A Republican request for documents related to Joe Biden’s family’s “international business schemes,” including Hunter Biden’s business deals that may be influencing U.S. foreign policy, was dismissed by House Democrats on Tuesday.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee considered a resolution of inquiry that asks President Biden to deliver all documents in his possession related to the business dealings of Hunter Biden and other Biden family members and associates as they relate to a range of companies. Resolutions of inquiry are privileged and must be considered in committee.
But the committee voted down the resolution after nearly two hours of debate in which Republicans said Hunter Biden’s business dealings at best show how he was able to leverage his father’s name to earn millions, and at worst could be having an inappropriate influence on President Biden’s foreign policy.
“Oversight Republicans’ ongoing investigation has revealed the Biden family has peddled access to the highest levels of government to enrich themselves, and unfortunately, often to the detriment of U.S. interests,” said Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the top Republican on the committee. “It is time for President Biden to answer some questions about his participation in his family’s business schemes with some of our most significant adversaries for years, including the Chinese Communist Party.”
Others noted that information from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed he made money in Ukraine and China, which raises questions about how President Biden’s foreign policy might be shaped around those business deals. While President Biden has said repeatedly that he knows nothing about his son’s activities, Republicans dismissed that claim.
“Frankly, it’s a lie,” said Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., who cited reports that Hunter Biden helped a Chinese company buy a Congolese cobalt mine and noted that cobalt is needed to produce electric vehicle batteries.
“So do you mean to tell me that Joe Biden… had no idea that his son was engaged in the sale of a cobalt mine to a Chinese company at the same time when the centerpiece of Joe Biden’s energy policy is electric cars in the United States?” Donalds asked. “Come on, folks. That is just crazy.”
Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., labeled the Bidens a “criminal political family” and said the first family’s story reads like fiction.
“Who would not want to read about the exploits of the grand, criminal political family, the Bidens?” Higgins asked. “Who would be surprised that from the loins of the big guy, Joe Biden, a fresh Democrat criminal would spring, Hunter Biden. We’re absolutely going to look into this stuff, we’re going to reveal it for the American people.”
Democrats accused Republicans of demanding documents from Biden in order to weaken the Democrats’ position in the 2024 election and distract from Democratic efforts to focus on issues like climate change and abortion rights.
“This is a nakedly partisan effort,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, the top Democrat on the committee. She said the resolution targets President Biden’s son, his brother James, his sister-in-law Sara Jones Biden and others, but noted, “None of these people have a role in the Biden administration.”
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents Washington, D.C., accused Republicans of launching a “smear campaign” against the Bidens, while Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said President Biden was being unfairly targeted.
“This president is a good and decent man,” Lynch said. “He is an honorable man. And your efforts to dirty him up and dust him up are reprehensible.”
The resolution was adversely reported out of the committee, which is a recommendation from the Democratic-led committee not to approve the resolution on the House floor and a sign it is highly unlikely to pass in the Democratic-led Congress.