WASHINGTON – House Republicans plan to hold their first hearing in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden next week.
According to a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee, the hearing – scheduled for September 28 – is expected to focus on “constitutional and legal questions” surrounding the allegations of Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s overseas businesses.
Republicans — led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — have argued in recent weeks that Biden’s actions during his time as vice president demonstrate a “culture of corruption,” and that his son is destroying the “Biden brand.” used to advance his business with foreign customers.
The spokesperson also said Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of Oversight, plans to issue subpoenas for the personal and business banking records of Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden “as early as this week.” McCarthy appointed Comer to lead the investigation, working with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Ways & Means Chairman Jason Smith.
The White House has called the efforts of Republicans in the House of Representatives “extreme politics at its worst” in the middle of the presidential campaign.
“Organizing a political stunt hearing in the final days before they could shut down the government reveals their true priorities: for them, baseless personal attacks on President Biden are more important than preventing a government shutdown and the pain it would inflict on American families . White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement on Tuesday.
McCarthy announced the impeachment inquiry last week after facing mounting pressure from his right flank to take action against Biden or risk being removed from his leadership position. At the same time, the speaker is struggling to pass legislation needed to avoid a federal government shutdown at the end of the month.
The California lawmaker launched the investigation without a vote in the House of Representatives, and it is unclear whether he would get enough support to approve it from his slim Republican majority. Some lawmakers have criticized the evidence as falling short of the Constitution’s standards for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
An investigation is one step closer to impeaching the president, a constitutional tool that was rare in Congress until recently.
But McCarthy and other Republicans have been facing direct challenges for months from Trump — who is now the Republican front-runner to challenge Biden in next year’s election — to move forward with proceedings against his opponent. The move is also seen as an attempt to distract from the indicted former president’s legal challenges and put Biden in a negative spotlight.
The impeachment inquiry is expected to build on the work Comer and others have done since gaining the House majority in January. There are several lines of investigation, but Comer is tasked with tracking the money that passed through the various business accounts of Biden’s son and brother.
The chairman has repeatedly claimed that the Biden family was involved in an influence scheme, but has not yet directly linked it to the president himself.
Republicans have focused heavily on an unverified tip to the FBI alleging bribery involving Biden while he was vice president. The bribery claim, which emerged in 2019 and was part of Trump’s first impeachment, is linked to allegations that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor to investigate an investigation into Burisma, the oil and gas company that Hunter Biden was sitting on. the board.
Democrats have countered that the Justice Department investigated the Burisma claim when Trump was president and closed the case after eight months because it found insufficient evidence to pursue it further. Other countries also pushed for the Ukrainian official to be fired, viewing him as corrupt. And a former business associate of Hunter Biden has testified to Congress that the bribery allegation is untrue.
Biden’s son Hunter has been charged with a crime in an investigation by a US special counsel
The US president starts an impeachment investigation into Biden