House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., officially opened the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, delivering an opening statement before the first public hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill.
Biden "lied" about his knowledge and involvement in his son's foreign business dealings and "left the door wide open" to the Biden brand for foreign entities, including adversaries, Comer argued in his opening statement.
Lawmakers have "a mountain of evidence" that will show the elder Biden "abused his public office for his family's financial gain."
Comer said the panel will continue to "follow the money and the evidence to provide accountability" to the American people.
The chairmen of Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means — Comer, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. — are leading the inquiry hearing, reviewing the constitutional and legal questions surrounding their investigation of Biden and what they say are links to his son Hunter's overseas businesses.
"This is a tale as old as time: Politician takes action that makes money for his family and then he tries to conceal it," House Judiciary Chair Jordan said in his opening statement.
The four witnesses were legal expert Jonathan Turley; Eileen O'Connor, former assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice Tax Division; Bruce Dubinsky, an expert witness in forensic accounting; and law professor Michael Gerhardt.
"For years, President Biden has lied to the American people about his knowledge of and participation in his family’s corrupt business schemes," Comer said in his opening statement. "At least 10 times, Joe Biden lied to the American people that he never spoke to his family about their business dealings.
"He lied by telling the American people that there was an 'absolute wall' between his official government duties and his personal life.
"Let's be clear: There was no wall. The door was wide open to those who purchased what a business associate described as 'The Biden Brand.'
"Evidence reveals that then-Vice President Joe Biden spoke, dined, and developed relationships with his family’s foreign business targets. These business targets include foreign oligarchs who sent millions of dollars to his family. It also includes a Chinese national who wired a quarter of a million dollars to his son.
"Joe Biden also lied to the American people about his family making money in China. He has continued to lie about it even when the House Oversight Committee uncovered bank wires revealing how the Bidens received millions from Chinese companies with significant ties to the Chinese intelligence and the Chinese Communist Party."
Comer outlined the path of the impeachment inquiry in a memo earlier this week, laying out all avenues of oversight and investigation, and Smith's committee released new evidence Wednesday night.
"The Ways and Means Committee released new documents showing President Biden was not just aware of his son's business dealings; he was connected to them," Smith said in his opening statement. "In a newly released message to a Chinese business executive, Hunter Biden mentions preserving the quote 'keys to my family’s only asset.'
"That asset? Joe Biden.
"New evidence released in response to questions raised by members of this committee on both sides when Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, the two IRS whistleblowers, testified in July, paints a disturbing picture of a revolving door between Joe Biden’s office and Hunter Biden's business partners."
Democrats on Thursday's panel rejected the opening of an inquiry short of a full House vote, but Republicans noted an inquiry to investigate a potential impeachment is not needed to conduct oversight of the president.
"I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment," Turley said in his opening statement. "But I also do believe that the House has passed the threshold for an impeachment inquiry."
Democrats and the White House both rebuked the opening of the inquiry amid a pending government shutdown over the failure to pass 2024 appropriation bills.
"There are 61 hours and 55 minutes until the government shuts down because of extreme House Republicans' chaos and inability to govern," the White House said in a statement, using the Democrats' common "extreme" attack line on their political opposition, perhaps to counter former President Donald Trump's longtime rebukes of "radical left Democrats.
"The consequences for the American people will be very damaging — from lost jobs, to troops working without pay, to jeopardizing important efforts to fight fentanyl, deliver disaster relief, provide food assistance, and more. Nothing can distract from that."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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