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‘Let Voters Decide’ Vs. Impeachment: House GOP’s Biden Probe Hits Rocks Of Uncertainty

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By Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal | March 13, 2024

The future of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden ultimately may be no more than a fact-finding investigation because some House Republicans don’t anticipate charges to result from the probe of Biden family influence peddling.

The GOP’s thin House majority and the timing of a presidential election year when voters can decide whether Biden remains in the White House could be key factors. 

Still, most House Republicans say the impeachment inquiry should continue, amid smoke over the president’s entanglements with his family’s shell companies raking in about $30 million from foreign individuals and entities. 

“I don’t think the majority is there,” Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, which is taking the lead among three committees conducting the inquiry, told The Daily Signal. 

“I think a political decision will be made that the American public collectively, not individually, but collectively, doesn’t want an impeachment and therefore our speaker will not bring it to the floor,” Grothman said of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

Grothman stressed that the House investigation should continue to expose the truth. 

“We keep finding more smoke on the relationship between the president and his son [Hunter Biden],” the Wisconsin Republican said. “The American public deserves to know what’s going on. They keep hiding stuff from us.”

“So, I think we are obligated to keep looking into it and see where this leads us,” he said. “We are not doing our job if we don’t look at this. Particularly when it appears President Biden’s son was getting so much money from China and Ukraine, both countries that are so much in the news today.”

It’s almost a matter of math, noted Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., days before yet another House Republican—Ken Buck of Colorado—announced his pending resignation.  

“We’ve got a two-seat margin in the House of Representatives,” Scott told The Daily Signal, speaking about the likelihood of an impeachment vote. “From the standpoint of getting something across the floor of the House of Representatives, I think it’s very unlikely.” 

Some House Republicans, during a media event last week, said formal articles of impeachment charging Biden are unlikely. But others said it could require a “smoking gun” or enough evidence to make a Democrat-controlled Senate at least take such articles seriously. 

Republicans broadly agree, however, that the investigation of Biden family finances and overseas business deals in countries such as China, Russia, and Ukraine should continue for fact-finding purposes.

At this point, it’s a fact-finding probe that should go on, said Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is one of the three committees leading the probe. Committee investigators interviewed two whistleblowers at the Internal Revenue Service who are familiar with a separate federal probe of Hunter Biden. 

“The whistleblowers from the IRS have been proven right every step of the way,” Smith told The Daily Signal. “So I think it is incumbent on us to generate that information ultimately for the American people to have more information. ….  It’s chilling what we’ve already observed.”

Smith also said it’s no surprise that Democrats want to shut down the House investigation of the president to avoid any criticism of him, even while unanswered questions persist. 

“The underlying question is what did the foreign countries get for that [money paid to Biden family members]? What did they think they would get?” Smith said. 

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., a member of the Judiciary Committee who was in the room for Hunter Biden’s deposition before that committee’s investigators, said the inquiry should continue. But, he said, it requires a high bar.

“My point on the impeachment has always been that you need enough evidence to demonstrate to the U.S. Senate that not only should they take it seriously if an impeachment vote happens in the House, but they also should proceed with the trial and not dismiss it but follow through on that,” Fitzgerald said. 

“That would take a lot of evidence. It would take all the wherewithal that the House would have to demonstrate that. I still think we are on track when it comes to the presidential impeachment,” he said.

Through depositions of the president’s son, the president’s younger brother, James Biden, and their various business partners, the three House committees learned that Joe Biden—while serving as vice president—made appearances and joined conversations via speakerphone to promote family  business ventures.  

The committee chairmen have talked publicly about making criminal referrals to the Justice Department about figures involved in the Biden family’s shell corporations and foreign business entanglements.

The probe was dealt a public relations setback when veteran FBI informant Alexander Smirnov was arrested and charged with lying to the FBI after saying that Biden took a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian energy company executive while vice president.

The president and congressional Democrats have said the impeachment inquiry must be shut down as a result. However, the committees haven’t interviewed or deposed Smirnov in the inquiry, only looked at related information provided by the FBI.  

Rep. Josh Brecheen, R-Okla., has argued that Biden deserves to be impeached and tried solely for his mishandling of the southern border. Brecheen cites Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution, which states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

“Would it get my vote? Yes,” Brecheen told The Daily Signal, referring to impeachment. 

He added: “With the short term of an election in a matter of months, if people would say, ‘Let the voters decide’ vs. an impeachment, I don’t know what the [House Republican] Conference would decide.”

The three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry have exercised due diligence and have been “insightful, not inciteful,” stressed Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich.

“If they find a smoking gun, I wouldn’t count it out. But again, we’ve got legislation to be done. We’ve got appropriations bills to pass,” Bergman told The Daily Signal. “We’ve got all of those things we are supposed to do as the House of Representatives, which, as you know, we are a little bit behind on right now.”

The three House committees should continue their work investigating Biden, Rep. Carlos A. Giménez, R-Fla., said.

“There is a lot of smoke there. I think I’ve seen some fire,” Giménez told The Daily Signal. “I’m very worried about President Biden and his family and their enterprise. It appears to be influence peddling.”

“Millions of dollars are flowing into the Biden family,” he said. “They don’t produce a product. The only product they have is the president of the United States, or then vice president of the United States. What is that product and are you actually monetizing your position either as a senator, or as the vice president, or as president? That’s just wrong.” 

Biden served 36 years representing Delaware in the Senate, then eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, before being elected president in 2020.

Fred Lucas is chief news correspondent and manager of the Investigative Reporting Project for The Daily Signal. He is the author of "The Myth of Voter Suppression: The Left's Assault on Clean Elections."

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