Friday 29 September 2023

House GOP Signals Classified Docs Of Interest In Biden Impeachment Inquiry

 House Republicans signaled that President Joe Biden‘s handling of classified documents is pertinent to their impeachment inquiry into allegations of corruption.

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, broached the ongoing criminal investigation into the Biden documents matter during the first impeachment hearing held by the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.

The congressman invoked the impeachment inquiry scope memo released by House Republicans late Wednesday evening, which he said “indicates” the clarified materials are “relevant.” In the 30-page document, there is a footnote linked to a section exploring the question of whether Biden abused his power to impede the criminal investigation into his son Hunter.

“For example, the Oversight Committee has requested information regarding the classified materials discovered in the President’s home — where his son has resided during the time period relevant to this investigation — and personal office, but the White House has provided no information to the Committee regarding the contents of or its full approach towards those documents,” the footnote said.

“The refusal to cooperate is despite growing evidence accumulated by the Oversight Committee that the White House has not been forthcoming regarding the classified materials discovered in 2022 and that such actions represent potentially a serious violation of federal law for which a former president has faced federal indictment,” the footnote added.

Turner, alluding to evidence gathered by House investigators, said “obviously” Hunter was “receiving payments from Romania, Russia, Ukraine, China.” He also raised the issue of the elder Biden, as vice president, pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor while his son worked at Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.

“If there are in those documents, documents that relate to — for example — the prosecutor in Ukraine, or Burisma itself, or other aspects of Ukraine, or any parties or individuals obviously that were making payments to Hunter Biden, that would be relevant, wouldn’t it?” Turner asked one of the hearing’s witnesses.

“It would be relevant,” said the witness, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “One of the things I address in my testimony is I say the most concerning line for me in this inquiry is pre-office conduct.”


Turner raised the notion that the classified documents could be used to establish intent in the impeachment inquiry. He called Biden a “classified documents hoarder” and emphasized how Biden gained access to the materials as U.S. senator and vice president but allegedly kept inappropriately across multiple locations while he was out of office.

Turley said the documents matter could “go to a question of establishing intent” yet cautioned that he was unsure whether it would become relevant to the impeachment inquiry, let alone an impeachable offense. Still, Turley stressed, the issue with the documents case is that they appeared to be “distributed” to different locations and begs the question of “were they divided and why.”

Turner suggested a “nexus” would have to be established. “I’ve seen some of these documents as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. I can tell you, they are of the highest level of concern and threat to national security. I think we do have to get to the bottom of: why was he taking these and what was he doing with them?”

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