House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) ripped Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) announcement that the House will pursue an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, describing the probe as “a kangaroo court, fishing expedition and conspiracy theater rolled into one.”
The comment — which came during a press conference alongside House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) — came hours after McCarthy, in a public statement, directed House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into Biden.
The announcement capped weeks of speculation regarding whether the House GOP conference would go down the path of an impeachment inquiry, which Democrats and the White House have vehemently opposed.
“There is not a shred of evidence that President Joe Biden has engaged in wrongdoing; there is not a shred of evidence that President Joe Biden has committed a crime,” Jeffries said Tuesday.
“This is an illegitimate impeachment inquiry. Period, full stop,” he continued. “It’s a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.”
Jeffries vowed that House Democrats will defend Biden “until the very end.”
“President Joe Biden is a good man, he’s an honest man, he’s a patriotic man,” Jeffries said. “House Democrats will defend President Biden today. We will defend President Biden tomorrow. We will defend President Biden next week. We will defend President Biden next month. We will defend President Biden next year. We will defend President Biden until the very end.”
Republican-led House committees have for months been investigating the Biden family’s business dealings from when Joe Biden was vice president, gathering bank transactions, hearing testimony from whistleblowers who say the Department of Justice slow-walked the tax crimes investigation into Hunter Biden and presenting testimony from former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer, who said Hunter put his father on speakerphone during meetings with foreign business associates. Archer said the conversations were limited to pleasantries.
The panels have not uncovered any evidence that Biden directly benefited financially from his family’s business activities, but a recent memo from Republicans on the House Oversight Committee argued that lawmakers do not have to show direct payments to the president to demonstrate corruption.
McCarthy on Tuesday said Biden’s behavior and allegations relating to his family “paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”
“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy said.
Top Democrats on Tuesday also criticized McCarthy for not holding a vote to launch the impeachment inquiry, as he said he would earlier this month. The Speaker told Breitbart News on Sept. 1 that “if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person,” but he launched the probe on his own Tuesday.
A spokesperson for McCarthy told The Hill on Tuesday, “He opened the inquiry.”
The Speaker criticized then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2019 for declaring an impeachment inquiry without holding a formal vote.
A number of House GOP moderates have said they are opposed to opening an impeachment inquiry, making it uncertain if McCarthy would have the votes should the question hit the floor.
“He vowed to hold a vote for an inquiry, but the leaders of the MAGA Republican conference are not here to serve the American people or improve their lives or brighten their future,” Clark said Tuesday. “There is no agenda except chaos and division. They are only interested in advancing MAGA extremism.”