Home Republicans on Wednesday issued subpoenas demanding testimony from Hunter and James Biden, the president’s son and brother, as they hunt for proof to attempt to construct an impeachment case towards him.
Consultant James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky and the chairman of the Oversight Committee, approved the subpoenas of President Biden’s members of the family in addition to Rob Walker, one among their enterprise associates. It was essentially the most vital transfer within the impeachment inquiry since Republicans introduced they have been opening it in September, regardless of no proof that the president had dedicated excessive crimes or misdemeanors.
Republicans have toiled for months to attempt to discover assist for his or her allegations that Mr. Biden corruptly profited from his members of the family’ abroad enterprise dealings and accepted bribes. However so far, they’ve did not ship proof to again up their boldest claims.
The subpoenas demand that James Biden seem for a deposition on Dec. 6 and Hunter Biden seem per week later. Mr. Walker was summoned to seem on Nov. 29.
In an announcement asserting the subpoenas on Wednesday, Mr. Comer accused the president of benefiting from an “influence-peddling scheme” and telling lies about his “household’s enterprise schemes.”
The Biden administration shortly dismissed the subpoenas, calling the Republican inquiry a “wild goose chase” whose solely objective is to break the president with innuendo forward of the 2024 election.
“As an alternative of utilizing the facility of Congress to pursue a partisan political smear marketing campaign towards the president and his household, excessive Home Republicans ought to do their jobs,” mentioned Ian Sams, a White Home spokesman.
Mr. Comer has already issued subpoenas for the bank records of James and Hunter Biden in addition to their associates, and obtained greater than 14,000 pages of paperwork.
On account of these subpoenas, Republicans obtained after which launched copies of two checks that confirmed funds from James Biden and his spouse, Sara Biden, to Joseph R. Biden Jr. totaling $240,000. Mr. Comer portrayed one of many checks as explosive new proof that James Biden and President Biden “laundered China money.” However a lawyer for James Biden known as Mr. Comer’s allegation “preposterous and extremely deceptive,” noting that the checks have been to reimburse Joe Biden for 2 private loans he made to his brother whereas he was not in workplace.
“In July 2017, Jim Biden borrowed $40,000 from his brother. 5 weeks later, he paid again that mortgage,” mentioned Paul J. Fishman, a lawyer for James Biden. “These transactions are totally mirrored within the financial institution data that the committee has had for weeks. At no time did Jim contain his brother in his enterprise relationships.”
Additionally on Wednesday, Mr. Comer demanded that different Biden members of the family undergo transcribed interviews. He despatched letters looking for interviews to Sara Biden; Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau Biden, the president’s older son; Elizabeth Secundy, Hallie Biden’s sister; Melissa Cohen, who’s married to Hunter Biden; and Tony Bobulinski, a former affiliate of Hunter Biden’s who has accused the Bidens of wrongdoing.
Earlier than Mr. Comer issued the subpoenas on Wednesday, Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, despatched a fiery letter to Speaker Mike Johnson imploring him to again off the impeachment investigation.
Mr. Lowell known as on Mr. Johnson to “be a distinct speaker — one who restores the integrity and fame of your chamber.” He additionally demanded that Mr. Johnson block Mr. Comer and different Republican investigators from “persevering with their partisan political video games.”
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, underneath mounting political stress from the fitting wing of his convention, unilaterally ordered the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden after initially resisting taking that step as a result of he lacked the votes to win approval of the transfer on the Home flooring, given resistance amongst some mainstream Republicans.
Mr. Johnson is seen as a extra full-throated supporter of the investigation. In July, he known as the Bidens “hopelessly corrupt” and mentioned they’d “apparently engaged in an extended sample of extortion, bribery, affect peddling, tax fraud and staggering abuses of energy.”
Since changing into speaker, Mr. Johnson has adopted a extra impartial tone, telling reporters, “We now have to comply with due course of, and now we have to comply with the regulation.”