Latest News 17-04-2024 12:30 16 Views

White House deems House impeachment inquiry ‘over,’ President Biden formally declines to testify

The White House formally declined an invitation by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., for President Biden to testify in connection to his son Hunter’s business dealings.

‘As our Office has demonstrated, and you acknowledged in a recent fundraising email, your impeachment investigation is over,’ Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, wrote in a letter to Comer on Monday. ‘It is past time for the House to focus on the issues that matter to the American people rather than continuing to waste time and taxpayer resources on this partisan charade.’ 

Sauber said the House Oversight Committee’s impeachment inquiry ‘has succeeded only in turning up abundant evidence that, in fact, the President has done nothing wrong.’ 

‘Yet rather than acknowledge this reality, your March 28, 2024, letter contains the same litany of false allegations that have been repeatedly debunked and refuted by the very witnesses you have called before your Committee and the many documents you have obtained,’ the special counsel told Comer. ‘Your insistence on peddling these false and unsupported allegations despite ample evidence to the contrary makes one thing about your investigation abundantly clear:  The facts do not matter to you.’ 

The National Review published a full copy of the letter also obtained by The Associated Press and other outlets.

Reacting to President Biden’s refusal to testify, Comer issued a blistering statement on his X account, declaring, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Biden family.’ 

‘Like his son, Hunter Biden, President Biden is refusing to testify in public about the Bidens’ corrupt influence peddling,’ Comer wrote. ‘This comes as no surprise since President Biden continues to lie about his relationships with his son’s business partners, even denying they exists when his son said under oath during a deposition that they did. It is unfortunate President Biden is unwilling to answer questions before the American people and refuses to answer the very simple, straightforward questions we included in the invitation. Why is it so difficult for the White House to answer those questions? The American people deserve transparency from President Biden, not more lies.’

Despite providing testimony behind closed doors, Hunter Biden declined to testify in a public committee alongside former business associates, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, regarding alleged ‘pay-for- influence’ schemes to provide access to certain offices in exchange for payments to the Biden family.    

Notably, Bobulinski at the committee hearing accused Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, of lying under oath regarding the nature of their dealings with the Chinese conglomerate CEFC. 

In a March 28 letter, Comer invited President Biden to ‘explain, under oath,’ what involvement he had in the Biden family businesses, claiming the committee ‘has accounted for over $24 million that has flowed from foreign sources to you, your family and their business associates.’ 

The letter included questions about Biden’s interactions with specific foreign business officials. 

Comer told President Biden that ‘you have asserted your pressuring Ukraine in 2015 to fire a government official investigating a company in which your son has a financial interest was wholly in line with U.S. policy.’ 

The committee received bank records showing Hunter Biden was paid $1 million per year for his position on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma until Joe Biden left office, when Hunter’s salary ‘was inexplicably cut in half,’ Comer wrote. The letter specifically asks if President Biden has interacted with executives at Burisma Holdings, which was at the center of the indictment of a former FBI informant in February who the Justice Department accused of providing false information to the FBI.  

The indictment says the former informant, Alexander Smirnov, claimed that during meetings with Burisma executives, they admitted to hiring Hunter to ‘protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems,’ and later that they had specifically paid $5 million for such protection. But the DOJ goes on the claim that those events that Smirnov first reported to the FBI Agent in June 2020 were ‘fabrications.’ 

Sauber, who was brought on in 2022 to oversee the president’s response to congressional investigations into the Biden family, is leaving the White House early next month to return to the private sector. 

To replace him, the White House is elevating his deputy, Rachel Cotton. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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