Democrats press GOP for evidence as they move forward with impeachment inquiry

Democrats are putting pressure on Republicans to reveal the criminal conduct that forms the basis of their investigation into President Biden. This comes as Republicans have expressed growing doubts about the future of their impeachment inquiry.

The Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday proceeded without any fireworks, which is quite unusual for a panel that is known for delivering some of Congress’s most eyebrow-raising moments. Interestingly, Hunter Biden chose not to participate in the hearing.

Republicans intentionally left an empty seat and placard on the table for Hunter Biden during the hearing. However, despite the hearing’s purpose of reviewing his business dealings and their connection to his father, the president’s son managed to avoid significant attention.

During the hearing, House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) emphasized that the focus should not be on Hunter Biden. Instead, he made it clear that the investigation aimed to shed light on Joe Biden and the falsehoods he has been perpetuating to the American people.

However, two witnesses invited by the GOP did not present any new claims during the hearing. On the other hand, Lev Parnas, a former operative for Rudy Giuliani who was invited by the Democrats, testified that he had found no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and even recanted his previous work.

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The Democratic Party swiftly highlighted the comments made by an increasing number of skeptical Republicans regarding the investigation, urging the GOP to specify the exact high crime or misdemeanor that forms the basis of their impeachment inquiry.

The GOP impeachment inquiry had its first hearing since the arrest of an FBI informant who was charged with lying to the agency. The informant had fabricated claims that President Biden accepted a bribe while he was vice president in order to benefit the Ukrainian energy company where his son served on the board.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) questioned the rationale behind the ongoing impeachment inquiry despite the lack of valid charges. She emphasized that the focus should be on why the inquiry is proceeding rather than the flawed basis it rests upon.

During the chairman’s opening, there was no specific allegation made against the president of the United States. Instead, the focus was on the “Biden family” and various other topics. The committee failed to present a clear and specific allegation. This lack of clarity is a significant issue. The real story here is when the committee became aware that they were using falsified evidence. That is the story that needs to be addressed.

Hunter Biden chose not to attend the hearing, even though he had previously expressed a desire to do so. In a letter from his lawyer, he explained that the Republican leaders did not reach out to him in advance to schedule the hearing, and that it was scheduled for the day before he is due in court in California.

Republicans, on the other hand, chose to rely on two witnesses who had limited connections to Hunter Biden or his father.

Tony Bobulinski collaborated with Hunter Biden on a Chinese investment deal that ultimately fell through. Subsequently, he developed connections with allies of former President Trump. As a result, Bobulinski had the opportunity to attend a presidential debate at the invitation of Trump. Currently, he is represented by an attorney who previously assisted White House aides during the Jan. 6 committee, with funding originating from entities linked to the former president.

Jason Galanis, who is currently serving time for fraud charges, claims to have worked with Hunter Biden, but this assertion is contested. Hunter Biden maintains that he only remembers being introduced to Galanis 10 years ago for a brief 30-minute interaction, and that is the extent of their acquaintance.

Democrats have accused Republicans of choosing two witnesses whose testimony has been contradicted by nearly 20 other witnesses.

One of the main reasons why Bobulinski is attracting attention from the GOP is due to his claims about a 2017 email chain. He asserts that the mention of “the big guy” in the email referred to President Biden, who had recently left office. However, it is important to note that this idea was not discussed any further in the email chain.

During the hearing, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) referred to an interview with James Gilliar, a former partner, who explicitly stated that President Biden was not involved in the discussion and had no role in the deal.

“You and James Gilliar were determined to have Joe Biden involved, which is why Hunter Biden distanced himself from you and pursued the business independently,” Goldman explained.

Hunter Biden has called for an investigation into Bobulinski, portraying him as a disgruntled business partner who wasn’t even present at a meeting where payment structures were discussed. He also raised doubts about whether Bobulinski lied to the FBI regarding this matter.

Democrats took action on Wednesday by issuing a subpoena for Bobulinski’s phone records. They acknowledged that the committee only had screenshots from his phone, as the witness explained that the FBI was unable to mirror the data from his old blackberry.

However, the measure was voted down by Republicans, just as they had done in a previous hearing when Democrats attempted to subpoena Giuliani.

Parnas made a rare public appearance recently, marking one of his most notable outings since his release from prison in September. He had been imprisoned for his involvement in fraud and campaign finance crimes.

In a surprising turn of events, a close associate of Giuliani has openly criticized his former boss and other Trump officials, including former Attorney General Bill Barr.

During his investigation into the Bidens, Parnas admitted that he was unable to find any substantial evidence. He went on to accuse Giuliani and others of unjustly tarnishing the Biden family’s reputation without any factual basis.

During my extensive travels around the world and numerous interviews with officials from various countries, I have discovered absolutely no evidence to support the allegations of corruption involving the Bidens in Ukraine. It is important to note that no credible sources have ever presented any proof of criminal wrongdoing. Parnas emphasized the lack of substance to these claims.

Republicans wasted no time in criticizing Democrats for their decision to call Parnas as a witness.

“The Democrats had the opportunity to send anyone to refute the direct evidence supported by bank statements, calendar entries, emails, and text messages. They could have chosen Hunter Biden or even Joe Biden himself. However, instead of selecting someone with credibility, they chose Lev Parnas, who has been charged with numerous crimes and violations of campaign finance laws that could potentially result in a 50-year sentence,” expressed Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

The GOP probe is currently at a crucial point, making this hearing of utmost importance.

Instead of holding a formal vote on their impeachment inquiry, leaders are considering the possibility of making a criminal referral to the Justice Department. This alternative route could present its own challenges and complexities.

An increasing number of Republicans are expressing doubt about the inquiry, raising concerns about its evidentiary foundation and whether it will ultimately reach a vote on the House floor.

Conservative media has become more skeptical in recent times, with a Newsmax anchor expressing doubts to House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). The anchor pointed out that without Democratic support, the proposed initiative would face significant challenges. This situation seems to be a futile endeavor, as it is unlikely to gain any traction.

During the hearing’s conclusion, Comer stood up in defense of the probe.

According to Comer, both Mr. Bobulinski and Mr. Galanis have provided testimony that directly implicates Mr. Biden and his family in influence peddling schemes. These schemes allegedly resulted in over $24 million flowing into the Biden family and their business associates’ pockets.

According to a fact check by The Washington Post, the majority of that money was directed towards other business associates rather than the Biden family.

Comer added that he had never heard the minority state their actions or specify their line of work.

Democrats, on the other hand, took their turn in jesting about the progress made by the GOP.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has compiled a compelling Top 10 list outlining the demise of the GOP impeachment inquiry. To illustrate this, he even created a chart displaying a flatlining heartbeat.

Swalwell confidently declared, “You need to make a decision. Are you going to take action or not? Well, let me be clear. The impeachment process is finished. It’s time to move on. It’s over. Donezo. Goodbye. It’s like the curtain has dropped, the mic has been dropped. Peace. Adios. Sayonara. Do svidaniya. I’m speaking your language.” Swalwell aimed to establish a connection between the Republican Party and Russia.

During the hearing, there was a light-hearted moment when Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) playfully proposed initiating an impeachment vote, teasing that Republicans might be hesitant to take such action.

According to Moskowitz, there is no chance that Joe Biden will be impeached. He firmly believes that there is no evidence to support such claims and considers it all to be a fabricated spectacle.

“If these hearings had been successful, if our efforts over the past 15 months had convinced the American people that Joe Biden had committed a high crime and misdemeanor, we would have seen a vote by now.”

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