When the House votes on Wednesday to authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, it will be the culmination of a slow but decisive political shift among Republicans — urged on by former President Donald J. Trump and his closest allies in Congress — from a place of resisting such an inquiry to fully embracing it.
The vote is both a consequential step and a mere formality; Republicans have been conducting an impeachment investigation for months, a fact that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy made official when he announced in September that the inquiry was commencing without a House vote.
But this week’s action follows a monthslong effort by G.O.P. leaders to shore up support among more than a dozen mainstream conservatives who had been skeptical about pushing forward on impeachment amid an investigation that has so far failed to produce concrete evidence that the president has committed high crimes or misdemeanors.
They succeeded in part because of fresh, explosive allegations against the president’s son Hunter Biden and by making the case to their G.O.P. colleagues that there is no harm in scrutinizing whether the president might have played a role.
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