President Joe Biden laughed off a question about whether he will provide his bank records to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as requested, ahead of a potential impeachment inquiry over allegations of bribery and influence peddling.
"Hee-hee-hee," Biden, 80, chortled during a press gaggle at FEMA headquarters in Washington. "Let's talk about why I'm here."
According to the New York Post, the president had willingly answered several previous questions that were unrelated to the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Florida and neighboring states.
Biden reportedly commented on Overdose Awareness Day, the health of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a possible partial government shutdown, before declining to answer the question about his bank records.
He then answered another question unrelated to the storm, about Chinese President Xi Jinping's expected absence from the G-20 summit next month in India.
On Aug. 8, McCarthy said he wants Biden to "give us his bank statements" to determine if he personally profited from his son Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings while serving as vice president in the Obama White House.
Citing the refusal to comply with several requests for information, McCarthy on Sunday called the launch of an impeachment inquiry "a natural step forward" that "provides Congress the apex of legal power to get all the information they need."
In emails recovered from his abandoned laptop, Hunter Biden complained that he had to give "half" of his income to his father and in May the House Oversight Committee identified nine members of the Biden family who allegedly received payments from foreign entities.
The Oversight Committee has requested a wide array of records, most recently demanding the National Archives and Records Administration turn over approximately 5,400 emails that contain the pseudonyms "Robin Ware," "Robert L. Peters," and "JRB Ware," which Joe Biden was known to use during his time as vice president.
The panel is also seeking Air Force Two flight manifests to determine if Joe Biden misused the aircraft "by allowing his son to jet set around the world to sell 'The Brand' to enrich the Biden family," Oversight Chair James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement.
In recent congressional testimony, IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler said that they were blocked from investigating Joe Biden's role in his son's foreign business deals by Justice Department officials, despite communications that mentioned him directly.
Shapley provided the committee with a WhatsApp message from July 30, 2017, in which Hunter Biden wrote that he was "sitting here with my father" and threatened his Chinese business associate if the deal did not go through. Immediately after, $5.1 million was transferred from CEFC China Energy to Biden-linked bank accounts.
Shapley also said that the Delaware prosecutors who put together Hunter Biden's rejected plea deal failed to notify the IRS team about a tipoff that Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky said he was "coerced" into paying Joe and Hunter Biden $10 million in bribes in 2016 in exchange for the then-vice president's help in getting a prosecutor investigating alleged corruption at the company fired.
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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