Ocasio-Cortez demands GOP specify actual crimes in Biden impeachment inquiry

Ocasio-Cortez demands GOP specify actual crimes in Biden impeachment inquiry

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) pressured Republicans to name the specific crime they are accusing President Biden of as they proceed with their impeachment inquiry.

Ocasio-Cortez noted the recent arrest of a former FBI informant for lying to the agency, fabricating the claim that Biden accepted a bribe while vice president to take actions to benefit the Ukrainian energy company his son served on the board of.

“At this point, the story isn’t the fact that the basis of this impeachment inquiry is wrong. The story is, ‘Why it is proceeding anyway?’” she asked, saying Republicans have “no charges.”

“I have yet to hear in the chairman’s opening the allegation that they are specifically charging the president of the United States with. I am hearing about the ‘Biden family.’ I am hearing about this and that. I am not hearing the specific allegation by this committee. What is it? It is not here. And that is the problem,” she said.

“The story is, when this committee knew they were working with falsified evidence? That is the story.”

Wednesday’s hearing comes as a number of Republicans have become more openly critical of the probe, expressing doubt about whether it will lead to a formal impeachment trial.

Republicans invited two witnesses Wednesday with little connection to Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

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Tony Bobulinski briefly worked with Hunter Biden, though the deal the two were working on never came to fruition. He later became aligned with allies of former President Trump, attending a presidential debate at his invitation. He is now represented by an attorney who represented numerous Trump White House aides before the Jan. 6 committee.

Jason Galanis, who is incarcerated on fraud charges brought in an indictment alongside Hunter Biden’s former business partner, said he worked with the president’s son, but that is in dispute; Hunter Biden said he only briefly met Galanis several years ago.

Bobulinski, in a heated exchange with Ocasio-Cortez, said he personally witnessed President Biden committing crimes, listing “corruption statues, RICO, and conspiracy, FARA” in referencing racketeering laws and those that govern registering as a foreign agent.

It’s not clear what activity Bobulinski would have witnessed that would qualify as a crime, and he has previously testified he had limited interactions with President Biden shortly after he left office.

He then added that the lawmaker was “obviously not familiar with” RICO.

“RICO is not a crime; it is a category; what is the crime,” Ocasio-Cortez retorted.

Bobulinski grumbled about having to cite an exact statute and noted there are numerous lawyers on the committee.

Federal RICO law, short for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, targets organized criminal activity and can be used to address a number of different crimes.

In addition to the federal law, several states have their own racketeering laws, including Georgia, where officials used the statute to charge former President Trump and other co-defendants in connection with Jan. 6.

Story updated at 8:53 p.m.

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