Biden’s son Hunter and brother James subpoenaed in impeachment probe

Source: BBC 

Congressional Republicans have issued legal summons to several members of the Biden family in an escalation of their impeachment inquiry into the president.

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mr Biden’s son Hunter, his brother James, and Biden family associate Rob Walker.

It is also requesting transcribed interviews with five others.

The White House accused Republicans of “abusing their power to conduct a smear campaign”.

House Republicans opened their impeachment inquiry in September, saying they had uncovered evidence of President Biden’s knowledge of and role in his family members’ domestic and foreign business dealings.

But at the Oversight Committee’s first hearing that month, witnesses and even Republicans on the panel said more evidence was needed to determine if the president had committed any impeachable offenses.

In a statement on Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee said it had obtained financial records that showed Biden family members allegedly set up more than 20 shell companies during Joe Biden’s vice presidency in order to hide payments they received from overseas.

The committee further charged that the Biden family, its associates, and its companies had received more than $24m (£20m) from foreign nations, including some viewed as US adversaries.

“The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Chairman James Comer, of Kentucky, said.

“Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence.”

Hunter Biden was ordered to testify under oath before the committee on 13 December, while James Biden and Mr Walker were asked to appear on 6 December and 29 November respectively.

The committee also called on Hunter’s wife Melissa Cohen, James’ wife Sara Biden, Hunter’s brother’s widow Hallie Biden and her sister Elizabeth Secundy and Hunter’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski to provide transcribed interviews.

The White House was quick to respond, sending out a memo after the subpoenas were issued that accused Republicans of making “this partisan investigation a higher priority than virtually all issues Americans really care about”.

Speaking at the daily White House briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “This is an investigation that has been going on for a year now and has turned up zero evidence of wrongdoing by the president because there is none.”

In a statement to the BBC’s US partner CBS News, Hunter Biden’s lawyer indicated he would comply with the subpoena.

“This is yet another political stunt aimed at distracting from the glaring failure of Rep. Comer and his MAGA [Make America Great Again] allies to prove a single one of their wild and now discredited conspiracies about the Biden family,” Abbe Lowell said.

“Nevertheless, Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum and at the right time, to discuss these matters with the Committee.”

Mr Comer indicated on X, formerly known as Twitter, that more subpoenas will follow in coming days as part of the investigation.

Wednesday’s subpoenas and interview requests come one day after the special counsel overseeing a federal probe into Hunter Biden testified to lawmakers behind closed doors.

In that hearing, David Weiss refuted Republican assertions that the White House is interfering with his investigation, saying he was “not blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges” against the president’s son.

The younger Mr Biden is currently facing three federal gun charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

That investigation is still ongoing.

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