With Biden’s impeachment inquiry at a crossroads, the GOP is looking at the next step

(NATHAN HOWARD/Associated Press)

With Biden’s impeachment inquiry at a crossroads, the GOP is looking at the next step

Election 2024


March 20, 2024

The House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into the president


Biden is at a crossroads and lacks the political will within Republican ranks to move forward with an actual impeachment, but faces political pressure to deliver results after months of work.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Republican Rep. James Comer, went further during Wednesday’s public hearing, claiming that the Democratic president was either complicit in his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings by selling the Biden brand, or was incompetent in matters of family finances.

But Comer has also indicated that he is interested in the research


in a different direction, by halting the drafting of articles of impeachment against the president and monitoring possible criminal referrals of alleged Biden family misconduct to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

With Hunter Biden refusing to appear at the hearing after being tested privately last month, Comer previously said on Fox News that there would be multiple criminal referrals. “It won’t end well for the Bidens,” the Kentucky lawmaker said.

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It is the start of a possible wind-down of the long-running GOP-led investigation launched after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in January and were eager to hold Biden to the high bar of impeachment. The House of Representatives, under a Democratic majority, had impeached Republican Donald Trump twice during his presidency.

With Trump and Biden facing another likely rematch in November, Comer is weighing whether to let the impeachment inquiry wade through Hunter Biden’s often complicated business dealings and troubled personal life, or complete his work even if not leads to impeachment.

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, said in his own opening statement at the hearing that the comedy of errors of Biden’s impeachment inquiry is finally coming to an end.

The White House has called the investigation a charade and told Republicans to move on.

Republicans are using the hearing to dig deeper into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. They sought testimony from Jason Galanis, who is serving a lengthy federal prison sentence in Alabama for fraud schemes and appeared before lawmakers remotely, and Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter Biden who made his claims against the family public during the first Trump campaign. Biden presidential debate in 2020.

Hunter Biden appears for impeachment and tells Republicans he didn’t involve his father in his affairs

Democrats called Lev Parnas to testify, relying on the convicted businessman at the center of Trump’s first impeachment as an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani who tried to dig up political dirt on Joe Biden before the 2020 election. Parnas has since played a key role in dispelling the Republican Party’s main bribery claim against the Bidens.

Until now, the inquiry’s public hearings have often turned into an all-day spectacle, with representatives in turn grilling witnesses.

Hunter Biden, who faces gun and tax charges in separate cases, was tested behind closed doors last month in a deposition that ran more than 200 pages, but left the Comers committee without the hard evidence that the president or his son sought misconduct.

The committee alleges that the Bidens traded on the family name, an alleged influence scheme in which Republicans try to link a handful of phone calls or dinner or lunch meetings between Joe Biden, when he was vice president, and Hunter Biden and his colleagues. business partners.

But with the narrow Republican majority in the House of Representatives further reduced by early retirements, Republicans may not have enough support within their ranks to pursue articles of impeachment against the president, especially since Democrats would likely vote against such charges.

Republicans continue to disparage Hunter Biden after his surprise visit to the Capitol

Instead, Comer has been investigating possible criminal referrals to the Justice Department, which would likely be symbolic but could open the door for prosecution in a future administration.

It is unclear who exactly is being charged and for what offenses. Comer has also discussed drafting ethics-related legislation to tighten influence peddling or foreign lobbying among officials.

Once the investigation is completed, the committee will issue a final report with its recommendations.

Galanis, who was first interviewed by the committee from prison last month, told lawmakers he expected to make billions from Hunter Biden and other associates by using the Biden family name in their foreign business dealings.

He told the committee about a particular time Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone for a brief conversation with potential foreign business partners during a birthday party at a New York restaurant. He acknowledged that he had unsuccessfully sought a pardon in the final days of Trump’s presidency.

Takeaways from Hunter Biden’s combative statement to Republican lawmakers

Hunter Biden said in his own statement that he met Galanis for about 30 minutes a decade ago.

Bobulinski told the committee that he briefly met Joe Biden when he was vice president, through Hunter Biden.

The Democratic witness, Parnas, had been a central figure in Trump’s first impeachment for withholding aid from Ukraine. Parnas helped Giuliani make false claims that Joe Biden, as vice president, had intervened in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor to support Hunter Biden’s work on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Western allies also wanted the prosecutor fired over corruption allegations.

Last summer, Senate Republicans released unverified claims from an FBI informant who made more such details public, including allegations of payments to the Bidens that became the focus of the House of Representatives investigation. Parnas then sent Comer a long time later to dismiss these claims, saying it was all talk and that the money had not been paid to the Bidens.

The now former FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty to charges that he fabricated the bribery allegations.

Mascaro writes for the Associated Press. AP writer Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.


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