Skip to content
Sign up to receive our free weekday morning edition, and you'll never miss a scoop.
James Comer, Oversight

House GOP Oversight misses Biden, but his allies pay the price

House Republicans have impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. On Wednesday, they voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. Earlier this year, they threatened to do the same to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

GOP committee chairs have handed out subpoenas like Halloween candy. They’ve referred Hunter and James Biden to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Their investigations even played a role in the Justice Department’s prosecution of Hunter Biden for lying on a gun purchase application.

Just about the only person the House GOP’s oversight hasn’t really touched is President Joe Biden — much to the chagrin of former President Donald Trump, who will meet with Hill Republicans today. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying.

With less than five months until Election Day, the sprawling GOP probes have yet to uncover conclusive evidence that Biden did anything illegal or improper.

According to Democrats, GOP committee chairs have issued more than two dozen subpoenas related to the Biden impeachment inquiry, amassed 150-plus hours of testimony from 32 witnesses and received more than 3.8 million pages of documents.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, complained that House Republicans have spent “$20 million taxpayer dollars in a desperate search to find something — anything — that they can use to damage President Biden and to protect Donald Trump.”

This is a bit of hyperbole. But there’s real frustration among House GOP hardliners that the top Republican investigators — Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (Ky.), Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (Mo.) — have only been able to produce the kind of evidence that gets picked up by Fox News and Newsmax.

Speaker Mike Johnson, who inherited the Biden impeachment inquiry from Kevin McCarthy, is no fan of the criticism that his conference is wasting taxpayer dollars on futile, politically motivated probes.

“If they consider the fulfillment of our constitutional responsibility to be a waste of funding, I think it says more about their priorities than ours,” Johnson told us in a brief interview.

Johnson said he doesn’t know if House Republicans will impeach Biden. The speaker added he was seeking “final accountability” for why members of the Biden family were receiving “millions of dollars in some cases from foreign adversaries and other nations.”

Comer, in particular, has been fixated on the Biden family since taking the Oversight Committee gavel. There are sections on the committee’s website titled the “Biden Family Investigation” and the “Biden Family Influence Peddling Timeline.” His panel has issued more than 130 press releases on the Bidens alone. Comer has all but accused Biden of taking bribes, although he’s offered no proof of that claim.

Reflecting on Biden so far escaping direct consequences, Comer said it was part of a “cover-up.”

“It was bizarre that the VP’s family were getting all these wires from foreign nationals,” Comer said of Biden. “The whistleblowers were told to stand down [from investigating Joe Biden].”

The House GOP has landed some punches, especially on those in Biden’s orbit.

Thanks in part to two IRS whistleblowers who approached the Ways and Means Committee, Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart last summer, leading to a conviction in the gun case in Delaware. Those proceedings put the entire Biden family on trial in some ways. And Hunter Biden still faces a September trial on federal tax charges in California. The White House hasn’t ruled out a commutation of the charges, however.

“They’ve been able to inflict damage even though they have been unable to meet the goals they set out for themselves,” acknowledged Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.), the top Democrat on Oversight. “Yes, they have not been a major wrecking ball. But they have been a mini wrecking ball. And they have wasted tremendous resources and time.”

“The only thing [Republicans] seem to agree on is they want to try to attack the president,” added Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was both censured and barred from the Intelligence Committee by House GOP leaders. “So they’ve literally thrown everything against the wall. All of it has failed. Some of it has failed spectacularly … They’ve just made a mess of the House.”

Mayorkas’ impeachment case was dismissed in one day by the Senate, which infuriated House Republicans. The Garland contempt fight — which centers around audiotapes of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with Biden — will end up in federal court and won’t be decided before Election Day.

Two news bites:

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is hosting a meeting today with the chairs and GOP members of the AI task force to talk about the party’s position on AI. We’re extraordinarily focused on how both parties are positioning themselves on this issue moving forward.

The White House will announce today its intent to nominate CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Kristin Johnson, another CFTC commissioner, will be nominated to be the Treasury Department’s next assistant secretary for financial institutions. This sets up a potentially bruising confirmation fight over the next few months.

— Max Cohen, Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan and Brendan Pederse

Presented by AFP’s Personal Option

Why can’t healthcare be like a good ice cream shop? Countless flavors. Endless toppings. A Personal Option offers Americans unlimited healthcare options. The cherry on top? Lower healthcare costs for everyone. Get the scoop at PersonalOption.com.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.