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House Oversight Committee to hold first Biden impeachment inquiry hearing next week

The committee intends to subpoena the president’s son and brother for their personal and business bank records as early as this week, a spokesperson said.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., at the Capitol on July 18, 2023.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., at the Capitol on July 18, 2023.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

The House Oversight Committee will hold its first hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Sept. 28, a spokesperson for the panel told NBC News.

“The hearing will focus on constitutional and legal questions surrounding the President’s involvement in corruption and abuse of public office,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that the committee intends to subpoena the president’s son Hunter Biden and James Biden, the president’s brother, for their personal and business bank records as early as this week.

“The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the evidence and money trail to provide the transparency and accountability that Americans demand from their government,” the spokesperson said.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Oversight Committee Chair Jim Comer, R-Ky., said he will issue subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden’s bank records once the paperwork is finalized.

“Once all the i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed, I expect to issue a subpoena to Hunter and James Biden’s personal bank records,” Comer said as he left the House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning.

“There’s a lot of apparently paperwork filed so all three committees and the speaker’s council office have to agree to the terms and everything of the impeachment inquiry,” he added. “And once all that’s ironed out then I’ll have the ability to proceed with impeachment inquiry with respect to subpoena.”

Comer also said the hearing would include an overview of what an impeachment inquiry is and would feature appearances from experts on financial crimes, tax evasion, racketeering and the Foreign Agent Registration Act, among other topics. 

The White House on Tuesday responded to news of the hearing by accusing Republicans of staging a “political stunt” to distract from a potential government shutdown on Sept. 30.

“Extreme House Republicans are already telegraphing their plans to try to distract from their own chaotic inability to govern and the impacts of it on the country,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams said in a statement. “Staging a political stunt hearing in the waning days before they may shut down the government reveals their true priorities: to them, baseless personal attacks on President Biden are more important than preventing a government shutdown and the pain it would inflict on American families.”

Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, briefed a group of Senate Republicans last week about the impeachment inquiry into the president.

Comer and Jordan, who are leading the inquiry along with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith, R-Mo., briefed the group last week during a weekly lunch with the Senate Steering Committee — a group that includes the upper chamber’s most conservative members, such as Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Committee chair Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, invited Comer and Jordan to the lunch.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., last week announced that he was directing three House committees to begin the impeachment inquiry to seek bank records and other documents from the president and Hunter Biden.

McCarthy said that an impeachment inquiry is a “logical next step” of the GOP-led investigations that have been happening for months.

McCarthy said House Republicans “uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct” related to “abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” that “warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives.”

The GOP-led probes into Biden and his family, however, have not produced evidence that the president was involved in his son's business dealings or the government's investigation into Hunter Biden.

McCarthy’s move marked a major reversal after he previously said he would not open an impeachment inquiry without a vote of the full House.

Sams, the White House spokesperson, said Republicans are “clearly hoping they can use their baseless, evidence-free impeachment stunt to try to divert attention away from the consequences of their extreme agenda,” while criticizing their current proposals to temporarily fund the government.

“The President has been very clear: he is going to remain focused on the issues that matter to the American people, including preventing the devastating and harmful cuts proposed by House Republicans that are hurtling us toward a government shutdown,” he said. “House Republicans should drop these silly political Washington games and actually do their job to prevent a government shutdown.”