Iowa lawmakers praise Speaker McCarthy for opening Biden impeachment inquiry

By: - September 13, 2023 4:26 pm

Iowa Republicans in the U.S. House are speaking in favor of the impeachment inquiry launched Sept. 12, 2023 against President Joe Biden, shown here in a September 2022 file photo. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Iowa’s U.S. House delegation is supporting Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s move forward with an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.

McCarthy announced Tuesday that he directed several committees to open a formal inquiry into unproven allegations that Biden profited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings while serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

House Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the president’s family members sought to financially benefit from Biden’s position as vice president through “influence peddling,” pointing to Hunter Biden having received payments from foreign nationals when his father held the position.

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption,” McCarthy said. “They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives.”

Investigations have not found evidence that the president profited off of family members’ financial transactions. The announcement came following significant pressure from a group of far-right House Republicans who have called McCarthy to open an inquiry or risk being ousted from his leadership role.

It remains unclear if McCarthy has the 218 votes necessary to launch a probe.

All four of the members representing Iowa are Republicans, and all have issued statements in support of the impeachment:

Rep. Zach Nunn

“No one is above the law.  Many Americans have rightly asked questions about the conduct of the President Biden, and they deserve an investigation that is done the right way — fair, politically unbiased, and transparent so that everybody can evaluate the evidence for themselves before charges are brought or a conviction is made. This is the starting point for determining what evidence exists and holding people accountable if there has been misconduct that rises to the level of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. This is our constitutional responsibility.”

Rep. Ashley Hinson

“Serious allegations about President Biden’s involvement with Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and influence peddling have come to light – from bank records showing nearly $20 million in payments directed to the Bidens through shell companies to more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family flagged as suspicious activity by U.S. banks. Additionally, whistleblower testimony revealed that Hunter Biden received special treatment and sweetheart plea deals from his father’s Administration while the White House keeps moving the goal posts and stonewalling Congressional oversight. The American people deserve answers — I support an impeachment inquiry to continue these investigative efforts and follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks

“An impeachment inquiry grants the majority party additional subpoena powers, such as the ability to request banking records. Given the current evidence that has been presented, these powers will be instrumental in further connecting the dots regarding alleged improper payments and influence peddling involving President Biden and the Biden family. It’s important to note that an impeachment inquiry may or may not lead to impeachment proceedings. As of now, I have not been asked to participate in an impeachment inquiry.”

Rep. Randy Feenstra

“Through committee investigations, we know that President Biden lied to the American people about his involvement with his son’s foreign business dealings. Credible whistleblower testimony also reveals that the Biden administration secured a sweetheart deal and preferential treatment for Hunter Biden in his tax evasion case. It is evident that a further and more thorough investigation is warranted to protect the integrity of our institutions, defend the rule of law in our country, and hold President Biden accountable for his corruption. I support a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden.”

Hunter Biden was charged with two misdemeanor crimes in June for failing to pay income tax in 2017 and 2018, though the charges were dismissed by a federal judge. He is expected to return to court in September, as federal prosecutors plan to seek a grand jury indictment in relation to a gun possession case.

Ammar Moussa, spokesperson for Biden-Harris 2024 presidential campaign said in a statement that McCarthy’s move comes at behest of former President Donald Trump, who is running to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

“As Donald Trump ramped up his demands for a baseless impeachment inquiry, Kevin McCarthy cemented his role as the Trump campaign’s super-surrogate by turning the House of Representatives into an arm of his presidential campaign,” Moussa said. “11 days ago, McCarthy unequivocally said he would not move forward with an impeachment inquiry without holding a vote on the House floor. What has changed since then? Several members of the Speaker’s own conference have come out and publicly panned impeachment as a political stunt, pointing out there is no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden as Republicans litigate the same debunked conspiracy theories they’ve investigated for over four years.” 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the action “baseless” and a “political stunt” in a Wednesday press briefing.

The impeachment inquiry is also happening as McCarthy works to avoid a partial government shutdown beginning Oct. 1. Nine GOP representatives, members of the Freedom Caucus, spoke against a stopgap spending bill proposed to extend current funding levels and give Congress more time to pass federal appropriations bills.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, said McCarthy supporting the short-term spending bill would be an “automatic trigger” for a motion by conservatives to vacate, as he would have violated the agreement he made with the 20 Republicans to become Speaker. The deal reached after four days of far-right Republicans who had voted against him included allowing any single member to call for the Speaker’s removal, down from the previous five-member threshold.

“The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate, total compliance or remove you,” Gaetz saiid.

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.