Citing an “inflection point” in the investigation, Johnson accused the White House of obstructing the process, alleging the withholding of key witnesses and thousands of documents for the National Archives.
According to Johnson, the House faces a constitutional responsibility to adopt a formal impeachment inquiry to strengthen its authority when dealing with potential court challenges to subpoenas. “We’ll be at the apex of our constitutional authority,” he asserted, emphasizing the need to uphold the rule of law.
Not a ‘direct vote’ for impeachment
White House spokesperson Ian Sams countered the claims of obstruction in a memo last week, stating that House Republicans have already been granted access to a substantial amount of evidence, including 35,000 pages of financial records and 36 hours of witness interviews.
The impending impeachment vote, expected to take place next week, has been clarified by GOP leaders as not a direct vote for impeaching President Biden but rather a crucial step to “continue on pace” with the inquiry. The move is reminiscent of the controversy surrounding former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who, criticized for not holding a vote to open the inquiry, was eventually ousted from the speakership.
Legal constitutional decision
Johnson expressed confidence that Republicans would secure the necessary votes, asserting that the decision transcends political considerations. “This is a legal decision. It’s a constitutional decision,” he stated, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling their legal responsibility.
While House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Whip Tom Emmer confirmed expectation of a vote next week, the specific date remains undisclosed. With the House scheduled to go on recess on December 14, the urgency of the situation adds an extra layer of suspense.
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