First Biden impeachment inquiry hearing set for next week

Committee spokeswoman Jessica Collins said Tuesday that the hearing “will focus on constitutional and legal questions surrounding the President’s involvement in corruption and abuse of public office.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) directed House committees to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden last week in a move that appeared to be aimed at appeasing hard-right lawmakers eager to step up investigations of the president amid his reelection campaign. McCarthy did not hold a House vote before announcing the inquiry as he previously said he would.

The inquiry centers on whether Biden benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, among other issues, McCarthy said last week.

The White House pushed back Tuesday on the announcement of a hearing, with spokesman Ian Sams saying in a statement that “[e]xtreme 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.”

Sams called the Republican effort a “baseless, evidence-free impeachment stunt” and suggested that Republicans should instead focus on avoiding a government shutdown. The House faces a critical Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government.

“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,” Sams said.

Republicans have not put forth evidence directly showing that Biden benefited from his son’s business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere. They have aired allegations that the Justice Department stymied an investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings along with testimony about his penchant for touting the family brand to attract clients.

Upon announcing the inquiry, McCarthy accused Biden of lying “to the American people about knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings.” McCarthy claimed that Biden, as vice president, interacted with Hunter Biden as he was using his family name to secure foreign business deals.

Even some conservative lawmakers in the Republican conference say they have yet to see a direct link that reaches the threshold of impeachable offenses.

When asked then if he thought Biden had committed impeachable offenses, McCarthy last week repeatedly emphasized that the impeachment inquiry, for now, is intended to further investigations already underway.

In her Tuesday statement, Collins said the Oversight Committee “also intends to subpoena Hunter and James Biden’s personal and business bank records” as early as this week.

Sams said in his statement that Republicans should “drop these silly political Washington games” and added that Biden is “going to remain focused on the issues that matter to the American people.”

Marianna Sotomayor, Amy B Wang and Tyler Pager contributed to this story.

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