The investigation into “influence peddling” by President Biden’s family will be a major priority, according to James Comer, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who made the announcement on Monday. Public hearings are scheduled to start next week.
“We have evidence – that we’ve been transparent with and will continue to be transparent with – where this family has taken in millions and millions of dollars from our adversaries, mainly in China,” the Kentucky Republican said in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington DC. “I think we need to determine what was that money for. Who supplied that money?”
The president and his family have denied any wrongdoing in overseas business dealings. Donald Trump’s children have also been accused of conflicts of interest in lucrative business deals overseas.
Mr Comer said on Monday that the Trump administration had a problem with influence-peddling, mentioning Mr Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, specifically. Mr Kushner has also denied any wrongdoing.
Investigations into Joe Biden’s personal finances, including the international business dealings of his son Hunter Biden, are just one item on an ambitious agenda Mr Comer has set out over recent weeks.
The 52-year-old younger Mr Biden is already under federal investigation, but has so far not faced any charges. He is not involved with the administration in any capacity and the White House has said the inquiries were politically motivated.
On Tuesday, the oversight committee will hear testimony from executives at Twitter on their decision to temporarily ban links to a New York Post article on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
The handling of the laptop story, which presented evidence of the younger Mr Biden’s business dealings with China and Ukraine as well as his personal struggles with drug abuse, has been a focus of conservative anger toward the social media company.
The following day, the committee will hold hearings on allegations of waste and fraud in the distribution of Covid relief and economic stimulus funds.
Other topics on the committee’s agenda include the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, classified documents recently discovered at Mr Biden’s personal office and residence, the Biden administration’s border-security and immigration policies, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, healthcare and prescription drug costs, and the increase in energy prices over the past two years.
Republicans won control of the lower chamber, the US House of Representatives, in the November midterm elections and they now chair all the committees, which deal with issues like oversight, the economy and labour.
Mr Comer criticised the Biden administration for what he said is a lack of transparency and accountability, facilitated by the Democrats running the committee the past four years. He added that the Trump administration was “not probably the most transparent in the history of America,” but was “pretty darn impressive, unfortunately” compared to the Biden team.
He said that the current administration has sent considerably fewer Cabinet secretaries to testify before the oversight committee.
During the tense wrangling among House Republicans over electing Kevin McCarthy to be speaker of the chamber earlier this month, hard-line conservatives made demands for key committee appointments, and the composition of Mr Comer’s oversight committee is evidence of their success.
Right-wing firebrands, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert and Scott Perry have seats on the powerful committee.
Democrats have countered with some of their own most aggressive and outspoken legislators, such as Jamie Raskin, who led Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, Dan Golden, who served as lead counsel during Mr Trump’s first impeachment hearings, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Maxwell Frost, the newly elected 26-year-old congressman from Florida.
It sets up what could be contentious proceedings, as both sides jockey to control how the committee’s work is viewed by the press and public.
“There are going to be a lot of debates, and it’s going to be very politically charged, very intense,” Mr Frost told the political news website Axios. “But I ran on being a fighter, so I’m ready for it.”
Mr Comer, for his part, pledged to offer balanced leadership for the committee, citing his vote to certify Mr Biden’s presidential victory in January 2021 as evidence that he is willing to make decisions that may anger his conservative constituents and fellow Republicans.
“There’s going to be a lot written that says this committee is partisan or whatever,” he said. “I believe I’ve demonstrated I’ll do what I think is right and what I think is best.”
As I said. Nothing will be done in the next 2 years but the Republicans in the House to try to draw a parallel between the Trump Criminal enterprises with investigations in New York, Georgia, the IRS and the DOJ, with the likely possibility that Hunter got a cushy job because his last name is Biden.
Maybe the Bidens are not as pure as a virgin in a desert island, BUT Trump and his family have been a criminal enterprise since his grandfather Frederick Trump left Bavaria to escape the army responsibility and came to the USA to become a pimp (look it up)