House Oversight Chairman invites Biden to testify in impeachment probe

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The Republican chairman of the House Oversight panel on Thursday formally invited President Joe Biden to testify before his committee as a part of its impeachment probe.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., who leads the committee, proposed in a letter Thursday that Biden appear on April 16, and cited testimony at a public hearing last week from former business associates of Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, which he said contradicted statements the president has made about his involvement in his son’s business dealings. Comer first announced his plans to invite the president to testify at the end of that hearing, which also included former Ukrainian businessman Lev Parnas.

“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 wrote.

The proposed testimony would come at a pivotal moment for Biden’s main 2024 challenger, former President Donald Trump. The trial for Trump’s New York criminal case is set to begin a day earlier, on April 15.

Comer’s letter specifically cites former President Gerald Ford’s testimony before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 as precedent.

In response, the White House pointed to this post on X from spokesman Ian Sams from last week when Comer made the public announcement that he planned to invite Biden to testify:

“Comer knows 20+ witnesses have testified that POTUS did nothing wrong,” Sams said. “He knows that the hundreds of thousands of pages of records he’s received have refuted his false allegations. This is a sad stunt at the end of a dead impeachment. Call it a day, pal.”

Bobulinski and Galanis testified during a hearing last week that Biden participated in schemes to help Hunter Biden’s businesses, which the White House has denied.

“The public is left with two irreconcilable narratives. The first—asserted by you—is that you did not engage in influence peddling in exchange for payments to your family,” Comer wrote on Thursday. “The second—asserted by witnesses and a body of evidence I will briefly review below—is that you were indeed involved in these pay-for-influence schemes.”

Parnas, who was invited to appear as a witness by Democrats on the committee, testified last week there was no evidence of Biden family corruption involving Ukraine and that the Russian government had pushed the false claims. He later told NBC News in an interview that the Republican-led hearings were “pushing the same Russian narrative and propaganda.”

House Republicans have repeatedly taken aim at Hunter Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into his father, which has not yet provided any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the president.

The Republican-led probe faced a significant setback last month when former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, whose claims played a major role in igniting the probe, was indicted and accused of feeding false information to the FBI about Biden and his son during the 2020 presidential campaign.

This is a developing story. 

 



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