An impeachment inquiry has been launched by Republicans in the U.S. Congress to investigate President Joe Biden.
The claims surround the U.S. President’s involvement in his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
What’s an impeachment?
An impeachment occurs when the U.S. Congress (both the House and Senate) tries a high-ranking government official for a significant crime or misdemeanour.
The House makes the decision to impeach an official, and the Senate decides if the person should be convicted of the impeachment.
At least two-thirds of Senators need to support a conviction for it to go ahead. A person is removed from office if they’re convicted.
The allegations against Biden
Biden is being investigated for his alleged influence in his son’s business, which included work in Ukraine and China.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy alleges Biden unfairly used his influence to make money from the overseas deals. This is an allegation that Donald Trump constantly put to Biden during the 2020 election campaign.
McCarthy also claimed Hunter Biden received special treatment during an official investigation into his taxes. Hunter pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges after the investigation.
Will Biden be impeached?
The inquiry into a possible impeachment will be handled by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, led by Republican representatives.
The Committee is made up of 26 Republicans and 20 Democrats.
Following the inquiry’s launch, Republican Chairman of the Committee James Comer said they had already uncovered evidence suggesting Biden was involved in his son’s business schemes, from which they claim many family members reaped financial gain.
For Biden to be convicted of the impeachment, and to be removed from the presidency, he’d need at least 15 Democrat colleagues in the Senate to vote for his removal.
This is unlikely to happen.
Previous impeachment cases
Only three U.S. presidents have been impeached before, and none of them have been found guilty.
Donald Trump is the only president to be impeached twice. The first related to obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. The second was for his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots.