In the pages released by the panel, investigators can be seen discussing the case against the younger Biden that would eventually lead to misdemeanour tax charges and three felony gun charges. The former would later be dismissed, but are expected to be refiled. The communications depict a routine multi-agency investigation that has led to the first criminal indictment of a sitting president’s family member in many years.
They also include communications between Hunter Biden and his associates, including instances in 2017, when his father was not in government, where Hunter referred to access to his father as an asset.
Rep Jason Smith, the committee’s chairman, said on Wednesday that the documents “show a clearer connection between Joe Biden, his public office, and Hunter Biden’s global influence peddling scheme that resulted in over $20 million in payments to the Biden family.”
“This evidence makes clear Hunter Biden’s business was selling the Biden ‘brand’ and that access to the White House was his family’s most valuable asset – despite official claims otherwise,” Mr Smith said in a prepared statement.
But Mr Smith found himself unable to answer at a press conference why Hunter Biden trading access to his father, who at the time was also a private citizen, would have been illegal in 2017. He also wasn’t able to explain why the GOP continues to insist that the Biden White House is slow walking or interfering with an investigation when the complaints from investigators about the DoJ occurred during the Trump administration.
— Lauren Peikoff (@laurenpeikoff) September 27, 2023
The GOP’s politically fraught impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden appears to be evolving just as far as House rules will allow it. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially greenlit the probe without a vote earlier this month, apparently knowing that taking a vote on the matter would be unsuccessful, after specifically having vowed not to do it without a recorded vote. Now, the effort continues under barbed criticism and derision from the party’s own members in the House and Senate, and looks to have no future unless a major shift in the dynamics of the investigation occurs.
Former President Donald Trump is known to be a strong backer of the impeachment effort, his ego bruised by the House’s two successful votes to impeach him, though both times he was acquitted in the Senate. Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled chamber remains deadlocked on the issue of funding the government past a 1 October shutdown deadline, with a cadre of hardliners refusing to vote on a budget package that does not cut spending levels to their liking.
President Joe Biden has largely refused comment on the investigations into his son, who is known to have battled drug addiction and other issues. The younger Biden stayed at the White House for two weeks in August, and currently lives in Malibu with his family.