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House Oversight chairman hints at possible President Biden testimony

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer Associated Press/Photo by Jose Luis Magana

House Oversight chairman hints at possible President Biden testimony

Update, 5:54 p.m.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Wednesday said he would be inviting President Joe Biden to testify before his committee in the coming days. He revealed his intentions as he wrapped up the hearing on the Biden family’s alleged influence-peddling scheme. Several members of Congress disputed its legitimacy during the hearing, urging Congress to address other business. Other members confronted adversarial witnesses or highlighted certain portions of favorable witnesses’ testimony. Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, even used his speaking time to question Comer rather than the witnesses.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., said the impeachment inquiry would never come to a vote. He dared Comer to second a motion that Moskowitz initiated during his time to skip further inquiry and vote to impeach Biden immediately. Comer chose not to second the motion. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan had just moments before said Republicans were doing their work to find the facts and that they didn’t do “snap impeachments” like Democrats.

What exactly did committee members discuss with the witnesses? Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., questioned Tony Bobulinski about an email referencing the “big guy,” possibly referring to Joe Biden. Hunter Biden, in transcribed testimony to Congress members behind closed doors last month, testified that the comment was not a reference to his father.

In separate transcribed testimony from last month, Bobulinski said that the referenced “big guy—100 percent—is Joe Biden.” Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., brought up a text message sent to Bobulinski from James Gilliar, specifically instructing him, “Don’t mention Joe being involved.”

Democratic Rep. Eleanor Norton questioned the credibility of Jason Galanis, whom she said two federal judges had characterized as having the skills of a “con man.” According to a Justice Department press release, Galanis is currently serving an 189-month sentence in prison for securities fraud. He also testified before Congress last month.

Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., shot back at Norton’s questioning by entering into evidence a Justice Department press release announcing Lev Parnas’ sentence in 2022 to 20 months in prison. Democrats also highlighted that Rudy Giuliani, according to Lev Parnas, worked with “Russian agents” to perpetuate lies about the Biden family.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked Bobulinski what exact crime Joe Biden committed. He accused Biden of “corruption” and “RICO.” Ocasio-Cortez argued that “RICO” was not a crime but a category. Ocasio-Cortez insisted there was no “high crime or misdemeanor” at the center of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry.

Initial report, 2:11 p.m.

Witnesses testify at Biden impeachment hearing

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Wednesday oversaw the questioning of three witnesses—two called by Republicans and one called by Democrats.

House Republicans have been conducting a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. They have alleged that President Biden engaged in “influence peddling” schemes with his family members’ business ventures. The White House has denied wrongdoing, as have Joe Biden and his family members.

What did the witnesses say? A former Hunter Biden business associate, Tony Bobulinski, wrote in a prepared opening statement that President Joe Biden did participate in a scheme to sell his influence for his family members’ benefit. He also called the president a serial liar. Another former associate, Jason Galanis, testified that President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, called his father at a crucial moment of closing a business deal. That call occurred in May of 2014 when Joe Biden was vice president, he testified. However, witness Lev Parnas, a natural-born Ukrainian who later became a U.S. citizen, said no one has discovered wrongdoing related to Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.

What has happened earlier in the impeachment inquiry? The Department of Justice last month indicted a former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov of making false statements to his FBI handler and of fabricating records to substantiate those statements. Smirnov, according to the Justice Department, had lied about Joe Biden’s connection to his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings with the Ukrainian industrial company Burisma Holdings.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s conversation with Michael Gerhardt on The World and Everything in It podcast about how the Biden family impeachment inquiry continues.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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