Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 19, 2023. AP
Speaking Monday on Fox News, McCarthy said the questions raised by House Republicans about the Biden family finances need to be investigated.
So far, he acknowledged, the House's probes have not proven any wrongdoing, but an impeachment inquiry “provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed.”
An impeachment inquiry by the House would be a first step toward bringing articles of impeachment. Such a probe could be as lengthy or swift as the House determines, potentially stretching into campaign season.
In his brief comments on Fox, McCarthy said the House needs to “get the rest of the knowledge” of what’s happening with the Biden family finances.
“We will follow this to the end,” he said.
McCarthy's comments on Fox News appeared intentional rather than simple banter with the show’s host, Sean Hannity.
McCarthy has not yet endorsed Trump, who is the GOP's early frontrunner, or any other candidate on the Republican side running for president.
Last week, McCarthy denied a report that he is considering trying to expunge Trump's two impeachments as another way of showing support.
White House spokesman Ian Sams said the House GOP's “eagerness to go after POTUS regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless," using shorthand for the President of the United States.
“Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what the House GOP wants to prioritize,” Sams said on Twitter.
Republicans in Congress have ramped up investigations of Biden and his son Hunter Biden. House Republicans are digging into the family finances, particularly payments the younger Biden received from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that became tangled in the first impeachment of Trump.
Hunter Biden has since reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of having failed to pay income taxes for several years. He is set to appear in court this week in that case.
But Republicans continue to pursue a debunked theory stemming from the first Trump impeachment about Burisma. An unnamed confidential FBI informant claimed that Burisma company officials in 2015 and 2016 sought to pay the Bidens $5 million each in return for their help ousting a Ukrainian prosecutor who was purportedly investigating the company.
The Justice Department launched a review of the informant's claims in 2020 under Trump's Attorney General William Barr. The probe was closed eight months later with insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
Still, last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released the FBI's so-called FD-1023 form, with unverified claims from the informant, providing a full, public look at the allegations.
Grassley, working with House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., want further investigation. Comer had subpoenaed the FBI for the document.
Democrats on the Oversight panel countered Monday with a four-page memo rebutting the allegations.
Democrats point to other documents, including from Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani who claimed to have first-hand knowledge of some of the conversations and disputed the allegations. Parnas said one of the Burisma officials told him the claims are not true.
The Democrats also note that it wasn't just Biden who wanted Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin ousted, but other Western allies were also raising concerns that Shokin was failing to investigate corruption in Ukraine.
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee Jaime Harrison said in a statement McCarthy “has made sure the House majority is little more than an arm” of Trump's 2024 campaign.
“It’s clear that Donald Trump is the real Speaker of the House," Harrison said. “This is another political stunt intended to help Trump.”
Trump's first impeachment by the House, which resulted in charges that he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens, all while threatening to withhold military aid President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sought to deter Russia, lasted several months in 2019.
Trump was later acquitted by the Senate.
Trump's second impeachment in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol was swift, he was charged by the House a week later for inciting an insurrection. He was again acquitted by the Senate.