WASHINGTON — For months, the White House has accused Republicans of wielding Congress’ oversight powers to pursue politically motivated attacks against President Joe Biden.
Now the White House says that the Republican congressman helming the probe into the Biden family’s finances is making their case for them.
In a new memo obtained first by NBC News, White House spokesperson Ian Sams said MAGA Republicans in the House led by Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer are “admitting” that congressional investigations into the Biden family’s finances are an attempt to damage the president politically.
"[E]xtreme MAGA House Republicans are being caught doing something they rarely do: telling the truth,” he said. “They are admitting through their own words and deeds that these so-called ‘investigations’ are actually intended not to reveal facts but to hurt the President’s political standing.”
Comer’s comments linking the probes to Biden’s poll numbers in a Fox News interview made this explicit, Sams continued.
Asked Monday about the impact of his probe on Biden’s political standing heading into 2024, Comer said it had “absolutely” moved the needle.
“There’s no question,” he said. “You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is 7 points ahead of Joe Biden and trending upward; Joe Biden’s trending downward. And I believe that the media is looking around, scratching their head, and they’re realizing the American people are keeping up with our investigation.”
Comer has previously argued that his investigation isn't politically motivated.
Sams argued that shows the Republican motives.
“Despite previously insisting that his investigation ‘isn’t political’ and that the ‘only people that see this as a partisan investigation are the media and the hardcore Democrats,’ on Monday morning around 4:00 a.m., Comer took to the Fox airwaves to boast that his investigations are ‘moving the needle’ not because he has uncovered facts but because he claimed (falsely, by the way) that President Biden’s poll numbers are “trending downward,” he said.
House Oversight Committee Republicans led by Comer are investigating foreign payments made to Biden’s family members, including the president’s son Hunter Biden and brother James.
A memo released earlier this month by Comer argues that Biden family activities in Romania “bear clear indications of a scheme to peddle influence from 2015 to 2017.”
Comer has suggested that Biden may have been improperly influenced by his family’s overseas business ties while serving as vice president. But despite teasing a paper trail for months, the Kentucky Republican has yet to reveal any payments made to Biden directly, before or after leaving the Obama White House.
Sams pointed to reports drawing a parallel between Comer’s comments and a moment eight years ago when Kevin McCarthy linked House Republicans' Benghazi investigation to Hillary Clinton’s sliding poll numbers.
Republicans quickly backed away from the comments, describing the tie-in as a “disappointment.” Soon after, McCarthy dropped out of the speakership race.
A House Oversight Committee spokesperson defended Comer’s probe into the Biden family, saying it's up to the White House to provide transparency.
“No amount of Washington spin can change these facts or erase these bank records,” the spokesperson said. “The White House must provide the American people with transparency now. The Oversight Committee will continue to pursue the truth and accountability for the American people.”