The White House sent a letter to leading U.S. news executives Wednesday, urging them to ramp up their scrutiny of House Republicans after Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The White House claims no evidence of a crime has been found.
“It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,” wrote a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, Ian Sams, in a letter, which CNN first obtained.
The letter said it was an impeachment inquiry with no supporting evidence and should “set off alarm bells for news organizations” and was sent to executives that helm the nation’s most prominent news organizations, including Fox News, CNN, the Associated Press, The New York Times, CBS News, along with others, an official with the White House familiar with the matter said.
The correspondence comes a day after Speaker McCarthy announced that he had directed three House committees to start the impeachment inquiry into the president. House GOP members have long sought to prove through investigations that Biden is a corrupt politician who has engaged in sinister, potentially criminal activities. The probes have led to the newly announced impeachment inquiry.
According to the White House, news organizations have not robustly called out mis- or disinformation they say Republicans have peddled in their coverage. To the frustration of the White House, they believe the news media should be doing more to dispel the ‘lies’ saturating public discourse.
WH letter asked news organizations to be ‘clear-eyed’ in their coverage of the impeachment
In the Wednesday letter, the White House asked news organizations to be clear-eyed in their coverage of the impeachment inquiry and not fall prey to the ‘traps’ of false equivalency in reporting.
“Covering impeachment as a process story — Republicans say X, but the White House says Y — is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable,” wrote Sams.
“And in the modern media environment, where every day liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere on Facebook to Fox, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only to serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth,” added Sams.
Speaker McCarthy launched the impeachment inquiry Tuesday without holding a formal vote in the House in a bid to appease more far-right Republicans, including those who threatened to oust the California Republican from his speakership if he didn’t move quicker on such an investigation.
According to the administration, the GOP House-led investigations into Biden have not provided direct evidence that the president has benefitted financially from Hunter Biden’s career overseas.