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James Comer and Jim Jordan

Where does the Biden impeachment inquiry go from here?

No matter which way you look at it, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for the House Republican impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

But GOP investigators are hoping the hearing Tuesday with Special Counsel Robert Hur will refocus the narrative on Biden’s shortcomings, even as the probe has failed to find conclusive evidence of impeachable offenses.

Hur, who led the investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, will testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Hur’s report recommended against charging Biden but painted a damaging picture of the president as elderly and forgetful.

Hur also stated that “President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.” This included documents related to Afghanistan, as well as Biden’s own notebooks with entries “implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”

Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairs of the House Oversight and Judiciary panels, are gearing up for a fight with the Justice Department over gaining access to the transcripts of Biden’s interviews with Hur.

In response to a GOP subpoena, DOJ turned over some correspondence between the administration and Hur’s team, along with some documentation of a 2015 call between Biden and the Ukrainian prime minister. But crucially, this document production didn’t include anything from the Biden-Hur interview. Republicans are considering their next steps in this probe.

In conversations with both Comer and Jordan, the two chairs brought up Hur unprompted when we asked what the path forward was on the impeachment inquiry.

“We still haven’t gotten the transcripts or the video from the Hur report,” Comer told us Friday. “So as quickly as we get those in, [we] will be trying to finish up.”

Back to the impeachment inquiry: While the Hur report is consequential, it’s not central to the original intent of the House GOP inquiry into Biden. That probe seeks to find out whether then-Vice President Biden was improperly influenced by his family member’s business dealings.

One oft-used GOP line — that Biden fired a Ukrainian prosecutor for being tough on a company connected to his son Hunter Biden — took a major hit recently. And the much-hyped private interviews of Joe Biden’s brother James Biden and Hunter Biden failed to deliver any smoking gun revelation.

Comer is currently trying to haul Hunter Biden in for a public hearing with other witnesses, two of whom have felony indictments for fraud. But it’s unlikely, at this point, that the House will hold a floor vote on impeaching Biden.

So what does accountability look like? Criminal referrals for those in the Biden family orbit, according to Comer. We followed up with the chair about whether this could include the president himself.

“We’ll see,” Comer said. “You’ll be the first to know.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Oversight Democrat, panned this strategy.

“Criminal referrals generally relate to crimes, and we haven’t identified any except for the ones committed by their star witnesses,” Raskin said.

— Max Cohen

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