The U.S. House of Representatives has announced the launch of a formal impeachment probe against the sitting President Joe Biden.
Kevin McCarthy, the House speaker, announced the decision on Tuesday at the capitol, disclosing that Mr Biden’s probe would focus on allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption.
“Today, I am directing our House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden,” Mr McCarthy said.
The lower chamber has been investigating Mr Biden since the lawmakers took over the parliament in January. However, the hearing has found no concrete misconduct against the president.
The development has further made the House inquire about the business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, which the Republicans said are questionable.
The president’s son is under federal investigation for possible tax crimes related to his foreign business interests.
Mr McCarthy revealed that the House investigations into the Mr Biden family’s business dealings this year have uncovered a “culture of corruption” that warrants a deeper probe.
However, the White House quickly condemned Mr McCarthy’s move to probe Mr Biden.
“House Republicans have been investigating the President for nine months, and they have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing,” Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House, said.
But despite the kick, Mr McCarthy said he would direct the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Ways and Means committees – who have been working together for months on various probes related to Mr Biden’s family – to lead the impeachment inquiry.
The U.S. Constitution states a president can be impeached for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours”. But any effort to remove Mr Biden from office would unlikely succeed.
The House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a narrow 222-212 majority, would need to vote in favour and then proceed to a Senate trial and vote.
Democrats have a majority in the Senate and would almost certainly shoot down the proceedings if it gets far.