A Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives investigative committee on Thursday opened an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, with the panel’s chairman saying Americans deserve to know whether the president personally benefited from $20 million his son Hunter was paid in overseas business deals.
In opening remarks, House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer alleged that nine Biden family members got cash from Hunter Biden’s deals in Ukraine and China from 2014 to 2019.
“What were the Bidens selling?” Comer asked. “Americans demand accountability for this culture of corruption.”
But Comer did not directly accuse President Biden of wrongdoing, and the president has said that he was not connected to his son’s overseas deals and did not profit from them. Weeks ago, Biden laughed off the suggestion that his bank account was boosted by funds from his son, saying, “Where’s the money?”
But evidence has emerged that the 53-year-old presidential offspring often called his father from restaurants while he was dining with business associates, perhaps to impress them of his family’s political power in Washington.
However, Devon Archer, a Hunter Biden associate, testified that the Biden-to-Biden long-distance chats centered on the weather or the geography of far-flung locales where he and his business partners were eating, not business transactions.
Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead Democrat on the investigative panel, said at the outset of the Republican probe, “There’s not a shred of evidence against President Biden.”
Ahead of the hearing, Comer said the investigative panel would “present evidence uncovered to date and hear from legal and financial experts about crimes the Bidens may have committed.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters earlier this month that the Republican impeachment push is a “baseless inquiry that the House Republicans can’t even really defend themselves.”
“The evidence does not exist, and this is a political stunt,” Jean-Pierre said. Some Democrats have said the inquiry is payback for two House impeachments against former President Donald Trump, although the Senate then twice acquitted him.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched the impeachment inquiry this month with a focus on the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden. McCarthy unilaterally ordered the inquiry, but lacking the votes for approval, did not seek a vote from the full House of Representatives to open the probe.