Many House Republicans say they anticipate an impeachment article of bribery against President Joe Biden after the impeachment inquiry wraps up.
The House voted 221-212 Wednesday to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry into Biden.
Bribery appears to be a potential article of impeachment, based on what the investigation has turned up thus far, said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
“It certainly appears as though the possibility of bribery, a known offense under impeachment, is on the table,” Issa told The Daily Signal Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “Monies did flow to the home of the president, they did flow to accounts of the president when he was vice president, and his actions show that he favored entities that Hunter Biden was representing. Additionally, his repeated false statements about it continue to be an element of the impeachment inquiry.”
Issa noted that many of the suspicious actions by Joe Biden occurred while he was vice president. Past presidential impeachments occurred regarding presidential misconduct.
“One of the challenges we’re facing is that it’s not been tested,” Issa said.
Democrats opposed the impeachment investigation and have insisted there isn’t evidence to show that the president was involved with his son’s business.
“Some of the people that say they don’t see evidence, I think they are going to come around,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told The Daily Signal. “We are talking very specifically bribery. You can look at Ukraine. That looks obvious. You can look at China. Obvious. You could look at Moscow, funds that changed hands from Russia. Yes, those are all obvious bribery. Those would be an impeachable offense.”
Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., first hesitated to get ahead of the inquiry by suggesting potential articles. But she said that “bribery is an obvious one.”
“We need to use the words that are actually in the Constitution and bribery is clearly one of them,” Hageman told The Daily Signal in an interview Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “Hunter Biden had no skill set to sell. He had no expertise in Ukrainian oil and gas development and operations. He had no expertise on Chinese Communist Party issues. He had one asset and his asset that he could sell was access to his father.”
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says that grounds for impeaching a civil officer are “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
President Joe Biden has repeatedly denied being involved with his son’s business deals. Hunter Biden told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday that his father had “no financial involvement” in his businesses. After the vote, the White House issued a statement from Biden calling the inquiry a baseless stunt.
“I wake up every day focused on the issues facing the American people – real issues that impact their lives, and the strength and security of our country and the world,” Biden said in the statement. “Unfortunately, House Republicans are not joining me. Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies. Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts.”
In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released an FBI form that showed a confidential informant reported that executives with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, paid a $5 million bribe to then-Vice President Biden in 2016 to help scuttle a Ukrainian government investigation of the company. President Joe Biden told the New York Post about the allegation, “It’s a bunch of malarkey,”
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has released evidence showing that payments from one of Hunter Biden’s business went directly to Joe Biden. Before that, the House released information showing that the president’s brother James Biden made “loan repayments” of at least $240,000 linked to his brother’s business. The payments came before Joe Biden was elected president.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement to The Hill that the payments from Hunter Biden were for a truck, “The truth is Hunter’s father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck. When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself.” Meanwhile, the White House has dismissed the payments from James Biden as just a loan repayment between brothers.
Several House Republican members who spoke to The Daily Signal and other news outlets declined to speculate on any specific impeachment articles before the inquiry is complete.
Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said there could be several other potential offenses to investigate.
“One, I think that it’s very evident from the documents that I’ve seen that this was at a minimum, a money laundering scheme,” Palmer told The Daily Signal. “It’s tax evasion. I think there’s potential that influence peddling was taking place. I think that going into an impeachment inquiry is the next step, the proper step, because I’m a firm believer in due process, and unlike what happened with President [Donald] Trump where it was all political and based on made up evidence, this has been fully documented.”
This story was updated to include the House vote tally to authorize the impeachment inquiry and to include a statement from President Joe Biden in response to the vote.
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