Biden says Republicans want to impeach him to shut down government

US president says he does not think about impeachment threat as he has 'a job to do'

US President Joe Biden has shrugged off a Republican threat to impeach him. Reuters
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US President Joe Biden on Wednesday has said Republicans are seeking to impeach him because they want to shut down the government.

Mr Biden made his claim hours after the White House denounced plans to launch an impeachment inquiry against him.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the inquiry a “political stunt” and said no evidence had been produced by Republicans against Mr Biden as they investigated the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden.

The inquiry is centred around whether Mr Biden benefitted from his son's business dealings.

Mr Biden said that when Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican legislator and staunch ally of former president Donald Trump, was elected to Congress, she said the first thing she wanted to do was impeach him.

“I don't know quite why, but they just knew they wanted to impeach me,” he told donors at a fund-raiser in Virginia.

“Now, the best I can tell, they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government.”

Mr Biden said he did not focus on the impeachment inquiry.

“I get up every day, not a joke, not focused on impeachment. I've got a job to do,” he said.

The White House has blamed Ms Taylor Greene for mounting pressure on House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in Washington, to order the impeachment inquiry.

It sets the stage for months of divisive House hearings that could distract from efforts to pass spending bills and avoid a government shutdown, and could intensify the 2024 presidential race in which Mr Trump hopes to avenge his 2020 election loss to Mr Biden and win back the White House.

“This is an entire exercise of how to do this in an illegitimate way … It is going after the President politically, not about the truth,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

She said Republicans had turned up no evidence that Mr Biden did anything wrong “because the President didn’t do anything wrong”.

Updated: September 14, 2023, 7:34 AM