The House Oversight and Accountability Committee plans to present evidence and lay the groundwork for the potential impeachment of President Joe Biden in its opening hearing Thursday, Republican members say.
“If this were anyone else, they would be nailed on tax fraud,” Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., also chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
“If there are articles of impeachment, it will be based on the evidence of possible tax fraud and failure to register under FARA. We will go where the evidence leads,” Palmer said.
FARA is the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a federal law that many Republicans allege Hunter Biden broke while working for or doing business with foreign companies and suggesting favors from his father, then the nation’s vice president.
“We know the president lied when he said he didn’t know about Hunter Biden’s business deals,” Palmer added, referring to Joe Biden.
Other Republicans on the House committee, including Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., argue that it should investigate bribery as well as conspiracy to avoid the law requiring registration.
The panel’s hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday. Announced witnesses include:
—Bruce Dubinsky, a forensic accountant with financial, investigative, and dispute-consulting experience who has been an expert witness over 100 times and testified in over 80 trials.
—Eileen O’Connor, former U.S. assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
—George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a frequent commentator on Fox News Channel who acted as counsel in a judicial impeachment trial.
The hearing’s apparent emphasis on tax law could mean a possible investigation into bribery. Bribery investigations can be pursued through tax probes. Internal Revenue Service forms, under the heading “other income,” ask: “Bribes. If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.”
The House panel will present evidence and hear expert testimony on what Republicans call influence peddling by members of the Biden family, including the president.
Besides Palmer, seven other Republican members of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee replied to The Daily Signal about the goal of the panel’s first hearing in its impechment inquiry.
“The justification for the impeachment inquiry is the mountain of circumstantial evidence. Period,” Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told The Daily Signal in a written statement.
In July, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, released an FBI form that showed a confidential informant had reported that executives with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, paid a $5 million bribe to then-Vice President Biden in 2016 to help scuttle a Ukrainian government investigation of the company.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee learned that while Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years, Biden used a pseudonym in emails forwarded to his son and a business partner.
“For the past eight months, the Oversight Committee has uncovered an overwhelming amount of evidence showing Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s influence-peddling schemes,” Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kan., another committee member, told The Daily Signal in a written statement.
“On Thursday, we will present the facts to the American people and begin to lay the foundation for our impeachment inquiry. Holding Joe Biden accountable for abusing his role in government is a vital step in restoring public trust in our institutions,” LaTurner said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., launched the impeachment inquiry into the elder Biden’s activities Sept. 12.
The evidence uncovered already by House Republicans is too compelling to ignore, Rep. Russell Fry, R-S.C., said.
“This impeachment inquiry allows us to escalate the investigation and dig deeper into the facts,” Fry, another committee member, told The Daily Signal.
The Constitution prescribes an important tool for holding government officials accountable if needed, and we are prudently examining this option. During Thursday’s first impeachment inquiry hearing conducted by the House Oversight Committee, I want to explore the mechanics of impeachment and examine the potential malfeasance of our current president. This hearing will assess the current evidence we have against Joe Biden, and we will continue, as always, to let the facts guide our path.
Bank records show the amount of money from foreign individuals and entities that poured into Biden family entities reached $20 million during Biden’s vice presidency from 2009 through 2016.
“The Oversight Committee has done more to hold Joe Biden accountable than the FBI and DOJ [Justice Department] have done in the last nine years,” Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., told The Daily Signal in a written statement. “The culture of corruption perpetuated by this president is shocking, and it is our responsibility to bring the truth to light. Thursday’s hearing is another step in that effort, but we are far from done.”
“Thursday’s hearing will lay out all of the evidence we’ve uncovered through the Oversight Committee’s work,” Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., told The Daily Signal. “This hearing is long overdue, we have more than enough evidence of corruption to begin this inquiry, and Americans want to see the president stuck with some charges by the time this whole process is over. Thursday will be a good start.”
Ian Sams, senior adviser to the White House Counsel’s Office, routinely has attacked the committee’s impeachment proceedings as unwarranted. In a post Monday on X, formerly Twitter, Sams suggested that House Republicans have a cartoon character as a surprise witness.
The title of the committee’s hearing is “The Basis for an Impeachment Inquiry of President Joseph R. Biden Jr.,” which suggests it is the first of several hearings ahead, said Thomas Jipping, a senior legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
“Ultimately, the result is whether articles of impeachment go to the House floor, and that doesn’t really matter how we get there or whether a resolution passes on the House floor,” Jipping, who was deputy chief counsel during the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous in 2010, told The Daily Signal.
“Impeachments occur when there is literally a perceived attack on the office,” Jipping said. “Each impeachment is totally unique. None are entirely comparable. So, you don’t need a precedent.”
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, another committee member, stressed that the impeachment of a president must be approached carefully.
“To pursue yet another impeachment for purely political reasons is neither constructive for our party nor the nation. However, it is our duty to at least investigate the allegations of Joe Biden’s corruption,” Fallon said.
But the Texas Republican added that substantial evidence of wrongdoing exists.
“From what we have uncovered so far, I think the preponderance of evidence is more likely than not that Joe Biden utilized and benefited from his son Hunter in corrupt business dealings; that both were involved in peddling access and influence,” Fallon said.
Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., told The Daily Signal that Biden has “abused his power and authority in high office.”
“Our Oversight Committee investigation into the Biden family involvement with at least 20 shell corporations receiving millions in payments from several foreign nation entities while Joe Biden was VP, as documented by bank records that we have obtained, is essentially the basis for legitimate impeachment proceedings against President Biden,” Higgins said in a written statement.
“He has abused his power and authority in high office, violating the people’s trust and compromising the entire United States executive branch,” Higgins said.
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