By Donald Judd, CNN
Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday fired back against claims from House Republicans that he was involved in business dealings with his son and brother, telling reporters at the White House the GOP claims are “a bunch of lies.”
Asked by a reporter in the Roosevelt Room to respond to an Associated Press poll from last month that shows nearly 70% of Americans – including 40% of Democrats – believe Biden has acted unethically or illegally in business dealings, Biden responded, “I’m not going to comment on that. I did not, and it’s just a bunch of lies.”
Pressed again on claims he interacted with business associates of his son, Hunter Biden, and brother, James Biden, the president said, “I did not – they’re lies.”
While witnesses have said that the president has participated in phone calls and dinners with business associates of Hunter Biden, there is no evidence of that business was discussed during those meetings.
Most, if not all, of the claims about Joe Biden’s involvement with Hunter Biden’s business dealings were refuted in 2019, but they gained major traction in the right-wing media ecosystem, where they are often presented as facts. There is no public evidence that the president ever abused his government powers to help his family.
Last month, the GOP-led House Oversight Committee subpoenaed both Hunter and James Biden, setting up a highly anticipated showdown as House Republicans continue to search for whether the president committed an impeachable offense in connection to his family’s foreign business dealings – a high bar they have yet to meet.
Earlier this week, CNN’s Annie Grayer reported the House Oversight committee and James Biden’s attorneys are still working to schedule a time for the president’s brother to come in for a deposition after last month’s subpoena. Hunter Biden has pressed the committee to allow him to testify publicly instead of behind closed doors.
House Republicans driving the impeachment inquiry into Biden are looking at potential charges of bribery, abuse of power and obstruction, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan told reporters Monday, though the charges are largely based on already-debunked claims about Biden’s dealings in Ukraine that emerged during Trump’s first impeachment.
Jordan pointed to allegations – that have already been disproven, yet Republicans are still promoting – that as vice president, Biden corruptly abused his powers to pressure Ukraine to fire a top prosecutor who was investigating Ukrainian energy company Burisma as a way to protect his son Hunter, who served on the firm’s board at the time.
Biden did push for the prosecutor to be fired, but that was consistent with bipartisan US policy and the interests of European Union allies. And more importantly, the US wanted the prosecutor fired because he was soft on corruption. His removal was likely to increase scrutiny of Burisma and Hunter Biden – not shut down the investigation.
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