With Impeachment DOA, Republicans Send Criminal Referrals to DOJ on Hunter and James Biden

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

With its impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden all but dead in the water, House Republicans announced on Wednesday that they’d sent criminal referrals to the Justice Department recommending Hunter and James Biden be charged with lying to Congress.

The referrals were made by the GOP chairman of the House Committees on Ways and Means, Judiciary, and Oversight and Accountability, who had been leading the impeachment probe that has yet to turn up any wrongdoing on the president’s part. According to the press release from the three chairmen, they are accusing the president’s son and brother of “making false statements to Congress about key aspects of the impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden.”

Additionally, while the three committees have yet to prove the president benefitted from his family’s foreign business dealings or received bribes to shape American policy, the chairmen suggested that the alleged lies told by the Bidens to Congress were done to derail a possible impeachment.

“These false statements implicate Joe Biden’s knowledge of and role in his family’s influence peddling schemes and appear to be a calculated effort to shield Joe Biden from the impeachment inquiry,” the statement said.

“Our investigation has revealed President Biden knew about, participated in, and benefitted from his family cashing in on the Biden name around the world,” Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) declared. “Despite this record of evidence, President Biden continues to lie to the American people about his involvement in these influence peddling schemes. It appears making false statements runs in the Biden family. We’ve caught President Biden’s son and brother making blatant lies to Congress in what appears to be a concerted effort to hide Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s schemes.”

Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) added that Hunter and James Biden “lied to coverup President Biden’s involvement in their family’s international influence peddling schemes that have generated millions of dollars,” claiming the referrals “are a reflection of criminal wrongdoing by the Biden family.”

According to the committees’ summary of the false statements allegedly made by the Bidens, Hunter Biden is accused of lying about holding a position with Rosemont Seneca Bohai. Rosemont Seneca Bohai did business with foreign entities that Republicans allege met with then-Vice President Joe Biden. Hunter Biden’s lawyer has previously said that while the president’s son was co-founder and CEO of the investment firm Rosemont Seneca Advisors, he had no interest in a company with a similar name.

Hunter Biden is also accused of “an entirely fictitious account about threatening text messages he sent to his Chinese business partner while invoking his father’s presence with him,” referencing the infamous 2017 “sitting here with my father” WhatsApp message. Hunter Biden told lawmakers that his father was not with him at the time of the message, that he sent the message to the wrong person, and suggested his drug addiction at the time played a role in it.

“Addiction is not an excuse, but I can tell you this: I am more embarrassed of this text message, if it actually did come from me, than any text message I've ever sent,” he said during the deposition. “The fact of the matter is, is that there’s no other text message that you have in which I say anything remotely to this. And I was out of my mind.”

James Biden, meanwhile, is alleged to have lied when he told Congress that the president did not meet with Tony Bobulinski, a one-time business associate of Hunter Biden’s. The referral states that James Biden’s testimony is contradicted not just by Bobulinski, but by Hunter Biden as well.

Speaking to Fox News shortly after the referrals were announced, Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) said “we hope the Department of Justice will treat James Biden and Hunter Biden the same way they would treat any other American,” adding that when you lie to Congress, “that is a felony.”

The referrals come a week after former President Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his hush money payments to a porn star just before the 2016 election. Since then, Republicans and MAGA provocateurs have pushed for payback against Democrats and the Bidens as “retribution” over the prosecution of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. (Meanwhile, Hunter Biden is currently sitting in a Delaware courtroom facing federal felony charges of lying on a gun application.)

“Is every House committee controlled by Republicans using its subpoena power in every way it needs to right now?” Trump adviser Stephen Miller exclaimed. “Is every Republican D.A. starting every investigation they need to right now?”

Meanwhile, Trump acolytes have grown increasingly frustrated over the stalled impeachment probe, taking aim at Jordan and Comer for failing to deliver on their promises and launching “congressional investigations that go nowhere.” So the referrals, which will almost certainly not be taken up by the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, could also be seen as one final bone thrown to MAGA media when it comes to impeachment.

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