House Speaker Mike Johnson defended the scheduled vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, highlighting the difference with the “sham impeachment” of President Trump and emphasizing the commitment to the “rule of law.”

Responding to Fox News’ Chad Pergram about the base’s expectations for an impeachment vote before the 2024 election, Johnson explained the “impasse” reached in investigations due to White House obstruction and lack of cooperation. He stressed that Wednesday’s vote, while not an impeachment vote itself, is a necessary step.

“We have no choice to fulfill our constitutional responsibility,” Johnson stated. “This is a legal decision, not a political one. We can’t prejudge the outcome. We have to follow the truth wherever it takes us.”

Addressing frustration about the time commitment, Johnson argued for following the founders’ intentions: “There shouldn’t be a snap impeachment like the Democrats’ sham impeachment against President Trump. This is the opposite.”

When asked about potential pressure to impeach before the election, Johnson remained firm: “We’re not going to prejudge the outcome. It’s not a political calculation. We’re following the law, and we are the rule of law team.”

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer explained that the vote allows committees to continue investigations, given the administration’s stonewalling. He cited the Justice Department’s refusal to allow attorneys to testify and the White House’s refusal to comply with subpoenas and interview requests.

Emmer also highlighted the National Archives withholding documents and emails. He emphasized the need to defend investigations in court and stated, “Voting in favor of an impeachment inquiry does not equal impeachment. We will follow the facts, and if they uncover evidence of wrongdoing, then and only then will next steps be considered. No one is above the law, including President Biden.”