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Chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer

Comer subpoenas Hunter and James Biden records

After a largely underwhelming impeachment inquiry hearing Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) announced long-anticipated subpoenas targeting the son and brother of President Joe Biden.

Comer is requesting the personal bank records and business bank records of Hunter and James Biden. The two are key figures in the House GOP effort to connect Joe Biden to his family members’ foreign business dealings. Here are the subpoenas, which have an Oct. 12 deadline for banks to hand over the documents to Republican investigators.

It’s a major step that brings Comer closer to an eventual goal of battling the White House for Joe Biden’s bank records and personal information. Republicans have so far failed to establish any wrongdoing by Joe Biden, or any direct financial link between the president and his family’s dealings.

The subpoenas followed a lackluster first hearing where one of the GOP’s top witnesses — Professor Jonathan Turley — made an assertion that was squarely at odds with Comer.

“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment,” Turley told the panel. Comer has notably said he is willing to vote to impeach Biden now.

To be fair, Turley did add he thinks an impeachment inquiry was necessary to further investigate “whether President Joe Biden was directly involved or benefited from the corrupt practices of his son, Hunter, and others.”

But in an ideal world, Republicans wouldn’t want their prime witness to publicly contradict the chair of the panel. There were elements in House Republican leadership that saw this hearing as a disaster.

“I like being in the same company as Jonathan Turley,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) — an impeachment skeptic — told us. “I don’t think the evidence is there at this point.”

“I think we can all agree we’re not at impeachment level yet,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) added. Bacon has also warned his GOP colleagues against moving ahead with Biden’s impeachment.

Another struggle the panel faced was summed up by Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.), who remarked during the hearing that “this scheme is complicated.” If it’s difficult for members — who investigate this for a living — to follow the threads of the allegations, imagine what a viewer tuning in for the first time would have made of the hearing.

— Max Cohen

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