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News / Politics

House GOP issues criminal referrals against Biden’s kin

They say president’s son, brother lied to Congress

By FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press
Published: June 5, 2024, 6:00pm

WASHINGTON — House Republicans issued criminal referrals Wednesday against President Joe Biden’s son and brother, accusing them of making false statements to Congress as part of the GOP’s yearlong impeachment inquiry.

The Republican leaders of the House Oversight and Accountability, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees sent a letter to the Justice Department recommending the prosecution of Hunter Biden and James Biden and accusing them of making a “conscious effort” to undermine the House’s investigation.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s attorney, said in a statement that the referrals are “nothing more than a desperate attempt by Republicans to twist Hunter’s testimony so they can distract from their failed impeachment inquiry and interfere with his trial.”

James Biden’s lawyer Paul Fishman echoed that sentiment, calling it a “baseless partisan action,” and reiterated that his client has “always maintained that Joe Biden never had any involvement in his business dealings.”

The referrals to Attorney General Merrick Garland and special counsel David Weiss add to the legal challenges facing Hunter Biden, who is now on trial in a federal court in Delaware for three felony charges stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018.

On Capitol Hill, the Republicans pursued their wide-ranging investigation into Hunter Biden, separate from that federal case, are trying to tie the Democratic president to his son’s business dealings. Both Hunter and James Biden sat for hourslong interviews with lawmakers even as they failed to uncover evidence directly implicating Joe Biden in any wrongdoing.

Rep. Jason Smith, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said testimony from IRS whistleblowers shows that Hunter Biden lied to Congress at least three times in his Feb. 28 deposition.

“I think the Justice Department needs to look at that and act accordingly. When you lie to Congress, that is a serious violation of the law. It’s a felony,” said Smith, R-Mo. “The president’s son should not be treated any differently than any other American.”

The focus on the Biden family resulting from Hunter Biden’s federal trial and the impeachment inquiry has proved to be a political and personal liability for the president. The proceedings are unfolding as the 2024 White House election looms.

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