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White House counsel to Johnson: Time to move on from impeachment

The White House on Friday urged Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to wrap up impeachment efforts against President Biden, arguing House Republicans’ months-long effort to uncover wrongdoing by the president has come up empty.

“I write to you today because it is clear the House Republican impeachment is over,” White House counsel Ed Siskel wrote in the letter to Johnson, which was also shared with the top lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

In his first-ever letter to the Speaker, Siskel laid out a dozen instances where witnesses interviewed by lawmakers have refuted allegations that the president profited from his family members’ business ventures.

Siskel highlighted testimony from the president’s son, Hunter Biden, his brother, James Biden, and multiple former business associates of Hunter Biden who each said the president was not involved in their business dealings.

The letter also noted two expert witnesses at the House GOP’s first impeachment hearing, Jonathan Turley and Bruce Dubinsky, who both indicated there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing to support articles of impeachment. 

“It is obviously time to move on, Mr. Speaker. This impeachment is over. There is too much important work to be done for the American people to continue wasting time on this charade,” Siskel wrote.

House lawmakers voted along party lines last December to formalize its impeachment inquiry into Biden. The inquiry included examinations of business ventures of Biden family members, scrutiny of a Justice Department probe of Hunter Biden and claims that President Biden, during his time as vice president, took actions in Ukraine to benefit his son’s business.

But the impeachment inquiry has hit serious snags, including the arrest of the former FBI informant who alleged President Biden accepted a bribe on charges related to lying about the matter to the agency.

And a recent deposition of Hunter Biden sparked consistent testimony from the president’s son, who denied that his father never had any involvement or insight into his business ventures, including those overseas.

“The Majority cannot identify any policy or governing decisions that were supposedly improperly influenced. Chairman [James] Comer (R-Ky.) could not provide any when asked—nor could at least two other Republican Oversight Committee members,” Siskel wrote.

“Instead, the investigation has continually turned up evidence that, in fact, the President did nothing wrong.” 

Biden has denied involvement in his son’s business matters, and he and other White House officials have ripped the impeachment inquiry as a political stunt ahead of November’s general election.

The letter to Johnson comes after he was noncommittal Thursday when asked during the House GOP retreat in West Virginia if he sees a path to holding a vote to impeach Biden this Congress.

“The impeachment inquiry and the investigation that accompanies that will continue. There is still bits of information that have been requested that have not yet been turned over, and our committees will continue to do that work. And they will process all of that and make those decisions as they come forward,” he said during a press conference.

The landscape for any potential GOP vote is also not looking any more likely with the party’s razor-thin margins.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) recently won back his old seat after the expulsion of former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), an impeach critic, will soon retire, leaving a vacancy.

“I’m actually helping [the GOP] in some ways because I’m not gonna vote against more impeachments,” Buck said Tuesday after announcing his retirement.

And numerous GOP lawmakers have recently expressed their own skepticism of the probe, with Siskel pointing to various articles where Republicans, at times anonymously, trashed the investigation.

Comer recently suggested another alternative outcome for the inquiry: referrals to the Justice Department.

“At the end of the day, what does accountability look like? It looks like criminal referrals. It looks like referring people to the Department of Justice,” Comer said during a recent interview on Fox News.

Source: The Hill

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