“The thing that holds up whether to do an impeachment inquiry: Provide us with the documents we’re asking [for]. The whole determination here is how the Bidens handle this. If they provide us the documents there wouldn’t be a need for an impeachment inquiry, but if they withhold the documents and fight like they have now and not provide the American public what they deserve to know, we will move forward with impeachment inquiry when we come back into session.”
That was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Fox Business in an interview with host Larry Kudlow on Aug. 22, threatening President Joe Biden with impeachment if the White House refuses to turn over documents that McCarthy says could clear up any doubt about whether Biden took bribes when he was Vice President in exchange for policy decisions.
In the interview, McCarthy demanded the documents, including bank statements and credit card statements, about Biden’s family business dealings with foreign entities: “If the Biden administration continues to fight to withhold information that could really clear all this up — Did they take bribes? Did they deal in the business? — if they hold that up, we would have to move to an impeachment inquiry, which you know, Larry, gives the apex of power to Congress when it comes to our subpoena power and others to get the documents we need: the bank statements, the credit card statements and others.”
McCarthy added, “Show us where the money went, show us were you taking money from outside sources and that would clear most of this up. “
Now, fast forward and Congress is set to come back into session Sept. 12, and House Republicans are still no closer to having the documents they’re looking for that McCarthy described in detail as members listen to their constituents over the summer recess demanding accountability and equal justice for Biden.
On X (formerly Twitter) on Sept. 5, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) threatened McCarthy’s position as Speaker of the House if he doesn’t make good on his promise to move forward: “We’ve got to seize the initiative. That means forcing votes on impeachment. And if Speaker McCarthy stands in our way, he may not have the job long. Let’s hope he works with us, not against us.” With a slim House GOP majority, it took McCarthy 15 ballots to get elected Speaker in the first place. And now members who did not support him, like Gaetz, are waving a potential vote of no confidence in McCarthy’s face as it relates to what appears to be an imminent impeachment of Biden.
A good question might be whether McCarthy has the votes to move forward yet. On NBC’s Meet The Press on Sept. 6, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck said he did not “see any reason to start an impeachment inquiry at this time,” stating, “We have three committees right now that are investigating Hunter Biden as well as Joe Biden’s actions and those three committees are the Ways and Means Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight Committee, and they’re doing a great job. They have issued hundreds of subpoenas, they have interviewed hundreds of witnesses, reviewed thousands and thousands of documents. I don’t see any reason to start an impeachment inquiry at this time when all the power, all the resources that we can muster are now being used to investigate whether Joe Biden received money from Hunter Biden or Hunter Biden’s activities or whether he in some way knew about Hunter Biden’s activities.”
But that’s not exactly true. Just because the House is issuing subpoenas does not mean the House has received everything they asked for. They haven’t, as McCarthy attested.
And in fact, as McCarthy noted, an impeachment inquiry would indeed boost the House’s ability to compel testimony, as noted by the Congressional Research Service in 2019: “While House rules already provide standing committees with several compulsory mechanisms to gather information, authorizing resolutions for impeachment inquiries have generally conferred additional investigatory tools to a committee, such as the authority to compel responses to interrogatories.” So, the conventional oversight process might not be enough for House Republicans to get the answers they are looking for.
Buck added the criteria that would compel him to support an impeachment inquiry: “I have a feeling he did know about Hunter Biden’s activities, I’d want to see direct evidence of it, but then perform a certain government acts — firing a prosecutor in Ukraine or some other government act and knew that his son was going to be getting more money as a result of that. If we see that kind of a connection, then I think an impeachment inquiry is appropriate and we can develop the evidence to move on to an impeachment if it’s there.”
Here’s the thing. There already is specific evidence, more than enough probable cause that then-Vice President Joe Biden used his office to get the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, fired at the same time his son, Hunter Biden, was being lobbied by the Burisma he worked for to get help from Biden to deal with Ukraine’s investigations of the natural gas firm.
Former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer testified that Hunter Biden “called his dad” when he was being pressured by natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, for which they served on the board of directors, for “help in D.C.” in Dec. 4, 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, according to a transcript of his July 31 testimony to the House Oversight Committee that the committee released on Aug. 4.
Specifically, Hunter Biden was asked for help with government investigations into Burisma and Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky: “The request was I think they were getting pressure and they requested Hunter, you know, help them with some of that pressure… Government. Government pressure on their — you know, government pressure from Ukrainian Government investigations into [Burisma CEO] Mykola [Zlochevsky], et cetera.”
The Ukrainian government investigations into Burisma and Burisma CEO Zlochevsky at that time were being led by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
And, Burisma was getting trouble in all different directions: “[T]here was several pressure issues. It was kind of a theme of Burisma. There was capital tied up in London, 23 million pounds. There was, you know, a U.S. visa denied and then a Mexico visa denied. And then there was — so [Ukrainian Shokin wasn’t specifically on my radar as being an individual that was — that was targeting him. But yes, there was constant pressure. And it was like — it was like whack-a-mole in regards to the pressures that had to resolve.”
Archer added, “it was a high-pressure environment, and … there was constant requests for help.”
And according to Archer, when requested for help, Hunter Biden “called his dad,” then-Vice President Joe Biden, but said he did not hear the phone call: “Listen, I did not hear this phone call, but he — he called his dad.”
When asked how he knew that if he did not hear the phone call, Archer stated that Burisma CFO Vadym Pozharsky told him so: “Because he — because I think [Burisma CFO] Vadym [Pozharsky] told me. But, again, it’s unclear. I just know that there was a call that happened there and I was not privy to it.”
The pressure from Burisma to Hunter Biden to deal with “government pressure from Ukrainian Government investigations into [Burisma CEO] Mykola [Zlochevsky]” was not hearsay. Archer says he witnessed that, but then Hunter Biden stepped away to make the call to Washington, D.C.
In Jan. 2018, then former Vice President Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations about getting Shokin fired by threatening to withhold a $1.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan from then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016.
According to Biden, “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’… Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Shokin in April 2019 told journalist John Solomon that prior to the election of the new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he was removed in 2016 because of his investigation of Burisma, which Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the Board of Directors of.
In an affidavit in a European court in 2019, Shokin testified, “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors… On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation.”
This was the matter President Donald Trump sought to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “look into” on the July 25, 2019 phone call with current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the phone call with Zelensky, Trump said, “It sounds horrible to me.”
In a speech to the Ukrainian Rada (the legislature) on Dec. 9, 2015, just days after the Burisma board meeting in Dubai that Archer described, then Vice President Biden stated of Shokin and his office was “desperately [in need of] reform”: “[I]t’s not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a special prosecutor fighting corruption. The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform. The judiciary should be overhauled. The energy sector needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles — not sweetheart deals.”
Biden added, “It’s not enough to push through laws to increase transparency with regard to official sources of income. Senior elected officials have to remove all conflicts between their business interest and their government responsibilities.”
Even without the documents House Republicans are asking for, this appears to be more than probable cause to not only pursues an impeachment inquiry, but an impeachment itself. There might be even better evidence coming, or this could be it. Either way, even if Biden is impeached, it would still be up to the House managers to attempt to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. At this point, though, an impeachment inquiry appears to be a foregone conclusion. Where are the documents?
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.
The post With Sept. 12 deadline approaching, House Republicans still don’t have the documents they are looking for after McCarthy threatened Biden with impeachment over alleged Ukrainian bribes appeared first on Daily Torch.
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