The House impeachment inquiry is now investigating whether President Joe Biden engaged in “a conspiracy to obstruct,” sending a letter to White House counsel seeking documents on Biden’s coordination with son Hunter Biden’s defying a congressional subpoena.
“In light of an official statement from the White House that President Biden was aware in advance that his son, Hunter Biden, would knowingly defy two congressional subpoenas, we are compelled to examine as part of our impeachment inquiry whether the President engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct a proceeding of Congress,” the letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel read.
House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent the letter to investigate whether President Biden sought to influence or obstruct the committees’ proceedings by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son, Hunter Biden, from complying with the subpoenas for a deposition as part of the House impeachment inquiry.
The letter seeks all documents and communications sent or received regarding knowledge of Hunter Biden’s compliance with the subpoena and his planned news conference to announce his defiance of it.
“On December 13, Mr. Biden did not appear for the deposition as required by the Committees’ subpoenas,” the letter says. “Instead, Mr. Biden appeared on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol with his attorney and Representative Eric Swalwell. Mr. Biden gave a lengthy public statement to an assembly of reporters in which he made several statements that are relevant to the House’s impeachment inquiry, including representations about his business activities, assertions about President Biden’s awareness and ‘financial’ involvement in these activities, and attacks on the committees’ inquiry.”
The statement from the White House acknowledging President Biden’s involvement came from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said President Biden was “certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”
“Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement suggests that the president had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two congressional subpoenas,” the letter continued. “Under the relevant section of the criminal code, it is unlawful to ‘corruptly … endeavor to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any investigation or inquiry is being had by … any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress.’
“Likewise, any person who ‘aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures’ the commission of a crime is punishable as a principal of the crime.”
The House impeachment inquiry, led by the Oversight, Judiciary, and House Ways & Means committees, is investigating potential benefits to President Biden from Hunter Biden’s foreign influence peddling schemes, Comer has long contended.
“The committees have accumulated substantial evidence that Hunter Biden’s business endeavors have improperly included his father, and the president has made false claims about his knowledge and involvement in these schemes,” Wednesday’s letter read. “In fact, just days before Mr. Biden was scheduled to appear for his deposition, the president claimed he had not interacted with any of his son’s business partners.
“This is false. The president has met with, spoken to, and received money sourced from his son’s foreign business partners.”
The latest “conspiracy to obstruct” Congress investigation might ultimately rise to an impeachable offense, according to the investigators.
“In light of this evidence, the fact that the president had advanced awareness that Mr. Biden would defy the committees’ subpoenas raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the committees’ proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the committees’ subpoenas,” the letter concluded. “Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense.”
The White House counsel was given a Jan. 10 deadline to pass the documents and communications to the committees.
Although the Justice Department would not likely act on any House-voted recommendation on obstruction of Congress for Hunter Biden, the House impeachment inquiry can take steps to remove the president. A Democrat-held Senate would however have the final say.
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