Republican-led House committee subpoenas White House aides over Biden's health


WASHINGTON — The GOP-led House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas Wednesday for three White House aides, requesting depositions to discuss President Joe Biden‘s cognitive state.

The subpoenas, first reported by Axios, are for first lady Jill Biden’s senior adviser Anthony Bernal, White House deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini and White House senior adviser Ashley Williams.

The letters accompanying the subpoenas alleged that the aides have “firsthand knowledge of the extent to which President Biden is personally carrying out the duties of his office and whether he is capable of doing so.”

“The Committee seeks this information to explore whether the time has come for Congress to revisit potential legislation to address the oversight of presidents’ fitness to serve pursuant to its authority under Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment,” the letters said.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the committee chair, said the panel is concerned these aides “may be running interference on behalf of the President and perhaps doing some of the President’s job for him.”

“President Biden is clearly unfit for office, yet his staff are trying to hide the truth from the American people,” he added.

Reached for comment, White House spokesperson Ian Sams criticized Comer and called the subpoenas a “baseless political stunt intended for him to get media attention instead of engage in legitimate oversight.”

“His partisan attacks on the President have been discredited, and now he continues to debase the House by weaponizing subpoenas to get headlines instead of seeking information through the proper constitutional process,” Sams said in a statement.

Comer, a frequent critic, was central to a Republican-led impeachment inquiry into Biden. Republicans have not produced evidence that Biden was engaged in criminal activities.

The three aides were previously asked to appear before the committee as part of the Biden classified documents investigation, but the committee says the White House blocked their appearances.

The committee asked that the aides respond by July 17 to discuss a deposition.

The subpoenas come days after Comer requested that Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, appear for a transcribed interview about his health.

Sams previously criticized that request, saying, “Here they go again, pushing their crazy, discredited conspiracy theories in order to score another hit on Bartiromo,” referring to Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo.

Biden’s dismal debate performance last month prompted widespread concern among Democrats about his re-election prospects over renewed concerns about his age and fitness for office.

Nearly a dozen Democratic members of Congress have since called from him to drop out of the race, and NBC News has reported that many top Democrats are privately concerned about his ability to take on former President Donald Trump.

Biden has continued to insist that he is staying in the race, arguing that he is best person to defeat Trump in November.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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