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Thursday, September 28, 2023  
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GOP to Make Biden Impeachment Case     09/28 06:07

   Republicans have insisted for months that they have the grounds to launch 
impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden. On Thursday, they will 
begin formally making their case to the public and their skeptical colleagues 
in the Senate.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have insisted for months that they have the 
grounds to launch impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden. On 
Thursday, they will begin formally making their case to the public and their 
skeptical colleagues in the Senate.

   The chairmen of Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means will hold the 
opening hearing of their impeachment inquiry by reviewing the constitutional 
and legal questions surrounding their investigation of Biden and what they say 
are links to his son Hunter's overseas businesses.

   "Based on the evidence, Congress has a duty to open an impeachment inquiry 
into President Biden's corruption," Rep. James Comer, the Oversight chairman, 
said in a statement this week.

   Comer added that the committee plans to "present evidence uncovered to date 
and hear from legal and financial experts about crimes the Bidens may have 
committed as they brought in millions at the expense of U.S. interests."

   It's a high-stakes opening act for Republicans as they begin a process that 
can lead to the ultimate penalty for a president, punishment for what the 
Constitution describes as "high crimes and misdemeanors." This is all while 
they face a resistance in the Senate from Republicans who are worried about the 
political ramifications of another impeachment -- and who say Biden's 
conviction and removal from office is a near impossibility.

   But House Republicans say they are only investigating and have made no final 
decision on impeaching the president.

   The hearing Thursday will not feature witnesses with information about the 
Bidens or Hunter Biden's business work. Instead, it will be a soft launch of 
sorts with testimony from outside experts in tax law, criminal investigations 
and constitutional legal theory.

   Democrats, who decry the investigation as a political ploy aimed at hurting 
Biden and helping Donald Trump as he runs again for president, said they plan 
to bring Michael Gerhardt, a law professor who has appeared as expert on two 
previous impeachment efforts.

   In the run-up to the hearing, Republicans were touting a tranche of new 
documents and bank records that detail wire transfers from a Chinese 
businessman to Hunter Biden in 2019. Hunter Biden had listed his father's 
address on the wire transfer form, which Republicans said provided a clear link 
to the president.

   Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said the address on the wire 
transfer, which he says was a loan, was listed to the president's Delaware home 
only because it was the address on Hunter Biden's driver's license and "his 
only permanent address at the time."

   "Once again Rep. Comer peddles lies to support a premise -- some wrongdoing 
by Hunter Biden or his family -- that evaporates in thin air the moment facts 
come out," Lowell said in a statement.

   Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden for years, since his father 
was vice president. And while there has been questions raised about the ethics 
around the family's international business, none of the evidence so far has 
proven that the president, in his current or previous office, abused his role, 
accepted bribes or both.

   House Republicans are also looking into the Justice Department investigation 
in Hunter Biden's taxes and gun use that began in 2018. Two IRS whistleblowers 
came forward to Congress in the spring with claims that department officials 
thwarted their efforts to fully investigate Hunter Biden and his business 
dealings and the agents faced retaliation when they pushed back.

   The claims have since been disputed by IRS and FBI agents who worked on the 

   The central focus of the testimonies have been surrounding an Oct. 7, 2022 
meeting that agents from both the IRS and FBI had with David Weiss, U.S. 
attorney for Delaware, who has been charged with investigating Hunter Biden.

   Gary Shapley, a veteran IRS agent who had been assigned to case, testified 
to Ways and Means committee in May that Weiss said during that meeting that he 
was not the "deciding person whether charges are filed" against Hunter Biden.

   Two FBI agents who were in attendance told lawmakers this month that they 
have no recollection of Weiss saying that.

   But Republicans have pointed to a failed plea deal over the summer as proof 
that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment because of who his father was.

   Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo, the chair of the Ways & Means committee, said that 
their investigation has shown that "Biden family were afforded special 
treatment that no other American would receive were they not the son of the 
President of the United States."

   The impeachment inquiry hearing is taking place as the federal government is 
days away from what is likely to be a damaging government shutdown that would 
halt paychecks for millions of federal workers and the military.

   Democrats say they plan to use the impending fiscal disaster to question 
Republicans' priorities.

   "Three days before they're set to shut down the United States government, 
Republicans launch a baseless impeachment drive against President Biden," Rep. 
Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on Oversight, said Wednesday. "No one can figure 
out the logic of either course of action."

   House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the impeachment inquiry this month 
after he yielded to mounting pressure from his right flank to take action 
against Biden or risk being ousted from his leadership job.

   On Tuesday, McCarthy said the latest bank records showing payments from 
Chinese individuals to Hunter showed that the president lied during his 
presidential campaign that no one in his family took money from China.

   "President Biden had lied to Americans again," McCarthy told reporters this 

   The hearing Thursday is expected to be the first of many as House 
Republicans explore how this inquiry will end and whether or not they have the 
full support of the conference to bring and pass charges against Biden on the 
House floor. Regardless, any articles of impeachment would then be sent to the 
Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 51-49 majority.

   "It really comes to how do you prioritize your time?" Sen. John Cornyn, a 
Republican member of leadership, told The Hill recently. "I don't know of 
anybody who believes (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer will take it up and 
actually have a trial and convict a sitting president."

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