House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said recently that his committee’s investigations into Hunter Biden and his business transactions are just “beginning” as he seeks to create a headache for the White House as President Biden prepares to launch his reelection campaign.
Comer and his committee are trying to unveil whether Biden’s son’s business dealings abroad were connected to the president himself.
Other investigations have shown no involvement by the president, but Comer insists his committee’s inquiries into the family’s dealings will prove to be a fruitful effort.
“We know that when the president was vice president in the Obama administration, he made several trips to China. He brought his son and some of these associates with him,” Comer said during a recent appearance on Fox News, one of a dozen interviews he’s conducted in recent weeks to talk about the probe.
“They met in different places with some of these people that the president claimed he never met with. So we know the president hasn’t been truthful about his involvement when he was vice president,” he said.
The House Oversight Committee clinched a long-sought win last week when it announced that the Treasury Department had granted the panel access to financial transaction reports pertaining to companies affiliated with the Biden family or their associates, which GOP lawmakers had been pushing for.
White House allies see the committee’s efforts as a political stunt, with the aim of weakening Biden ahead of his reelection bid.
It isn’t that the Biden White House isn’t taking it seriously, allies maintain. In recent months the president has built a team of nearly two dozen lawyers along with communications and legislative aides to manage House GOP investigations and other inquiries.
But Biden allies are betting that the Republican efforts will be for naught, pointing to polling that has indicated the American public doesn’t care about the president’s son and his business dealings.
An NBC News poll in January showed that 55 percent of Americans— including a majority of independents— said they believe Republicans will spend ‘too much time investigating President Joe Biden and not enough time on other priorities.”
The same poll revealed that 63 percent of those surveyed say they had little to no confidence that Congress will conduct a fair and impartial investigation into Biden and his administration.
A Pew Research Center poll out that same month showed that 65 percent are concerned that Republican lawmakers will focus too much on Biden administration investigations, including four in 10 Republicans.
Democrats say the investigations will cost Republicans politically.
“I think this was litigated in 2020, and I don’t think this is what’s gonna have traction,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “I’m far more concerned about what’s gonna happen with the economy and manufacturing and inflation than this.
“I don’t think a voter in Pennsylvania is waking up and thinking about Hunter Biden subpoenas, I think they’re thinking about the price of eggs and whether manufacturing jobs are coming back,” Khanna added.
Comer has come under some implicit pressure to show if he can find results from Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer and personality Jesse Waters.
“We’ll see where the next chapter leads. It’s rather incendiary, we’ll see whether or not you’re on to something,” Hemmer said at the end of an interview with Comer this month. “Again, five years investigating. Nothing just yet.”
Geraldo Rivera, a co-host of “The Five” on Fox News, took to Twitter earlier this month to question where the investigation was going: “Hunter Biden has been investigated for almost five years,” he said. “Put up or shut up.”
House Republicans say Hunter Biden’s business transactions are worth investigating.
“We all know we can make polls say whatever we want them to say,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) who is an Oversight Committee member. “In my district, it’s a very big priority. And in most districts, I think it’s a very big priority. People want to know, they want to see what is going on behind the scenes.
“And we think where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) who is also a member on the Oversight Committee, added, “…We need to make sure that the president hasn’t broken the law. “
At the same time, Republican strategists acknowledge that it’s too soon to say if the investigations will materialize.
“They’re asking the right questions. The question is are they going to get any answers,” said Republican strategist John Feehery, a former House GOP aide. “If you can make a direct link to what his business dealings were that becomes a much more interesting story.”
Feehery added of the president’s son, “He’s fundamentally flawed but anytime you attack the family it has a limited return.”
Republican strategist Doug Heye, who also served as a senior House aide, added that Republicans “should be mindful” of former President Trump and his family members” while the investigations into Biden continue.
“There’s an entire family named Trump that used the Trump White House to go cha-ching,” Heye said. “So, at best, this muddies waters politically.”
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