What House Republicans are focusing on in Biden investigations after returning from recess

September 11, 2023 09:57 AM

The House will be back in session this week, with Republicans back on the battlefield with multiple investigations into President Joe Biden and his family that some GOP members hope will lead to an impeachment inquiry.

Several hard-line conservatives have floated or outright called for an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, particularly over the Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter Biden and the two federal legal cases against former President Donald Trump. Many Republicans have blasted the Biden administration for its “weaponization” of the DOJ and an overarching “two-tiered system” of justice.


House Oversight and Judiciary committees continue to hold hearings and present evidence they believe implicates Joe Biden benefiting from international business dealings or making policy decisions because of them, but they have not yet found the linchpin that could aid in validating an impeachment inquiry.

On the other side, House Democrats have decried the investigations against the president as a smoke show to draw attention from Trump’s alleged criminal misconduct and heckled the Republicans for not having concrete evidence against Joe Biden.

Here’s where certain investigations stand as the House reconvenes.

Foreign business dealings

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is leading the investigation into the “alleged criminal scheme,” in which Republicans claim Joe Biden benefited financially from foreign entities while he was vice president. Comer said the committee’s findings on Joe Biden’s “role in this family influence-peddling scheme continues to grow on a daily basis.”

Comer said in early August that he plans to subpoena members of the Biden family at some point during the culmination of the investigation. He has repeatedly stated that evidence shows the Biden family has taken more than $20 million from foreign nationals in exchange for “doing favors.”

One of the allegations against Joe Biden is that he accepted a $5 million bribe for his role in helping remove Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was part of an investigation into Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company for which Hunter Biden sat on the board. An FD-1023 form documented an unverified tip about the alleged bribe to the FBI, but the agency has not corroborated the tip.

Republicans also heard testimony from former Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer, in which he said Hunter Biden would put his father on speakerphone when he was with foreign business associates. However, Archer stressed they never discussed business, saying the conversations were usually filled with “general niceties” and that Hunter Biden was just flaunting the Biden family “brand.”

However, while Republicans on the committee have uncovered evidence that Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family received millions from foreign oligarchs and companies while Joe Biden was vice president, they haven’t proved any of that money went to the president.

Comer acknowledged on Newsmax last week that the committee may have difficulty gathering information moving forward, expecting more resistance to requests. In the meantime, the panel’s aides have said they will continue to look over thousands of pages of bank records and suspicious activity reports and seek more interviews with Biden associates.

Still, Comer calls the investigation “credible” and refers to it as possibly the “biggest political scandal” of his adult life.

Hunter Biden investigation

House GOP members have rallied around the idea that the prosecution of Hunter Biden was mishandled by the DOJ, particularly after the “sweetheart” deal struck between the younger Biden and prosecutors fell apart.

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joe Ziegler, who were assigned to the Hunter Biden investigation, testified before the House Oversight Committee in July that they felt blocked from properly investigating Hunter Biden for possible tax crimes by Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf.

Ziegler spoke about the DOJ’s delayed actions in the yearslong investigation, saying IRS investigators were not allowed to follow the proper procedure they would for everyday taxpayers.

In June, Hunter Biden reached an agreement with prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges to avoid a felony gun charge — what Republicans decried as a “sweetheart” deal. However, the plea collapsed during a July hearing after a judge raised questions over whether the deal would offer Hunter Biden immunity for certain crimes.

Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss is now special counsel in the investigation, and he is facing charging pressure from Republicans. Weiss outlined a Sept. 29 deadline for him and federal prosecutors to indict Hunter Biden.

Republicans narrowed in on a specific allegation concerning Attorney General Merrick Garland after a whistleblower said Weiss previously requested special counsel status but was refused. However, Garland testified that Weiss was assured he would be granted special counsel privileges if he requested it, so the allegation has not gained much traction.

How or if Weiss decides to indict Hunter Biden will be a key look into how the GOP investigations will continue to operate, as well as the future of an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.

What Democrats are saying

House Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-NY) wrote a 14-page memo, released on Monday, that blasts Republicans’ investigations into alleged wrongdoing on behalf of Joe Biden.

“House Republicans constantly insist that they are investigating President Biden, and not his adult son,” the memo reads. “In that case, we can form an obvious judgment on their investigation: it has been a complete and total bust — an epic flop in the history of congressional investigations. The voluminous evidence they have gathered, including thousands of pages of bank records and suspicious activity reports and hours of testimony from witnesses, overwhelmingly demonstrates no wrongdoing by President Biden and further debunks Republicans’ conspiracy theories.”

Raskin echoed several Democrats, stating that House Republicans are only investigating Joe Biden to draw attention away from Trump’s legal woes.


“This is a transparent effort to boost Donald Trump’s campaign by establishing a false moral equivalency between Trump — the four-time-indicted former president now facing 91 federal and state criminal charges —” and “President Biden, against whom there is precisely zero evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever.”

A recent poll from CNN shows that 61% of people believe Joe Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings, 42% say they think he acted illegally, and 18% say he acted unethically but not illegally.