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ROUNDUP: MAGA Republicans’ Biden Impeachment Investigation is Leaving Them With “Egg on Their Faces”

Feb 29, 2024

After over a year of investigating President Biden, MAGA House Republicans have not found a single shred of evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever or a single witness who can corroborate MAGA House Republicans’ claims. And, the investigation just keeps hitting new lows. Yesterday, MAGA House Republicans sat for closed-door testimony from the President’s son, Hunter. Just like every other witness they have interviewed so far, the Oversight Committee learned of no new evidence, confirming once again that President Biden has no involvement in his son’s business dealings. This evidence-free impeachment inquiry is just a cheap political stunt in the MAGA playbook to harm President Biden ahead of the 2024 election and help Trump return to the White House. Instead of focusing on the important priorities of Americans across the country, MAGA House Republicans are doing Trump’s bidding. It’s way past time for them to give up this absolutely embarrassing failure. 

Fox News: Hunter Biden Testifies He ‘Did Not Involve’ His Father In His Businesses, Calls Impeachment Inquiry ‘baseless’.

  • Hunter Biden testified Wednesday that he ‘did not involve’ his father in his businesses, while blasting House Republicans for having ‘hunted’ him in their ‘partisan political pursuit’ and impeachment inquiry into his father. Hunter Biden appeared on Capitol Hill on Wednesday for his closed-door, deposition at the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. Hunter Biden said Republicans have no evidence against his father ‘because there isn’t any,’ according to an opening statement obtained by Fox News.” [Fox News, 2/28/24

Reuters: Republican Impeachment Probe ‘Baseless,’ US President’s Son Hunter Biden Says. 

  • Republicans, who narrowly control the House, are pushing ahead with their impeachment inquiry even after a person who provided accusations at the heart of their case was charged with lying to the FBI. The hearing, which lasted nearly seven hours, came three days before the U.S. government will run out of money to keep some agencies open if Congress fails to act by week’s end.
  • Trump has publicly encouraged the impeachment inquiry. Trump was the only U.S. president to be impeached twice, though he was acquitted both times by the Senate. Most witnesses to testify to the inquiry have said the president was not involved nor had any direct or indirect financial interest in his family’s business activities.” [Reuters, 2/28/24]

BBC: President Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Testifies Against Impeachment ‘Charade’. 

  • “Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has testified to a congressional impeachment inquiry against the president, telling Republicans he did not involve his father in his business dealings. Hunter Biden also lashed out at what he called a ‘baseless’ investigation fuelled by ‘conspiracy theories’
  • Even some Republican lawmakers have said the 14-month inquiry has so far failed to yield evidence of the ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ that would merit impeaching a president under the US Constitution. The impeachment effort suffered a setback recently when an ex-FBI informant who had accused the Bidens of accepting bribes was charged by the FBI with lying.” [BBC, 2/28/24]

The New York Times: Hunter Biden Testifies in Impeachment Inquiry, Condemning G.O.P.’s Case. 

  • “The interview, which lasted more than six hours, came at a make-or-break moment for the inquiry. Republicans have sought for months to tie President Biden to the alleged misdeeds of his second-born son, but they have struggled with a series of setbacks, including the indictment of an F.B.I. informant accused of making up a story that the elder Mr. Biden had taken a $5 million bribe.
  • Mr. Biden had maintained that he was worried that House Republicans would selectively leak portions of his testimony to misrepresent his account and try to harm his father. He made two surprise appearances on Capitol Hill in which he challenged Republicans to question him at a public hearing. But after the contempt threat, Mr. Biden relented.
  • Last week, Republicans interviewed another key Biden family member, the president’s brother James, but that testimony did not produce the bombshell revelations the G.O.P. sought. James Biden told investigators that his older brother was not involved in any of the business deals in which he and Hunter Biden were partners.” [New York Times, 2/28/24]

CBS News: Fate Of Biden Impeachment Inquiry Uncertain As Hunter Biden Testifies Before House Republicans.

  • What’s unclear is the path forward for Republicans after Hunter Biden’s testimony. They have seen him as the linchpin of their impeachment case, the central figure in an alleged massive pay-to-play scandal that has ensnared President Biden’s son and his brother James’ business dealings with Ukrainian and Chinese companies. But without any evidence so far to back up Republicans’ contention that President Biden benefited from those dealings, the impeachment effort is on rocky ground.
  • They also suffered a setback when a key element of the inquiry appeared to collapse days ago. Ex-FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, has been indicted for making false bribery allegations about the Bidens. According to the indictment, he falsely claimed that ‘Public Official 1,’ whose description aligns with President Biden, had received millions from Ukrainian interests. Republicans say they’ll still pursue investigative leads.” [CBS News, 2/28/24]

The Washington Post: House Republicans Won’t Take ‘No Evidence’ For An Answer In Impeachment Inquiry. 

  • ‘To quote Congressman Issa, who was there, it was a big nothing,’ said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the committee. ‘Although I would amend it by saying it was a little nothing. Everything that we learned was what we knew before, which was that President Biden is not involved and has never been involved in his son’s businesses.’ 
  • It seems like we may get another one anyway, promising to offer very little new insight but lots of opportunity for both sides to grandstand. Perhaps this time Democrats spend less time blaming the process on Donald Trump and instead point out the gaping holes in the Republican case. And perhaps Republicans and their allies viewing at home will slowly come to realize that the person willfully spreading false information to members of Congress isn’t Hunter Biden but James Comer.” [Washington Post, 2/28/24]

The Week: Did The Biden Impeachment Inquiry Just Collapse? 

  • “House Republicans had made Smirnov’s bribery story a pillar of their efforts to impeach Biden. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Republican-led House Oversight Committee, said to ABC News that ‘the Smirnov revelations destroy the entire case.’ Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) said Smirnov’s alleged ties to Kremlin spies indicated that, ‘wittingly or unwittingly, House Republicans have been acting as an agent or an asset of Russian intelligence for Vladimir Putin.
  •  The ‘hardcore impeachment heads’ are certainly right about one thing, said Jim Newell at Slate. Republicans won’t be dropping their inquiry any time soon. ‘Even before Smirnov’s tales blew up, this impeachment investigation was already heading toward a bust.’ Comer has admitted Republicans might not hold a vote on impeaching Biden. ‘The case is too — what’s the word? — uncaselike, and the House GOP margins are just too thin.’ So Republicans will ‘just keep their Biden investigations running through the election, because the last thing they’ll ever do is exonerate the president.’” [The Week, 2/26/24]

The New Republic: Fox News Panel Erupts in Chaos Over “Zero Evidence” in Biden.

  • You know Republicans are in troubled waters when even Fox News has abandoned ship. On Tuesday, a Fox host highlighted that Hunter Biden’s closed-door deposition would prove a critical juncture for a monthslong probe that has amounted to, basically, nothing.
  • Even before the president’s son, once the GOP’s most sought-after witness, took the stand on Wednesday morning, House Republicans were already hyping their next witness, special counsel Robert Hur. His invitation—just weeks after Hur issued a damning report on Biden’s health—could prove to add yet another dimension to the seemingly endless impeachment probe.” [The New Republic, 2/28/24]

Raw Story: ‘There’s No Evidence’: Reporter Stuns James Comer After Claim Of Biden Corruption. 

  • “Rep. James Comer (R-KY) clashed with a reporter who was not buying his claim that President Joe Biden was involved in an ‘influence peddling’ scheme… ‘You mentioned AmeriCorps Health,’ Comer observed. ‘Does anyone in here question whether or not that was influence peddling? Does anyone question that?’ ‘I question that because there was no evidence that Joe Biden did anything,’ the reporter replied. ‘He got $200,000 from it,’ Comer argued. ‘Look, you can defend Joe Biden all day long. You can defend Joe Biden. You can be on his legal defense team, Kevin Morris will probably pay your legal bills if you want.’ ‘You’re not answering my question,’ the reporter pointed out… ‘I’m asking you, what specific action did he take as a public official, an elected public official? the reporter pressed. ‘Calm down. It’s okay,’ Comer interrupted.” [Raw Story, 2/28/24]

The Hill: Progressive Group Presses Republicans To Drop Biden Impeachment Inquiry. 

  • “A Democratic-aligned outside group is pressing House Republicans to dismiss their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, with a new ad that will target House GOP members seeking reelection in swing districts. The Congressional Integrity Project (CIP), which launched in 2020, also calls out the Republican conference for impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the basis of ‘zero evidence,’ rejecting the Senate-passed border deal and ‘ignoring’ former President Trump’s ‘crimes.’ ‘MAGA House Republicans continue to find new low after new low,’ the narrator says in the ad. ‘They’ve impeached the secretary of Homeland Security in a partisan political process that was based on zero evidence. None. They continue to try and impeach President Biden on outright lies from convicted felons and Russian assets.” [The Hill, 2/28/24]

The New Republic: You Will Not Believe—We Mean Not Believe—This James Comer Quote. 

  • “House Oversight Chair James Comer is finally laying down his cards. Republicans’ Biden corruption impeachment crusade is over, at least for now. ‘I am ready to try to begin to close this investigation,’ Comer told reporters in the Capitol Wednesday. ‘This has been a very difficult investigation. This administration has been very obstructive. They haven’t been cooperative, [feels] like we are having to battle the Department of Justice and the FBI on a daily basis to get basic information.’ 
  • The numbers are no longer in Republicans’ favor, and the evidence definitely isn’t, either. Finally, Comer is waking up to that reality.” [The New Republic, 2/28/24]

The Independent: Republicans Doubt Prospects Of Biden Impeachment Effort, Report Says. 

  • “House Republicans increasingly believe there is little chance of any impeachment vote resulting from the investigations into Joe Biden, according to reporting by Axios. After a year of looking into the Biden family, little has been revealed regarding the alleged bribery and corruption of which the president, his son Hunter Biden, and his brother Jim Biden, have been accused. ‘I don’t see it going anywhere substantive,’ said one House Republican, adding that there ‘aren’t close to enough’ GOP votes to impeach the president. [The Independent, 2/26/24]

Robin Abcarian, LA Times (Opinion): MAGA Republicans Pushing To Impeach Biden Don’t Seem To Notice The Egg On Their Faces. 

  • “Now we know what a real Russia hoax looks like: very much like House Republicans’ stumbling effort to impeach President Biden.
  • Republicans thought they had a smoking gun, a claim by a longtime, reliable FBI informant that Biden and his son Hunter had secretly accepted millions of dollars from the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. Unfortunately for Planet MAGA — including House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky, impeachment resolution author Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and the entire lineup of Fox News hosts, who have been frothing at the mouth over this story — it was allegedly all a lie. The smoking gun is turning out to be an exploding cigar. And the informant? Not so reliable after all.” [LA Times (Opinion), 2/25/24]

Steve Benen, MSNBC (Opinion) Looking For Anti-Biden Dirt, Republicans Turn To Convicted Felon

  • “In other words, broadly speaking, the Republicans who are desperate to impeach Biden — without a shred of evidence of wrongdoing — have turned to two groups of witnesses. One group is filled with people who told them the president didn’t do anything wrong. The other group is filled with suspected or convicted criminals with credibility problems. The editorial board of The Washington Post published a piece last week with a message for Comer and Jordan: ‘Giving up is the right answer…Congress’s attempt to punish President Biden for Hunter Biden’s poor decisions was always weak. Now, it has utterly collapsed.’ A week later, it’s a message that continues to resonate.” [MSNBC (Opinion), 2/27/24]

The Independent: Notorious Crime Family Member Pours Cold Water On Republicans’ Impeachment Probe Into Biden.

  • A convicted felon and notorious fraudster interviewed by House investigators as part of the Republican-led impeachment probe into President Joe Biden has become the latest in a growing string of witnesses to pour cold water on claims of corruption.
  • Specifically, the source said that Galanis said under oath that Mr Biden never held any role with any business entity connected to his son. He also told investigators that he had ‘no knowledge’ of Mr Biden undertaking ‘any official action’ to benefit the business venture in which Galanis, Archer and Hunter Biden were involved. The source also said Galanis admitted to investigators that Mr Biden’s name was nowhere to be found in any of the documents he and his lawyer, former Trump White House official Mark Paoletta, provided to the House committees.” [The Independent, 2/27/24]

HuffPost: Rep. James Comer Pivots On Key Biden Impeachment Witness Charged With Lying. 

  • If you think having your key informant arrested by the FBI and accused of lying to them might hinder your criminal case against the president, then you’re obviously not Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.)… Still, the Republican claimed on Fox Business on Tuesday that the arrest is ‘very suspicious,’ and added that ‘the trust level that I have with the FBI is zero.’… Comer also used Tuesday’s Fox Business appearance to change his story about Smirnov’s importance to his investigation.” [Huff Post, 2/27/24]

The New Republic: Frantic James Comer Scrambles to Rewrite Story on Indicted Witness. 

  • House Oversight Chair James Comer is frantically attempting to salvage his witness in the impeachment probe against President Joe Biden—even if that means undermining national intelligence agencies. On Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican used a Fox Business interview to insist that Alexander Smirnov, whose self-admitted lies served as the only foundation for claims that Biden pocketed millions from a Ukrainian oligarch, was still credible, and that it was in fact the FBI that was ‘suspicious.’ 
  • Comer also used the interview to introduce a man that he framed as Smirnov’s replacement in the impeachment inquiry: convicted felon and current federal prison inmate Jason Galanis, two degrees removed from Hunter Biden by way of the junior Biden’s former business partner and fellow convicted inmate Devon Archer. On Monday, Galanis was reported to have also thrown cold water on the committee’s baseless claims, pledging under oath that Biden never held any role with any business entity in connection to his son.” [The New Republic, 2/27/24]

The Daily Beast: Tim Burchett Flails During Boris Sanchez’s Brutal Fact Check on Biden Impeachment.

  • “Accusing Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) of peddling dishonest ‘talking points,’ CNN anchor Boris Sanchez repeatedly fact-checked the MAGA lawmaker’s ‘false’ claims about President Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s foreign business dealings on Wednesday.
  • With the House’s impeachment inquiry losing steam after the GOP’s star witness was charged with lying to the FBI about the president accepting millions of dollars in bribes from Ukrainian oligarchs, Hunter Biden appeared for a closed-door congressional deposition on Wednesday. In his opening remarks, which were released to the press, the presidential scion came out swinging.
  • After Sanchez reiterated that the Oversight Committee has shown ‘zero evidence’ that the president ‘abused his power’ while vice president or ‘enriched his family members,’ Burchett went right back to mentioning shell companies. ‘There’s $20 million that flowed through. You saw these accounts,’ Burchett exclaimed. ‘That’s incorrect,’ Sanchez retorted. ‘I looked at the bank records. They don’t say that Joe Biden got any money. Have you read the bank records? I’m not going to let you say things that are untrue, sir!’[The Daily Beast, 2/28/24]

MSNBC: Why The GOP Ignored Warnings About Their Key Anti-Biden Witness. 

  • “The House Republicans’ crusade to impeach President Joe Biden has suffered a series of debacles, though the most recent one is arguably the most brutal. Eleven days ago, the GOP’s star witness — the man at the heart of the party’s case — was arrested for lying to the FBI about the Bidens… 
  • Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado told CNN last week that House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan were warned in advance to be skeptical of Smirnov’s claims, but they ran with the nonsense anyway. It led CNN’s Kaitlin Collins to ask Buck, ‘So, James Comer and Jim Jordan, they knew that this was not corroborated information, yet they still went public with it, talked about it, on television, used it to fuel these investigations, regardless?’” [MSNBC, 2/26/24]

The New Republic: Matt Gaetz Admits Republicans May Have Exaggerated on Biden Impeachment. 

  • Even Florida Representative Matt Gaetz seems to be growing tired of the impeachment probe into President Joe Biden, admitting on Thursday that the inquiry’s strongest line against Biden was overhyped. ‘A few of those characterizations might have been a little oversauced,’ Gaetz said on CNN.
  • ‘When you’ve heard me speak about issues important to me, I haven’t led with impeachment,’ Gaetz started, before Phillips interrupted to ask if House Republicans should drop the impeachment probe.
  • Gaetz’s Republican colleagues are still scrambling to revive the probe. On Wednesday, Jordan insisted to reporters that Smirnov’s indictment ‘doesn’t change the fundamental facts,’ even though those ‘facts’ were lies fed by the Russian government.” [The New Republic, 2/23/24]