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Tags: hunter biden | testimony | oath | impeachment | investigation | foreign influence peddling

Defiant Hunter Biden Denounces 'MAGA-Motivated Conspiracies'

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 01:17 PM EST

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden took a defiant tone at a Republican-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into his father, calling it a "baseless" partisan pursuit against his family.

"For more than a year, your committees have hunted me in your partisan political pursuit of my dad," the younger Biden said, according to prepared testimony released to reporters as he entered the hearing.

"You have trafficked in innuendo, distortion, and sensationalism – all the while ignoring the clear and convincing evidence staring you in the face. You do not have evidence to support the baseless and MAGA-motivated conspiracies about my father because there isn't any," Hunter Biden said, referring to the "Make America Great Again" slogan of his father's leading November election opponent, Donald Trump.

Republicans, who narrowly control the House, are pushing ahead with their impeachment inquiry even after the person who provided accusations at the heart of their case was charged with lying to the FBI.

The hearing comes three days before the U.S. government will run out of money to keep all agencies open if Congress fails to act by week's end.

Investigators are expected to ask Hunter Biden, 54, about his business activities, including his role with Chinese firm CEFC and on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

House Republicans have been probing the Biden family's business dealings and have cited claims the former FBI informant made that he has now been charged with lying about, with prosecutors warning that he had contact with Russian intelligence agencies.

House Republicans allege that Biden, a Democrat, and his family improperly profited from policy decisions Biden participated in as vice president during President Barack Obama's administration in 2009-17. So far they have not presented evidence to back up these claims.

The White House has denied wrongdoing and says the probe is politically motivated.

Trump has publicly encouraged the impeachment. Trump was the only U.S. president to be impeached twice, though he was acquitted both times by the Senate.

Most witnesses to testify to the inquiry have said the president was not involved nor had any direct or indirect financial interest in his family's business activities.

"In every business venture in which I have been involved, I have relied on my own talent, judgment, skill, and personal relationships - and never my status as Joe Biden's brother. Those who have said or thought otherwise were either mistaken, ill informed, or flat-out lying," James Biden, the president's brother, told lawmakers on Feb. 21.

Prosecutors have questioned the credibility of the former informant, Alexander Smirnov, who is now charged with lying to the FBI.

"He is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November," prosecutors wrote in a court document.

House Republicans downplayed the arrest and prosecution. House Democrats, meanwhile, said it was proof the impeachment inquiry should be abandoned.

It is not clear when or if House Republicans will make a decision on whether to draft articles of impeachment against the president.

Hardline Republicans have publicly called for the impeachment of Biden and other Cabinet officials. Earlier this month, the House approved the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's top border official, accusing him of failing to enforce border laws. The Senate has not yet taken it up.

Hunter Biden faces other legal challenges. Prosecutors have levied charges related to tax fraud and for illegally owning a firearm as a drug user. The younger Biden, who has spoken publicly about previous substance abuse issues, has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


US
President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden took a defiant tone at a Republican-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into his father, calling it a "baseless" partisan pursuit against his family.
hunter biden, testimony, oath, impeachment, investigation, foreign influence peddling
590
2024-17-28
Wednesday, 28 February 2024 01:17 PM
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