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Comer urges President Biden to testify in impeachment inquiry

House Republicans are pressing President Biden to testify before the Oversight Committee as part of their impeachment inquiry, raising disputed claims and requesting the president sit for questions about his family’s business dealings.

“I invite you to participate in a public hearing at which you will be afforded the opportunity to explain, under oath, your involvement with your family’s sources of income and the means it has used to generate it,” House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote.

The letter asks President Biden to appear on April 16.

It’s an extraordinary ask of a president, who typically only appears before Congress once a year to provide the State of the Union address.

The request also comes as House Republicans continue to struggle with closing their impeachment probe into Biden in the face of doubts from within their own party about whether investigators have found any wrongdoing.

Comer has suggested in recent weeks he may seek to draft a criminal referral to the Justice Department rather than pursue an impeachment vote in the House, which would require identifying high crimes and misdemeanors.

The White House scoffed at the idea last week when Comer, during a hearing at which the president’s son declined to appear, suggested he would extend an invitation to the president.

Officials pointed to numerous depositions that have cut against the testimony highlighted by the GOP.

“Comer knows 20+ witnesses have testified that POTUS did nothing wrong. He knows that the hundreds of thousands of pages of records he’s received have refuted his false allegations. This is a sad stunt at the end of a dead impeachment,” Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, wrote on social media.

“Call it a day, pal.”

The letter seeks to directly connect President Biden with his family’s business endeavors and relies on numerous dubious claims in doing so.

Then-Vice President Biden, with the backing of the international community, pushed to topple a Ukrainian prosecutor who had failed to tackle corruption, refusing to turn over U.S. aid without his ouster.

Republicans say the White House has refused to provide documentation showing this was the U.S. foreign policy stance at the time. But those documents and State Department correspondence were handed over during an earlier Senate investigation and have been reviewed by The Hill.

Comer’s letter also falsely asserts the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden sat on the board.

Shokin’s deputy said that an investigation into the company had gone dormant before then-Vice President Biden’s intervention, undercutting the idea that Shokin’s firing would help Burisma and Hunter Biden.

Still, the letter shows the topic remains a line of inquiry for Republicans, even after the Justice Department’s bombshell indictment of a former FBI informant on charges related to lying to the agency in asserting President Biden took a bribe in connection with his work.

The letter also says Republicans wish to better understand an alleged “$24 million that has flowed from foreign sources to you, your family, and their business associates. The Committee has identified no legitimate services to merit such lucrative payments.”

A Washington Post fact check found only a fraction of those funds went to Hunter Biden, about $7 million, and a few relatives. None went to his father.

The bulk of the money, they determined, went to the business associates, and not the Biden family.

The letter also again asks President Biden about loans he made to his brother and asks him to “provide evidence of the underlying loans.”

But bank records on file with the committee and reviewed by The Hill show checks from President Biden’s account written to his brother, which were then repaid with the same amount.

The letter otherwise focuses on President Biden’s contacts with associates of Hunter Biden, noting meetings with one Chinese associate as well as pointing to the practice of his son Hunter Biden to answer his father’s calls on speakerphone.

“The GOP couldn’t find an impeachable offense, the evidence has been comically distorted and twisted, and now even right-wing media is calling out all the acrobatic contortions and comic evasions,” House Oversight Democrats said in a statement.

“The GOP impeachment inquiry has been a circus. Time to fold up the tent.”

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