The House’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden is now investigating whether he engaged in “a conspiracy to obstruct,” sending a letter to White House counsel looking for documents on Biden’s coordination with his son, Hunter Biden, defying a subpoena from Congress.
“In light of an official statement from the White House that President Biden was aware in advance that his son, Hunter Biden, would knowingly defy two congressional subpoenas, we are compelled to examine as part of our impeachment inquiry whether the President engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct a proceeding of Congress,” the letter to Edward Siskel, White House Counsel read.
Kentucky Republican House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer and Republican House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio sent the letter to investigate if President Biden sought to obstruct or influence the committee’s proceedings by discouraging, preventing, or dissuading his son, Hunter Biden, from complying with subpoenas for a deposition as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry.
The letter seeks access to all communications and documents received or sent regarding Hunter Biden’s compliance with the subpoena and his news conference announcing he would defy it.
“On December 13, Mr. Biden did not appear for the deposition as required by the Committees’ subpoenas,” says the letter. “Instead, Mr. Biden appeared on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol with his attorney and Representative Eric Swalwell. Mr. Biden gave a lengthy public statement to an assembly of reporters in which he made several statements that are relevant to the House’s impeachment inquiry, including representations about his business activities, assertions about President Biden’s awareness and ‘financial’ involvement in these activities, and attacks on the committees’ inquiry.”
WH Press Secretary — President Biden was aware of Hunter’s defiance of subpoena
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged President Biden’s involvement, saying the president was “certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”
“Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement suggests that the president had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two congressional subpoenas,” continued the letter. “Under the relevant section of the criminal code, it is unlawful to ‘corruptly…endeavor to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any investigation or inquiry is being had by…any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress.'”
“Likewise, any person who ‘aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures’ the commission of a crime is punishable as a principal of the crime,” the letter continued.
The impeachment inquiry by the House, led by the Oversight, Judiciary, and House Ways & Means committees, is investigating possible benefits to the president from Hunter Biden’s foreign influence selling schemes, Comer contends.
“The committees have accumulated substantial evidence that Hunter Biden’s business endeavors have improperly included his father, and the president has made false claims about his knowledge and involvement in these schemes,” read Wednesday’s letter. “In fact, just days before Mr. Biden was scheduled to appear for his deposition, the president claimed he had not interacted with any of his son’s business partners. This is false. The president has met with, spoken to, and received money sourced from his son’s foreign business partners.”
The most recent “conspiracy to obstruct” According to the investigators, the Congressional investigation could ultimately rise to an impeachable offense.
“In light of this evidence, the fact that the president had advanced awareness that Mr. Biden would defy the committees’ subpoenas raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the committees’ proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the committees’ subpoenas,” concluded the letter. “Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense.”
The White House counsel was given a deadline of January 10 to pass communications and documents to the committees.
Although it is unlikely the Justice Department would act on any recommendation voted on by the House on obstruction of Congress for Hunter Biden, the impeachment inquiry of the House can take steps to remove the president. The Senate, which Democrats hold, would have the last word.