The White House on Tuesday ripped Speaker Kevin McCarthy for ‘flip-flopping’ on his impeachment stance and insisted House Republicans have no evidence of wrong doing on President Joe Biden after nine months of investigations. ‘House Republicans have been investigating the President for 9 months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing,’ White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations Ian Sams said in a statement. ‘His own Republican members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn’t have support. This is extreme politics at its worst,’ Sams added of McCarthy.
The speaker on Tuesday stunned Washington when he officially opened an impeachment inquiry into Biden in a shock statement accusing the president of an ‘abuse of power and being involved in a ‘culture of corruption’ over son Hunter’s foreign business deals. Biden has an impeachment war room set up at the White House , filled with dozens of lawyers and aides to help him battle House Republicans. The war room is based in the White House counsel’s office and staffed by lawyers, legislative aides and communications staffers who will act aggressively against Republicans’ investigations. Sams is part of that effort. And Biden’s presidential campaign called the impeachment inquiry ‘baseless’ and accused McCarthy of giving into demands to former President Donald Trump. Trump has pushed his allies on Capitol Hill to investigate Biden as he was investigated by Democrats . The Biden campaigned described McCarthy’s move as election-year politics.
‘As Donald Trump ramped up his demands for a baseless impeachment inquiry, Kevin McCarthy cemented his role as the Trump campaign’s super-surrogate by turning the House of Representatives into an arm of his presidential campaign,’ Ammar Moussa, spokesperson for Biden-Harris 2024, said in a statement. Some Biden allies have argued the impeachment proceeding could help the president as he heads into next year’s presidential contest, firing up Democratic and swing voters in Biden’s favor. Trump successfully used his impeachments to rally his base and raise millions for his political fundraising committees. And some Senate Republicans have the same concer, that the impeachment could backfire against them and give Biden a boost in the 2024 election, CNN reported. They’re also worried it could distract voters from their effort to blame Biden on rising inflation and the troubled economy.
But McCarthy, under heavy pressure from the conservative wing of his party and facing threats to his speakership, declared the inquiry would begin. ‘House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct,’ McCarthy said, speaking at the Capitol on Tuesday. ‘Taken together these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.’ ‘These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption. And they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives . That’s why today I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden,’ he noted. ‘This logical next step will give our committees, the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public. That’s exactly what we want to know the answers.’ Republicans have charged Biden and his family made millions off shell companies Hunter Biden formed when his father was vice president. Hunter had business deals with an energy company in the Ukraine, received a discounted stake in a private-equity firm in China , and did consulting for a Romanian real-estate magnate.
The president has denied any involvement in his son’s business dealings. But Republicans claim at least a dozen Biden family members could be involved in a scheme to benefit financially from Biden’s public office. House investigators are expected to issue subpoenas for the bank records of the president and his family. The GOP also claim Biden sat in on at least 24 calls with Hunter’s business partners and was referred to as ‘the big guy’ by Hunter’s business associates. And they say Joe Biden used pseudonyms to discuss his activities related to Ukraine with his son Hunter during his time as vice president. An inquiry is the first step in the impeachment process. It is when evidence is gathered for the articles, or charges, of impeachment against an official. It is a massive step with many pitfalls, including infuriating Republican moderates and many GOP senators, who are skeptical of the issue and causing friction with the White House as budget negotiations are underway . Congress faces a September 30th deadline to fund the government or it will shutdown.
McCarthy, however, is under intense pressure from the conservative wing of his party to make such a move, including threats from some of his own GOP lawmakers to remove him from the speakership. The White House has repeatedly denied Biden has conducted any wrongdoing. The president himself has said he was not involved with any of Hunter’s business deals. Some of Hunter’s former associates, however, have testified that Joe Biden spoke to Hunter’s business associates but the president’s defenders say it was quick conversation and merely cordial, not related to any dealmaking. Joe Biden also used various private email addresses from which he would sometimes send, receive and forward government correspondence according to emails found on Hunter Biden’s now-infamous laptop. ‘Robin Ware,’ ‘Robert L. Peters’ and ‘JRB ware’ were three pseudonyms used on emails that were about both official and family business. The White House argues it’s common for public figures to use false names. McCarthy charged Biden was involved.
‘Eye witnesses have testified that the President joined on multiple phone calls, and had multiple interactions, dinners, resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his son’s and his son’s business partners,’ he said. It’s estimated Hunter raked in $40 million through 20 shell companies and fake accounts created while Joe Biden was vice president, at the same time the elder Biden was joining Hunter’s business calls and stopping by at lavish dinners. The speaker justified his decision, claiming Biden’s family got special treatment from the government. ‘It appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration – treatment that not otherwise would have received if they were not related to the President,’ he noted. He did not specify how the Bidens got special treatment but House Republicans have demanded records from the Justice, State, and Treasury Departments as part of their probe. Hunter is under investigation by a special counsel and faced an IRS investigation about his taxes. Hunter Biden has denied any wrong doing.
House Republicans have been investigating the president and his family since they took control of the lower chamber in January. Republican Rep. James Comer, chairman of the Oversight Committee, claims there could be upwards of 12 Biden family members who benefitted from influence peddling by the president and Hunter. While most names have not yet been revealed, Comer previously said that suspicious activity reports (SARs) reviewed by Republicans on the panel have found that President Biden’s brother Jim Biden and his son Beau’s widow Hallie Biden benefited from foreign business deals. Comer accused Hallie Biden of influence peddling by receiving a $35,000 payment linked to a Chinese firm. The reports from earlier this year claimed that Hallie received a cut of the $3 million from China sent to an associate of Hunter Biden, whom she dated from 2016-2019 after her husband Beau died of brain cancer. The White House, at the time, released a blistering statement accusing Republicans of orchestrating an ‘attack’ on Hallie.
Members of the Biden family could get dragged into the impeachment probe. ‘We know that bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates through various shale companies,’ McCarthy said on Tuesday. When House Republicans meet on Thursday behind closed doors in the Capitol , the two committee chairmen leading the probes of the Biden family – Reps. Jim Jordan of the Judiciary Committee and Comer – will lay out their findings thus far. Jordan, Comer and Republican Rep. Jason Smith of the Ways and Means Committee will lead the probe. ‘I do not make this decision lightly,’ McCarthy said Tuesday. ‘I would encourage the President and his team to fully cooperate with this investigation,’ he added. ‘We are committed to getting the answers for the American public. Nothing more, nothing less. We will go wherever the evidence takes us.’ Three separate Republican-led committees have investigated allegations that Hunter Biden leveraged his father’s vice presidency to secure foreign business deals that made the family a mint.
Hunter is already facing legal issues. Federal prosecutors plan to indict Hunter on illegal gun charges that have a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail by the end of September. David Weiss, a U.S. attorney appointed by then-President Donald Trump, has been leading the Justice Department probe into the first son. He was given special counsel status last month amid concerns from Republicans that Weiss didn’t have the authority to conduct a proper investigation. An impeachment inquiry could mean Hunter is brought before Congress to answer questions. McCarthy, in announcing the inquiry, is using his unilateral power as speaker to begin the impeachment process. Nancy Pelosi did the same when she was speaker to begin both of Donald Trump’s impeachments. The entire House could vote to begin impeachment proceedings but there were questions as whether McCarthy could wrangle the 218 votes from House Republicans to authorize it. Some moderate GOP lawmakers have been skeptical of the need for an impeachment inquiry.
So far, House Republicans have uncovered no evidence that Joe Biden has personally profited off his son Hunter’s business arrangements. McCarthy said last month that an impeachment inquiry would only happen with a formal House vote. ‘To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives,’ McCarthy told Breitbart News ‘That’s why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People’s House and not through a declaration by one person.’ In a full House vote, he’d only be able to lose five Republicans. Some had already cast doubt. Moderate Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado and Don Bacon of Nebraska have voiced skepticism of the impeachment inquiry. But McCarthy is facing other threats.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a close Trump ally, has said she wouldn’t vote to fund the government without an impeachment inquiry against Biden. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, another ally of the former president, has said if McCarthy stands in the way of the impeachment process, he’d move to remove him from the speakership. He doubled down on that threat on Tuesday. Speaking on the House floor shortly after McCarthy announced the impeachment inquiry into the president Gaetz warned: ‘Focus on balanced budgets and term limits, subpoenas for Hunter Biden…and impeachment for Joe Biden…Do these things or face a motion to vacate the chair.’ McCarthy became speaker after a deal with the conservative wing of the Republican Party issued a list of demands – including the ability to call a quick vote to ‘vacate the chair’ and remove him from office. Now that threat hangs over McCarthy’s every move like the sword of damocles.
The speaker is also dealing with a ticking clock when it comes to avoiding a government shutdown. If Congress doesn’t pass a bill to fund the government by the end of the month, there will be a partial shutdown. Given the Congressional schedule, there are just 11 working days to do that. The White House has suggested passing a temporary resolution to keep the government open through the end of the year while negotiations continue. McCarthy is trying to float a 30-day stopgap measure that would keep things running until Nov. 1, but conservatives are balking at what’s called a continuing resolution. The White House has requested that resolution contain $16 billion in disaster relief funds and $24 billion for the Ukraine. Many Republicans want to cut off funding for the Ukraine. Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12510123/White-House-rips-flip-flopping-Kevin-McCarthy-Biden-impeachment.html?ito=msngallery
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