White House responds to Comer saying Biden’s home listed as ‘beneficiary address’ for Hunter payment

Witnesses at the hearing include United States Department of Justice Tax Division Eileen O'Connor, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley and former Assistant Attorney General and forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky.

Published: September 28, 2023 9:44am

Updated: September 29, 2023 1:22pm

The first impeachment inquiry hearing of President Joe Biden is underway on Thursday in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

During the hearing, committee Chairman James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, said Biden "abused" his public office for his "family's financial gain."

Comer said for years Biden has "lied" to the American people about not speaking to his family about foreign business dealings.

Comer also said his committee uncovered wires showing a Chinese national paid $250,000 to his son Hunter. He added that Biden family members have received millions from a Chinese company.

"What were the Bidens selling to make all this money? Joe Biden himself," Comer said. "Joe Biden is the brand."

He noted that there was a payment record from Chinese nationals to Hunter from 2019 that listed his father’s home address in Delaware as the beneficiary address.

White House spokesman Ian Sams wrote on X in response to Comer’s statements about the beneficiary address on Wednesday.

“Imagine them arguing that, if someone stayed at their parents' house during the pandemic, listed it as their permanent address for work, and got a paycheck, the parents somehow also worked for the employer…It's bananas…Yet this is what extreme House Republicans have sunken to,” he wrote. 

Witnesses at the first hearing included United States Department of Justice Tax Division Eileen O'Connor, George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley and former Assistant Attorney General and forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky.

"Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family's foreign business dealings," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said earlier this month. "Eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions, dinners resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his sons and his son's business partners."

Prior to the hearing, Comer said that "thousands of pages of financial records, emails, texts, testimony from credible IRS whistleblowers, and a transcribed interview with Biden family business associate Devon Archer all reveal that Joe Biden allowed his family to sell him as 'the brand' around the world to enrich the Biden family. Joe Biden showed up on at least two dozen occasions to send signals of access, influence, and power to those who were paying the Bidens."

Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin, who brought a government shutdown clock to the hearing, called for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to testify before Congress along with businessman Lev Parnas.

"The insiders who know the origins of the lie upon which this sham impeachment is based,” he said.

Republicans tabled the motion.

Turley testified that he believes an impeachment inquiry is warranted, but "I do not believe the evidence currently meets the standard of a high crime and misdemeanor needed for an article of impeachment.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) mentioned Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents from his two-terms as vice president during the hearing. 

Turner said his son Hunter had received payments from foreign countries like Romania, Russia, Ukraine and China. 

The situation is currently being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

Turner asked Turley: “If there are in those documents that relate to, for example, the prosecutor in Ukraine or Burisma itself or other aspects of Ukraine or any of the parties or individuals obviously, that were making payments to Hunter Biden, that would be relevant, wouldn’t it?” 

Turley said that “pre-office conduct” could be taken into consideration as part of the inquiry. 

Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.) responded to Democrats arguing that the GOP lacks evidence linking Biden to his son’s foreign business deals to support an impeachment inquiry. 

"Congress has a duty to determine whether Joe Biden was a loving father taken advantage of by a delinquent son or a knowing participant complicit in the scheme and financially compensated for his role,” he said. “That's why we are here today, to answer that simple question.”

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