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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

House Oversight Committee to hold first hearing of impeachment inquiry into President Biden on Sept. 28

Washington — The House Oversight Committee is set to hold the first hearing of its impeachment inquiry into President Biden next week and plans to issue a subpoena for bank records from two of the president’s family members, according to the panel’s chairman Rep. James Comer.

Comer said that the hearing will be a “refresher” on the information he and fellow GOP lawmakers have gathered during the course of their investigation into foreign business dealings by Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s son, and James Biden, the president’s brother. The proceeding is also expected to feature testimony from legal experts about possible criminality based on the evidence collected, he said.

Once the details of the impeachment inquiry are finalized, Comer also plans to issue a subpoena for Hunter Biden‘s and James Biden’s personal bank records as soon as this week, he said.

“Everyone in America knows why we need those bank records, and they can either provide them or we’ll see them in court,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill.

A committee spokesperson said the hearing will take place Sept. 28 and focus on “constitutional and legal questions surrounding the president’s involvement in corruption and abuse of public office.”

“The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the evidence and money trail to provide the transparency and accountability that Americans demand from their government,” the spokesperson said.

Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigation, accused Republicans of trying to take the focus away from the looming possibility of a government shutdown. Congress has until the end of September to pass legislation to fund the government, though GOP lawmakers remain at odds over a plan to keep agencies operating.

“Extreme House Republicans are already telegraphing their plans to try to distract from their own chaotic inability to govern and the impacts of it on the country. Staging a political stunt hearing in the waning days before they may shut down the government reveals their true priorities: to them, baseless personal attacks on President Biden are more important than preventing a government shutdown and the pain it would inflict on American families,” he said in a statement.

Sams warned of the consequences of a government shutdown and urged House Republicans to prevent one from occurring.

“The President has been very clear: he is going to remain focused on the issues that matter to the American people, including preventing the devastating and harmful cuts proposed by House Republicans that are hurtling us toward a government shutdown,” he said.

The Biden impeachment inquiry

House Republicans have been investigating foreign business dealings by Hunter Biden and other members of the president’s family since the GOP took control of the House in January. Republicans have alleged that Mr. Biden profited off of his son’s overseas business ventures while he was vice president, but they have yet to uncover evidence of wrongdoing by the president himself.

The White House has repeatedly said Mr. Biden did not do anything wrong, and the president has denied involvement in his son’s foreign work.

Still, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy escalated the investigation into Mr. Biden last week when he announced that he directed House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into the president. The inquiry is being led by the Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees.

Comer said his role in the months before the impeachment inquiry was opened was to “follow the money and report on — trying to determine how much money the Bidens received, why they received it, and what role Joe Biden played in it.”

“That’s what my job was from the beginning and that’s what it will hopefully be,” he said.

Rep. Tom Emmer, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said Tuesday that the impeachment inquiry is about “providing answers for the American people. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Opening a formal impeachment inquiry will give our committees the full congressional authority needed to get the American people the answers they deserve,” he said.

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