Republicans in Congress aggressively ramped up an impeachment inquiry against US President Joe Biden on Wednesday by issuing subpoenas for testimony from his son Hunter and brother James.
The attempt to compel the pair to testify came from the Oversight Committee in the House of Representatives, where the Republican majority has spent months trying to prove the president committed wrongdoing — with a view to potential impeachment.
The committee has already poured over bank records and interviewed associates of Hunter Biden, the president’s troubled son, alleging a corrupt influence-peddling scheme with his father at the time he was vice president to Barack Obama.
The subpoenas ordering Biden family members to testify come one year before the 2024 election in which Biden is seeking a second term, with hard-right former president Donald Trump his likely opponent.
“The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” committee chairman James Comer said in a statement.
“Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence.”
While Republicans have yet to prove any solid evidence of corruption by the president, there is a strong push for impeachment in the party. If the House did impeach Biden, the Democratic-controlled Senate would all but certainly decline to convict.
At the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the effort a “baseless smear campaign against the president and his family.”
“This is an investigation that has been going on for a year now and has turned up zero evidence of wrongdoing by the president because there isn’t. But Republicans continue to double down,” she said.