Debunking The GOP's Biden Impeachment Lies
House Republicans authorized an impeachment inquiry into Biden that their own Republican colleagues admit is baseless. Here are some of the lies driving this corrupt effort and why they're doing it.
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Every single House Republican just voted to officially authorize their impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
This impeachment inquiry is without merit, basis, or legitimacy. It is an inquiry in search of a reason to exist. Usually, evidence of wrongdoing is found, and a probe is triggered. In this case, the purpose is the probe itself, regardless of the total lack of evidence.
Ahead of this vote, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) accurately depicted this reality:
“We are in a remarkable juncture for the US House of Representatives because this is an impeachment inquiry where no one has been able to define what criminal or constitutional offense they're looking for. We don’t what the crime is... This is more like a 'what is it?' not a 'who done it?'"
There is no concrete evidence that President Joe Biden, in any way, shape, or form, was involved in Hunter Biden’s business dealings or, in any way, used his political influence to benefit Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
That’s not my opinion. That’s what some Republicans leading the investigations have openly admitted, including their own witnesses from their first impeachment hearing in September, which Republican insiders privately admitted was an “unmitigated disaster.” I covered that hearing in an article with The Independent:
Georgetown Law Professor Jonathan Turley, a Republican favourite witness, told lawmakers, "I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment," but he made a caveat to say that he believes an inquiry is justified. Turley’s written statement was even more explicit, though: "I do not believe that the evidence currently meets the standard of a high crime and misdemeanor needed for an article of impeachment."
Another Republican-called witness also undermined the GOP’s claims. Bruce Dubinsky, a forensic accountant, told the committee that there is no evidence connecting Joe Biden to illicit activities. House Democrats’ witness, Professor Michael Gerhardt, said that there is no evidence to justify this impeachment inquiry, period. Gerhardt used an analogy to describe this inquiry, stating that it’s as if Hunter Biden was pulled over for speeding in a car owned by Joe Biden, and they want to give Joe Biden the speeding ticket.
Even fellow Republican lawmakers openly admit their evidence is nonexistent. Earlier today, CNN reporter Manu Raju asked Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has been leading the Senate’s Hunter Biden probe for four years, if he believes President Biden was financially involved in any way with Hunter Biden’s business. Grassley confirmed he does not:
“I have no evidence of it, and I’m going to just follow the facts where they are, and the facts haven’t taken me to that point where I can say that the president is guilty of anything.”
The Biden Campaign posted a long thread quoting Republicans who admit there is no evidence.
Even Fox News reporter Peter Doocy acknowledged this lack of evidence on air last week:
"The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter's overseas business..."
Since their first hearing in September, Republicans have proclaimed they have new “evidence,” but yet again, the claims are dubious and do not connect the president to any wrongdoing.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who has been leading the charge on this inquiry, has made multiple embarrassing appearances on news networks where he hasn’t been able to provide a shred of evidence tying President Biden to Hunter’s business dealings.
Even though the lack of evidence is pretty clear, I felt it was important to debunk some of the key claims House Republicans are making in their impeachment inquiry.
Fact-Checking Republicans’ Biden Impeachment Claims
The Burisma Conspiracy Theory
The Claim: “The impeachable offense is — I think, the key thing is in Burisma,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said. Yes, you read that right. Republicans are recycling the same unsubstantiated and debunked conspiracy theory they smeared Joe Biden with during the Donald Trump impeachment trial of 2020.
The core false claim is that when then-Vice President Joe Biden conditioned $1 billion in aid to Ukraine on the ousting of then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, he was doing so to protect Burisma (a company Hunter Biden was on the Board of) from being investigated. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Truth: While Vice President Biden did condition aid to Ukraine on Shokin’s ousting in 2016, he was working to combat corruption in Ukraine, not to protect Burisma. Biden called for the removal of then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin because he wasn’t investigating corruption. This push to oust Shokin was also part of a broad multilateral campaign alongside America’s European allies to oppose corruption. Shokin wasn’t even investigating Burisma at the time.
This lie has been debunked so many times, and yet, the GOP repeats it over and over again. That’s how disinformation works.
The False Claims Of Biden’s Connection To Hunter’s Dealings
The claim: House Republicans have made broad false claims of President Biden profiting from Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. They then seek to use this allegation as evidence of an “influence-peddling” operation. They’ve lasered in on a few payments they falsely claim bolster their case.
There are some payments from Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, that have received heightened focus. Rep. Comer has tried to claim a 2018 $200,000 check from James Biden to Joe Biden was part of an influence-peddling scheme and showed Biden’s connections to his family’s businesses.
Another payment getting attention is a $40,000 payment James Biden sent to Joe Biden in 2017. Rep. Comer falsely claims that payment was laundered money from China.
There are also some direct $1,380 payments between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, which they also claim showcase ties to Hunter’s dealings.
The problem for Republicans is that the facts indicate otherwise.
The truth: Bank records, which Rep. Comer’s Committee has in its possession and CNN analyzed, appear to show that the $200,000 was simply a personal loan repayment from James Biden to his brother Joe Biden, who loaned him that exact amount of money a couple of months earlier. Also, what influence could Joe Biden have peddled? The transaction happened in 2018, when Joe Biden was out of office and hadn’t begun running for president yet.
The $40,000 payment has been proven to be, you guessed it, yet another loan repayment between family members. This is according to bank records that CNN and The Messenger reviewed.
When it comes to the $1,380 payments, it has been revealed that those payments were for a car that President Biden helped his son purchase.
Why Are Republicans Doing This?
Republicans claim that the purpose of the impeachment inquiry is to find evidence that ties President Biden to Hunter Biden’s business dealings. They claim officially authorizing the inquiry gives them the legal firepower to uncover the evidence they need. But in reality, the motivation is more sinister.
Perhaps we should listen to Republican Rep. Troy Nehls (TX), who was asked today what he hopes to gain from an impeachment inquiry. His response:
“All I can say is Donald J. Trump 2024, baby.”
This baseless impeachment inquiry is an obvious effort to damage President Biden ahead of the 2024 election. It’s an exercise in both sideism and false equivalency. If Republicans can project an aura of corruption onto President Biden, they believe they can lessen the impact of Donald Trump’s 91 criminal charges. This is a classic authoritarian tactic.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, articulated this well in Tuesday’s hearing on this impeachment inquiry:
“They want to help normalize Donald Trump's corruption and criminality. They want to convince people that everyone does it, so it doesn't matter. Well, guess what? Everyone doesn't do it, and it does matter. There is no comparison...”
It’s unclear whether any articles of impeachment will result from this inquiry. There are quite a few Republicans who are running for re-election in districts President Biden won in 2020. It would be a tough vote for them to take.
But for House Republicans, the inquiry itself is the point. Just as Donald Trump tried to extort Ukraine to announce an investigation of Candidate Biden in 2019, House Republicans are opening a baseless impeachment inquiry into President Biden to cast a shroud of corruption they can exploit to deflect from Trump’s criminality. It’s the exact same con.
Hopefully, Americans won’t fall for it.