WASHINGTON – The White House flouted House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden in a scathing letter to GOP investigators leading the probe, accusing them of “improperly weaponizing the oversight powers of Congress.”
Sent to House Oversight Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and House Judiciary Chair, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the letter accuses the two chairmen of being “so determined to impeach the President that you have misrepresented the facts, ignored the overwhelming evidence disproving your claims, and repeatedly shifted the rationale for your ‘inquiry.’”
The letter, sent by Richard Sauber, a special counsel to the president, is a rare shot across the bow from the White House rebuking the inquiry, which has largely dismissed the probe in response to House Republicans’ demands and requests for information.
“You have consistently misrepresented the documents and testimony you have received and then moved the goalposts when your claims have been debunked, as you appear to be doing here. This pattern of distortions and falsehoods lays bare that no amount of truthful testimony or document productions will satisfy you.”
House Republicans opened the formal impeachment inquiry into Biden in September over allegations the president personally benefited from his family’s foreign business dealings. So far however, GOP investigators have yet to produce evidence directly implicating the president in those overseas ventures.
“If President Biden has nothing to hide, then he should make his current and former staff available to testify before Congress about his mishandling of classified documents,” Comer said in a statement. “We are not deterred by this obstruction and will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people.”
“The White House is TERRIFIED of what we’re uncovering with our impeachment inquiry,” The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, in response to the letter.
In one of the GOP’s most significant escalations of the probe, the House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas to the president’s close family and their business associates earlier this month “to question them on” the evidence the committee has collected in regards to Biden’s “family’s influence peddling schemes.”
While investigators have found that the president’s son Hunter Biden and other business associates made millions from their foreign business endeavors, they have not produced evidence showing the president reaped his own financial benefits. The letter slams the subpoenas as“unjustified requests” which were sent despite “voluminous records and testimony from dozens of witnesses (that) have refuted your baseless allegations about the President.”
The letter also comes ahead of a Nov. 20 deadline for multiple senior White House aides to schedule voluntarily transcribed interviews with GOP investigators on Biden’s handling of classified documents which is currently under investigation by special counsel Robert Hur.
Sauber takes aim at how the inquiry “has apparently shifted to focus” on the documents rather than the GOP’s allegations that the president benefited from his family’s dealings.
“The testimony that you seek from the President’s aides involves the subject matter of an ongoing Special Counsel investigation,” the letter reads, adding that their requests “appear to be motivated by a desire to boost your subpoena numbers … rather than any legitimate investigative interest.”
Comer contended in his statement that investigators “need to know if these classified materials aided the Bidens’ global influence peddling enterprise that brought in tens of millions for the Bidens and their associates.”
Sauber repeatedly dismisses the probe as an impeachment inquiry “lacking constitutional legitimacy,” taking aim at House Republicans, including Comer and Jordan for previously criticizing House Democrats for opening their 2019 impeachment inquiry into former President Donald Trump without a formal vote on the House floor, only to end up doing the same.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who previously said an inquiry into Biden would see a vote on the House floor, backtracked in September and opened the investigation without the vote. The letter notes how McCarthy’s successor, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., also rebuked Democrats for opening the inquiry in 2019 without the approval of the lower chamber.
The letter asks Comer and Jordan to “reconsider your current course of action and withdraw these subpoenas and demands for interviews.”
“If you do in fact have legitimate requests for information within the White House pursuant to an appropriate oversight inquiry,” the letter concludes, asking the chairmen to contact Sauber “so that the constitutionally approved processes can be implemented.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House slams GOP impeachment probe into Joe Biden in rare letter