Republicans want criminal charges against Biden brother and son

Congressman Jordan and Comer at a press conference in December 2023
[Getty Images]

Republicans in the US House of Representatives have asked the Department of Justice (DoJ) to charge President Joe Biden's son and brother, Hunter and James Biden, with lying to Congress.

On Wednesday, while Hunter was in federal court on a separate matter, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability sent criminal referrals to the department, alleging the two lied about making millions through "influence peddling schemes".

The committee said they were trying "to shield Joe Biden from the impeachment inquiry", referring to a slow-going Republican push to remove the president.

“We’ve caught President Biden’s son and brother making blatant lies to Congress in what appears to be a concerted effort to hide Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s schemes,” the committee's chairman, James Comer, said in a new release.

The move comes as Hunter is on trial in Wilmington, Delaware for allegedly lying about being a drug user in order to purchase a handgun. There are reports that James could testify for the defence.

“These criminal referrals are a reflection of criminal wrongdoing by the Biden family, and the Department of Justice must take steps to hold the Bidens accountable,” said Representative Jim Jordan, one of the most vocal supporters of impeachment and of President Biden's election opponent, Donald Trump.

Hunter and James Biden were both ordered to testify to Congress in December 2023. They each met separately with the committee in February, where they allegedly lied.

Republicans have made multiple claims that the Biden men used the family name to unfairly enrich themselves, profiting off Joe Biden’s political career.

The White House has previously dismissed such claims as “baseless innuendo”.

It is unlikely that the DoJ, which is led by Attorney General Merrick Garland - a Biden appointee - will pursue the charges requested by Republicans.

Mr Garland appointed a special counsel for the gun case against Hunter Biden in order to preserve the independence of the investigation.

However, if Donald Trump wins the November election, a new attorney general could choose to go ahead with charges.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opened the impeachment inquiry into President Biden last September, and the full House of Representatives voted to formalise it in December.

Conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened to bring articles of impeachment before the House for a vote, but current Speaker Mike Johnson has said he would like the investigation process to continue.