Biden Declines Invite To Testify For Impeachment Inquiry

President Joe Biden informed the House on Monday that he was turning down an invitation to testify as part of a corruption-focused impeachment inquiry.

His special counsel, Richard Sauber, conveyed the message to House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) ahead of the proposed April 16 date for a hearing. The letter claimed the “impeachment investigation is over” and claimed the oversight panel has turned up evidence showing that Biden “has done nothing wrong.”

The House should “focus on the issues that matter to the American people rather than continuing to waste time and taxpayer resources on this partisan charade,” Sauber wrote, adding, “we decline your invitation for President Biden to testify.”

Not mentioned in the letter was whether Biden answered a series of questions in which Comer asked Biden to respond in writing about whether he met or otherwise interacted with specific foreign business executives, as well as details on the context of the contacts.Comer sent his formal invitation to Biden in late March. He offered April 16 as a date for a hearing to occur but noted that it is “open to accommodating” the president’s schedule.

House investigators accounted for $24 million that “flowed” toward Biden, his family, and their business associates from other countries such as China and Ukraine, Comer said. He asserted his panel “identified no legitimate services to merit such lucrative payments.”

Evidence including bank records and witness testimony “wholly contradicts” Biden’s denial about being involved in his family’s business activities,” Comer said. The chairman accused the White House of taking a “position hostile” to his panel’s investigation and “refuses to release certain information or make available witnesses to testify regarding issues.”

“In light of the yawning gap between your public statements and the evidence assembled by the Committee, as well as the White House’s obstruction, it is in the best interest of the American people for you to answer questions from Members of Congress directly, and I hereby invite you to do so,” Comer said.

The invitation came a little more than a week after a pair of former Biden family associates, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, testified in a public hearing that Biden did participate in his family’s business dealings. The president’s son, Hunter Biden, declined to attend after a closed-door interview in which he claimed his father was not involved in his deals.

“The public is left with two irreconcilable narratives,” Comer said. “The first — asserted by you — is that you did not engage in influence peddling in exchange for payments to your family. The second asserted by witnesses and a body of evidence … is that you were indeed involved in these pay-for-influence schemes and that you have been repeatedly untruthful regarding a matter relevant to national security and your own fitness to serve” as president.

When Comer announced that he planned to invite President Biden to testify, Oversight Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked Comer if he would also invite former President Donald Trump to talk about his alleged emoluments violations and claimed there is no evidence of the elder Biden committing high crimes and misdemeanors.

While it remains unclear whether the Republicans will ultimately introduce articles of impeachment, let alone have enough votes to pass them in the narrowly-divided House, Comer recently suggested there will be criminal referrals that come out of the inquiry.

The president’s brother, James Biden, is among the witnesses to provide testimony for the impeachment inquiry. He also denied President Biden was involved in his business affairs. Some former associates, including Bobulinski and Devon Archer, have insisted there were interactions in which President Biden was the “brand” that was sold by his family.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced on Monday that he has just signed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis, and he said they would be transferred to the Senate on Tuesday.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.