SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — As U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy directed various congressional committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, statements from Utah’s congressional delegation remained mostly neutral, for those who decided to comment at all.
With U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart finishing his last week in office, his office staff said he had not had time to weigh in on the matter. ABC4.com has reached out to various candidates in the upcoming November election for his seat, though we have yet to hear back. This post will be updated if and when any decides to comment.
A representative with U.S. Rep. Blake Moore’s office told ABC4.com the congressman did not have a statement on the matter today and did not expect one.
U.S. Rep. John Curtis posted a measured response on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter this morning:
I am closely monitoring the formal inquiry Speaker McCarthy announced today and have the utmost confidence in the investigative tools Congress has at its disposal to help us determine the facts. I am pleased that Congress will have the opportunity to examine the allegations against President Biden. At the same time, I am committed to legislating as well as oversight, both of which are important work that my colleagues and I have been sent to Washington to do. I will continue to advocate for full transparency while getting things done for Utahns.U.S. Rep. John Curtis, 9/12/23
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, meanwhile was the delegation’s first member to speak openly in favor of the inquiry:
House Republicans brought oversight back to the People’s House, and our impeachment inquiry will focus on gathering all the facts for the American people. Since January, concerning and credible allegations against President Joe Biden have come to light, including abuse of power, obstruction of justice, corrupt foreign business dealings, and influence-peddling schemes that have led to tens of millions of dollars in the pockets of several members of the Biden family. Americans deserve accountability from their president, and House Republicans will use every tool in our toolbox to uncover the truthU.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, 9/12/23
US Congressional District 1 Representative Blake Moore followed up on Wednesday, Sept. 13, with the following:
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have seen testimony from whistleblowers who have alleged that the Department of Justice has given special treatment to the Biden family. The Biden family received tens of millions of dollars from foreign businesses and individuals affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, pro-Russia actors, and others. President Biden’s political appointees have blocked investigators from standard inquiries and access to the transactions, tax records, emails, and interviews that could reveal the truth behind Hunter Biden’s complex scam and its connection to the President.Congressman Blake Moore, 9/13/23
As I have repeatedly said, impeachment must meet a high bar. Pursuing an impeachment inquiry will grant Congress the necessary investigative authority to access important documents, records, and testimonies so we can deliver truth to the American people. It is clear that illegal activity and impropriety took place—no one disputes that. It is our responsibility to use this investigative authority to assess the extent.
A spokesperson for the Utah Democratic Party spoke with a bit of exasperation for the proceedings.
“While President Biden and Democrats are focused on the issues that matter to Utahns, what are Republicans in the House spending their energy on? A completely baseless impeachment process, at the direction of Donald Trump. The American people can see right through these MAGA extremists, and they will hold them accountable next November.”Utah Democratic Party Official Statement 9/12/23
The Associated Press reported that McCarthy said the probe will be led by House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) in coordination with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who have been leading the investigations.
“I do not make this decision lightly. And regardless of your party, or who you voted for these facts should concern all Americans,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy’s formal endorsement of impeachment comes after weeks of him saying that he thought the House probes would eventually develop into an impeachment inquiry.
The White House, which has vehemently pushed back on GOP efforts to launch an impeachment inquiry, said earlier on Tuesday that moving to a formal investigation is “red meat” for the Republican base.
“Opening impeachment despite zero evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS is simply red meat for the extreme rightwing so they can keep baselessly attacking him,” Ian Sams, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, wrote on X.
McCarthy in 2019 criticized former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for declaring the start of an impeachment inquiry without a formal House vote. But on Tuesday, McCarthy did not say whether there would be a formal House vote on launching an inquiry — despite previously vowing to hold one.