10:04 a.m. ET, September 28, 2023
Biden’s first impeachment inquiry hearing just started. Here’s what to watch
House Republicans hold their first impeachment hearing
Thursday, to start publicly making their case after struggling for months
to tie President Joe Biden to his son’s foreign business dealings and to corral support inside the GOP conference for impeachment.
Their first hearing, however, isn’t being used to unveil any new evidence or witness testimony, and the trio of witnesses testifying aren’t involved in the Hunter Biden criminal investigation
Still, Thursday’s hearing – which is before the House Oversight Committee – will lay the groundwork for the battle lines over the GOP-led impeachment inquiry, which has been ramping up with more subpoenas and the release of new documents. Republicans to date have not uncovered evidence showing Joe Biden receiving any money from his son’s business endeavors, and they argue the impeachment inquiry puts them in the best position to obtain the documents they’re seeking.
Democrats counter that Republicans haven’t found evidence linking the president because it doesn’t exist, and charge that the whole impeachment endeavor is an exercise to muddy the waters for former President Donald Trump and the four indictments
Here’s what to watch:
Witnesses don’t have firsthand knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business dealings
The GOP witnesses aren’t fact witnesses and don’t have firsthand knowledge of anything regarding Hunter Biden’s overseas deals or his father’s potential involvement.
This contrasts with House Democrats’ first public hearing in 2019 during Trump’s first impeachment, where a senior US diplomat directly implicated Trump
in the Ukraine pressure schemes. House Democrats, however, didn’t hold any hearings in 2021 before impeaching Trump for a second time for inciting the January 6, 2021, attack.
Republicans release tax and bank statements
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told CNN
last week that at the first hearing, he wanted a financial expert to speak to bank records pertaining to the Biden family’s business dealings and a constitutional expert to discuss why an impeachment inquiry is warranted.
“Today, the House Oversight Committee will examine over two dozen pieces of evidence revealing Joe Biden’s corruption and abuse of public office,” Comer said in a statement provided to CNN. “This includes e-mails, text messages, bank records, and testimony of Biden business associates.”
But Thursday’s hearing is just one of several steps House Republicans have taken this week in their investigation. The committees spearheading the probe also released records related to Hunter Biden and are seeking additional documents to try to bolster their probe.
Dems bash GOP impeachment “derangement”
Democrats are expected to attack the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry at Thursday’s hearing, while noting that the hearing is taking place at the same time that House Republicans are unable or unwilling to pass bills to keep the government from shutting down.
“It’s hard to grasp the complete derangement of this moment,” Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight panel, said in a statement. “Three days before they’re set to shut down the United States government, Republicans launch a baseless impeachment drive against President Biden. No one can figure out the logic of either course of action.”