The Republicans had been working towards this moment for months: After their majority leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, ordered “a formal impeachment investigation” against US President Joe Biden on September 12th, they wanted to hold the first public hearing on Thursday in the Control Committee the Chamber of Congress would dispel any doubts that their move could be more than just an insubstantial campaign maneuver.

Republican committee chairman James Comer loudly announced at the start of the meeting in Washington that there was a “mountain of evidence” showing how Biden had abused his public office for the financial benefit of his family. But two of the Republicans’ own witnesses made it clear that so far this mountain is not even a small pile.

“I don’t believe the evidence currently meets the felony and misdemeanor standard required for impeachment,” said conservative legal expert Jonathan Turley, who was one of the first sent before the committee by Republicans. “This is something that an investigation needs to determine.” However, he believes such an investigation is justified.

Turley, who has testified in previous impeachment trials, was expected to provide House Republicans with an analysis of Biden’s family’s business dealings. They accuse the president of being involved in foreign transactions involving his son Hunter and of lying to the public about his knowledge of those transactions. The investigation also includes allegations that Hunter Biden was treated leniently by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The allegations against Biden are “merely allegations,” Turley now explained. “They should not become assumptions of accusable behavior.” Biden and other presidents could even be dishonest under current laws, they could even lie to the American people, and that wouldn’t warrant impeachment, Turley said. “Dishonesty alone is not impeachable. In fact, most presidents have lied to the American people.”

Another witness called by the Republicans, financial crime expert Bruce Dubinsky, made it clear: He was testifying to provide his expertise, but did not want to prejudge the information about the Biden family. “I am not here today to even suggest that there was corruption, fraud or any wrongdoing,” Dubinsky clarified. “In my opinion, more information needs to be collected and evaluated before I would make such an assessment.

Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina who, as a constitutional expert, testified with Turley during the first impeachment trial against then-President Donald Trump, was even clearer: He feared that the Republicans’ actions against Biden were based on partisanship rather than principles. Gerhardt warned.

There is no precedent for launching an impeachment investigation without evidence of presidential misconduct, the legal expert said. “I just want to point out that with Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and with President Trump in 2019, the entire House of Representatives approved these articles of impeachment.”

It is very questionable whether there will actually be impeachment proceedings at the end of the investigations that have now begun. The Republicans would first need a majority in the House of Representatives, which they barely have, but the faction is extremely fragmented. Several moderate Republicans are critical of the impeachment attempt.

And even if it is successful in the House of Representatives, the Senate would then have to vote to impeach Biden with a two-thirds majority. However, the Democratic senators are in the majority, which is why it is considered almost impossible that Biden could be found guilty and removed from office.

Quellen: C-Span, “Second Nexus”, “Roll Call”.