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White House challenges legitimacy of impeachment inquiry in letter to chairmen

White House special counsel Dick Sauber questioned the validity of the GOP-led impeachment inquiry into President Biden on Friday in a scathing letter sent to House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

In the four-page letter, Sauber demanded that Comer and Jordan withdraw their subpoenas and requests for interviews with members of the Biden family and aides, arguing that since the House did not hold a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry, it has not been formally authorized by the legislative body as required by the Constitution.

“In fact, both of you previously supported the position that moving forward with an impeachment inquiry without a vote of the House ‘represents an abuse of power and brings discredit to the House of Representatives,’ ” Sauber wrote, quoting a 2019 resolution disapproving of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to unilaterally initiate an impeachment inquiry into former president Donald Trump.

Further, Sauber argued, subpoenas and requests most recently issued by Comer and Jordan related to the special counsel investigation into the discovery of classified documents at Biden’s private office and Delaware home are part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation and outside of the scope of their purported impeachment inquiry.

The letter comes ahead of a Monday deadline provided to White House aides to respond to requests for congressional testimony related to the investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents. Sauber also called requests made earlier this month to members of Biden’s family — including the president’s deceased son’s widow and her sister — “unjustified.”

Sauber also railed against Comer and Jordan’s misrepresentation of evidence and politically motivated statements about the impeachment inquiry.

“Both of you have publicly admitted that your investigation is driven by the partisan political goal to hurt the President, raising additional serious concerns that you are improperly weaponizing the oversight powers of Congress,” he wrote. “Speaker Johnson joined you in admitting that partisan political concerns were guiding the House’s decision-making in this process,” Sauber added, referencing reporting by The Washington Post last week of Johnson’s message to moderate House Republicans in a closed-door meeting.

“If President Biden has nothing to hide, then he should make his current and former staff available to testify before Congress about his mishandling of classified documents,” Comer said in a statement. “Our investigation has unearthed new facts that contradict the White House’s and President Biden’s personal attorney’s narrative of the events.”

While the committee has discovered evidence and testimony that Hunter Biden tried to leverage the Biden family name for his own gain, it has not found any evidence that Joe Biden himself benefited from his son’s business dealings. It’s unclear whether the president’s son Hunter Biden and brother James Biden will comply with subpoenas issued for their testimony by the Oversight Oversight Committee last week.

The Washington Post previously reported that Biden allies viewed some of the interview requests to be personally invasive and designed to harass those close to the Bidens, as it’s unclear what sort of testimony the committee seeks from some of the Biden family members who have been contacted for interviews by the Oversight Committee.

“These unjustified requests were sent despite the fact that, after a year of investigating, voluminous records and testimony from dozens of witnesses have refuted your baseless allegations about the President,” Sauber wrote to Comer and Jordan.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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