Biden’s brother to be deposed on Wednesday in GOP impeachment inquiry

James Biden, the president’s brother, is set to appear before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee behind closed doors Wednesday, the first of two high-profile testimonies the panel will hear this month as part of its impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Republicans leading the investigation have alleged the president was deeply involved in family business dealings — including those of his younger brother — that were tainted by corruption and influence peddling that hinged on the powerful Biden name.

The Republicans have yet to provide clear evidence backing those claims, however, and they’re hoping the younger Biden’s testimony Wednesday will yield the smoking gun they’ve so far failed to dig up.

His appearance comes just days after an explosive Politico investigation found James Biden invoked his brother’s name in negotiations with a rural health care company, Americore Health, which would later collapse into bankruptcy — an issue Oversight Republicans are vowing to broach during Wednesday’s testimony.

“He once again has a lot to answer,” Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-N.Y.), a member of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, said Tuesday on Fox News. “It’s great to see that he’s finally coming in for this interview. A year ago, I think that the administration would have denied that they would ever have Biden family members coming before the Oversight Committee as part of this impeachment inquiry.”

“This is going to be a very important moment in this investigation,” he added.

Yet Republicans are facing challenges in their impeachment investigation.

Wednesday’s long-sought interview comes less than one week after the Justice Department indicted an FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, who was a central piece of the GOP’s allegations against President Biden, undercutting the Republican effort to implicate the president directly in his family’s activities.

Republicans have brushed aside the significance of Smirnov’s indictment and downplayed his importance to their impeachment inquiry, with Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) arguing the probe “is not reliant” on the information he provided.

But the arrest, nonetheless, has thrown the Republicans’ allegations under a harsh new light, putting Comer and GOP lawmakers in the hot seat as they barrel ahead with their investigation.

James Biden’s testimony on Wednesday comes exactly a week before the Oversight Committee has scheduled a closed-door deposition with Hunter Biden — the president’s son who has been the focus of years-long allegations that he leaned on his father’s influence to secure a series of shady business deals overseas.

A good portion of Wednesday’s interview with James Biden is expected to focus on the Republicans’ allegations that a series of loans between the brothers were part of a tangled web of payments that ultimately constituted a bribery scheme.

The panel, however, has not provided information to prove those claims.

Specifically, GOP lawmakers have highlighted two checks James Biden paid his brother — one for $200,000 and the other for $40,000 — at a time when Joe Biden was not serving in political office.

The Bidens have described the $200,000 check from James Biden, which was written after he received a loan from Americore Health, as an unrelated loan repayment. James Biden allegedly told the company his name could “open doors” in the Middle East, but he did not end up assisting. Additionally, the loan payment does not bear any connections to foreign work.

The $40,000 check was also characterized as a loan repayment. It was written after Hunter Biden landed a deal with a Chinese energy company and wired money to James Biden, some of which he used to repay President Biden. Republicans have zeroed in on that payment as part of their allegation that the president took laundered money from China.

Democrats have raced to the Bidens’ defense, also contending that the transfer of money between the brothers just amounts to short-term loans between family members that were made when Joe Biden was out of office and a private citizen.

“It is an undeniable fact that Republicans’ allegations against President Biden have always been a tissue of lies built on conspiracy theories,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.), senior Democrat on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, said after Smirnov’s arrest. He’s asking GOP leaders to end their impeachment investigation altogether.

The high-profile appearances by James and Hunter Biden come more than two months after the House formally approved its impeachment inquiry into President Biden in a 221-212 party-line vote, a move that Republicans had hoped would give more legal weight to their probe. The vote came after then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced the start of the impeachment inquiry in September.

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