House Republicans plan to hold their first hearing next week in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The hearing – scheduled for September 28 – is expected to focus on the “constitutional and legal issues” surrounding allegations of Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s overseas businesses, according to an oversight committee spokesperson from the room.
Republicans – led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – have claimed in recent weeks that Biden’s actions since his tenure as vice president demonstrated a “culture of corruption” and that his son was using the “Biden brand” to make advance its business with foreign clients.
The spokesperson also said Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, Oversight’s chairman, 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 in coordination with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith.
The White House called House Republicans’ efforts in the midst of a presidential campaign “extreme politics at its worst.”
“Holding a political hearing in the final days before they can 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 that comes with it. would inflict on American families,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement Tuesday.
McCarthy announced the impeachment inquiry last week after facing growing pressure from far-right members of the House to take action against Biden or risk being ousted from his leadership post. At the same time, the president is struggling to pass the legislation needed to avoid a federal government shutdown at the end of the month.
The California lawmaker launched the investigation without a House vote, and it’s unclear whether he would have enough support to approve it from his slim Republican majority. Some lawmakers have criticized the evidence for failing to meet the Constitution’s bar for “high crimes.”
An investigation is one step closer to impeaching the president, a constitutional tool that until recently was rare in Congress.
But McCarthy and other Republicans have faced direct challenges for months from Trump — who is now the Republican front-runner to challenge Biden in next year’s election — to advance proceedings against his opponent. The action is also seen as an effort to distract from the indicted former president’s legal challenges and draw negative attention to Biden.
The impeachment inquiry is expected to build on the work Comer and others have done since they won a majority in the House in January. There are several avenues of investigation, but Comer was tasked with tracking money that flowed through the various business accounts of Biden’s son and brother.
The president has repeatedly claimed that the Biden family engaged in an influence peddling scheme, but has yet to tie any of it directly to the president.
Republicans have focused much attention on an unverified tip to the FBI that alleged a bribery scheme involving Biden while he was vice president.
The corruption charge, which emerged in 2019 and was part of Trump’s first indictment, concerns the allegation that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor to stop a investigating Burisma, the oil and gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board of directors. .
Democrats countered that the Justice Department investigated the Burisma case when Trump was president and closed the case after eight months, finding insufficient evidence to pursue the case. Other countries also pushed for the Ukrainian official to be fired, viewing him as corrupt. And a former business partner of Hunter Biden testified before Congress that the corruption allegations were false.