US: Biden impeachment inquiry hearing begins
House Republicans have launched a formal impeachment hearing against President Joe Biden. Day one of the hearing served as a review of evidence that Republicans have gathered so far
House Republicans began the first hearing of their impeachment probe into US President Joe Biden on Thursday, 28 September.
The US House of Representatives Oversight Committee used the opening hearing to review the evidence gathered thus far.
Focus of inquiry
The inquiry will focus on the foreign business activities of Biden's son Hunter Biden and whether he benefited from his son's dealings, among other issues.
"The American people demand accountability for this culture of corruption," House Oversight Committee chair James Comer said and alleged that Biden lied about family members' business dealings and had not separated from his official duties.
The White House has denied any wrongdoing on behalf of the president and contends that the probe is politically motivated.
Democrats say there is no evidence Biden received any payments or engaged in any improper behavior during his tenure as vice president between 2009 and 2017.
"If Republicans had a smoking gun or even a dripping water pistol they would be presenting it today. But they've got nothing," said Jamie Raskin, the Oversight and Accountability Committee's top Democrat.
Republican-called witness Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, said that while he believed the House had passed the threshold for an inquiry, the current evidence was not enough for charges to be brought.
"I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment," Turley said.
Democrats at the hearing displayed counting down the minutes left until a US government shutdown as lawmakers fail to fund the government before a Saturday deadline.
"We're 62 hours away from shutting down the government of the United States of America and Republicans are launching an impeachment drive, based on a long debunked and discredited lie," said Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight panel.
Raskin also questioned why the House has not voted to formally launch the impeachment inquiry.
Hunter Biden investigation
Republican have alleged that the Justice Department interfered with a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden.
Former Justice Department official Eileen O'Connor, who is a witness, said she believed the department had played down a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden who is accused of lying about his drug use when he purchased a handgun.
President Biden meanwhile is campaigning for a second term in office in a contest that could pit him against former president Donald Trump, who is facing criminal trials on various charges, from attempting to overturn his election defeat to handling classified documents after leaving office.
Published: 29 Sep 2023, 8:54 AM