The House Oversight Committee Thursday was set to hold its first open hearing of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden regarding allegations surrounding the his son, Hunter Biden.
Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) said in a statement this week that the committee plans to “present evidence uncovered to date and hear from legal and financial experts about crimes the Bidens may have committed as they brought in millions at the expense of U.S. interests.”
House-led GOP investigations have not previously provided any direct evidence that the President financially benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings.
The allegations against President Biden include that he has lied about his business dealings. Republicans have homed in on assertions from Biden that he “never discussed” with his son or his brother anything involving their businesses, and that his son never made any money in China.
In fact, Hunter Biden has testified in court that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chinese business interests, but it remains unclear whether the President ever discussed business dealings.
A Hunter Biden business partner, Devon Archer, has testified that while Joe Biden attended at least two dinners with his son’s business associates and frequently spoke over the phone with his son, the topic of business never came up during those interactions.
Republicans also assert that the FBI alleges Joe Biden received a $5 million bribe in exchange for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burma, the natural gas company of which Hunter Biden was on the board.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-iA) in July released a thinly-redacted FBI document that included an unverified claim regarding the allegation. The ranking Democrat on House Oversight, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), has noted that in 2020, the Trump-appointed Department of Justice interviewed the source of the claim, investigated the assertions and then closed the investigation.
Prior to releasing the FBI document, Grassley had said that Republicans like him “aren’t interested in whether or not the accusations against Biden are accurate or not”; their aim was to make sure the FBI complies with the subpoena.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced the inquiry on September 12, the day the House returned from August recess and 11 days after he’d said he would not open an inquiry without a floor vote, which never took place.
Further, the impeachment inquiry hearing is taking place as Congress has less than three days to pass a federal budget to avoid a government shutdown at midnight Saturday, against which McCarthy is facing a steep uphill battle in his attempt to get hard-right Republicans to approve their party’s temporary stopgap measure—which many hardliners have vowed to never support.