCarthy (AP)
Kevin McCarthy (AP)

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said of the move: “This is a transparent effort to boost Donald Trump's campaign by establishing a false moral equivalency between Trump — the four time-indicted former president.”

House Republicans have been investigating Mr Biden since January but have not yet found concrete evidence of misconduct.

They are also probing the business dealings of Hunter Biden but so far have not produced hard evidence linking the two.

Hunter Biden is currently under federal investigation for alleged tax crimes, related to his foreign business interests.

The impeachment action comes as Mr Biden struggles to pass legislation needed to avoid a federal government shutdown at the end of the month.

Government funding is to run out on September 30, which is the end of the federal fiscal year.

Congress must pass new funding bills or risk a shutdown and the interruption of government services.