These days, Republicans are making no secret of their intention to use a Hunter Biden investigation next year as a platform to prosecute his father — after years of eliminating conflicts of interest within Trump’s family. No evidence has emerged to show the business dealings of Hunter Biden, who faces a years-long federal investigation, affected his father’s decisions as president.
GOP lawmakers are pushing ahead anyway, planning a sprawling investigation that will touch on the ethics of Hunter Biden’s art sales and other business deals, as well as the administration’s policy decisions. Biden.
“I’m not exactly sure I see a big difference” between starting with Hunter and incorporating Joe Biden from the start, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Member of the Oversight Committee, which is expected to lead a House investigation into Hunter Biden. “Obviously you start with Hunter… [but] it looks like the president is also involved, and that’s something you’re going to have to look into.
The president’s son has long fueled a conservative media fixation on par with Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified documents, and a majority in the House would help Republicans try to push their narrative into the mainstream. But the GOP plans to push Hunter Biden may have to compete with a growing GOP appetite for a full House investigation into the DOJ’s scrutiny of Trump, particularly if Republicans decide to form a select committee instead of launching investigation through the Judicial Committee.
Tuesday’s conversations with more than half a dozen House Republicans revealed deep concern about voters panicking and exasperated by the FBI’s one-day search for Mar-a-Lago.
“The base has lost its mind. If Trump decides to call them to arms, then I think he might get another Jan. 6,” a senior House Republican official said in an interview, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But ahead of this week’s law enforcement activity against Trump, House Republicans had stalked Hunter, and several verified him by name in their response to the FBI search. Months before an election that will determine whether they control the House, GOP lawmakers and committee aides are already doing prep work, including scheduling hearings, collecting documents and tracking down potential witnesses — including including former business associates and banks.
representing james comer (R-Ky.), ready to chair the oversight committee if Republicans win a majority, said he would be ready to formally launch an investigation in January when the new Congress is sworn in.
“We’re going to have a great early hearing on potential wrongdoing within the Biden family,” Comer said in an interview. “The fear is that these shady business dealings have compromised the president.”
Comer declined to name any witnesses he would like to call, saying simply that they would be former associates of Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden will be called to testify and it is “very possible” that the First Son will be subpoenaed, he added.
The watch-in-waiting president is ready to respond to critics who say his work is fabricated to ding Joe Biden; he insisted House Republicans would not investigate Hunter Biden as a “political witch hunt.” But other Republicans are more open in describing their broader oversight as a way to trigger a 2024 election where they hope to win back the White House.
“It will help frame the race for 2024, when I hope and believe President Trump is going to run again. And we have to make sure he wins,” the representative said. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is expected to chair the Judiciary Committee under a 2023 GOP majority, told a CPAC conference in Texas late last week.
It wouldn’t be the first time a congressional investigation has converged with presidential policy, nor will it be Hill’s first investigation of Hunter Biden and, by extension, the Biden family at large. Meaning. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) led a joint investigation into Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election, triggering warnings from fellow Republicans about unwittingly spreading Russian disinformation.
But House Republicans are planning a broader look: Comer launched a long list of topics for further investigation, including Hunter Biden’s work in China and an ethics accord governing Hunter Biden art sales that has been challenged. question by Obama-era officials.
Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last year that the ethical agreements governing art sales were “not White House agreements; these are arrangements between representatives of Hunter Biden and those of which we have certainly been informed.
Comer uses material from a laptop linked to Hunter Biden that has sparked controversy, although he stressed he was interested in the Biden son’s finances, not salacious personal details.
In addition, Republicans on the Oversight Committee are still seeking suspicious activity reports from the Treasury Department regarding Hunter Biden, though they have complained that they were unable to obtain the material without Democratic support.
The Treasury responded by stating that its policy requiring a committee chair or a majority of members to respond to requests for approval of such reports applies regardless of political party. Some Democrats also bristled at the department’s handling of suspicious activity reports.
“Since the beginning of this administration, the Treasury has made SARs available in response to authorized requests from the committee and continues to engage in the process with all individual members seeking information,” the doorman said. Treasury spokesman Mike Gwin in a statement.
Democrats are already excoriating GOP investigative plans, accusing Republicans of selectively attacking Biden while ignoring ethical lapses during the Trump years.
“To borrow an old line, every time these Republicans open their mouths, it’s a noun, a verb, and Hunter Biden. They’re pushing bogus conspiracy theories in a desperate effort to attack the president personally and politically, all in service — as they’ve admitted — to aiding another Trump campaign. And the public will see it for what it is: an abuse of power,” said a person close to Biden, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Current representative of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Caroline Maloney (DN.Y.) said in a statement that if Comer “is concerned about presidential conflicts of interest, I would invite him to join me in investigating taxpayer funds spent on Trump properties, the serious shortcomings in President Trump’s financial disclosures, foreign government spending at the former Trump hotel,” and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s ties to Saudi Arabia.
That criticism doesn’t scare House Republicans, who see Mar-a-Lago’s research this week as further evidence that federal investigations are biased against conservatives – despite the role the latter played in the derailment. of the Clinton campaign in 2016.
“Compared to their actions following the Clinton-inspired Russian collusion allegations, [the] clinton [email] server and Hunter Biden, the impression is strong that the FBI is selective and politicized,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), which represents a swing quarter.
And Comer, when asked about critics who cite Trump’s global conflicts of interest, described those as ground well trodden by others.
“It’s not like they disagree on Hunter Biden,” Comer said, adding “what I’m saying is there are a lot of people investigating the Trump kids.”
Olivia Beavers contributed.