Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) warned Tuesday that the House could launch an impeachment inquiry as soon as September if the Biden administration doesn’t turn over documents — including some that were apparently never requested by the GOP.
Asked by Larry Kudlow if he has made up his mind on beginning an impeachment inquiry, McCarthy said the House will begin one if the Bidens do not provide Congress with documents lawmakers are seeking.
The comments were McCarthy’s clearest signal yet that such an investigation could be on the horizon in the lower chamber.
But the Speaker was largely vague on what documents were at issue — even as Republicans say they are gathering evidence that Biden and his son accepted a bribe from Ukrainian officials. It’s a charge the White House has strongly denied.
“The thing that holds up whether we do impeachment inquiry, provide us the documents we’re asking,” McCarthy said. “The whole determination here is how the Bidens handled this.”
“If they provide us the documents, there wouldn’t be a need for impeachment inquiry. But if they withhold the documents and fight like they have now to not provide to the American public what they deserve to know, we will move forward with impeachment inquiry when we come back into session,” he added.
McCarthy at one point added they were seeking bank statements and credit card statements, though did not specify for whom.
“If they hold that up, we would have to move to an impeachment inquiry. Which you know, Larry, gives the apex of power to Congress when it comes to our subpoena power and others to get the documents we need. The bank statements, the credit card statements and others. Show us where the money went, show us were you taking money from outside sources? And that would clear most of this up, but they seem to fight it every step of the way,” he added.
But an aide for the House Oversight Committee, which has led the investigation into the matter, confirmed the panel has not requested such documents from the White House.
At the end of June, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) told Kudlow in an interview that the panel’s investigation and expertise are “centered around bank statement and bank records,” but went on to note that the committee has received “100 percent” of what it requested through subpoenas.
“Every subpoena that I’ve signed as chairman of the House Oversight Committee over the last five months, we’ve gotten 100 percent of what we’ve requested,” Comer said. “Whether it’s with the FBI or with banks or with Treasury. We have built up success that will lead to more success because now what we’re subpoenaing is a lot more challenge.”
The Hill reached out to McCarthy’s office for more details on the documents lawmakers are seeking.
Republicans have been focused both on the Biden family’s business dealings and an investigation into Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes.
The assertion about the bribe largely stems from an unverified tip to the FBI relaying a conversation from an informant who spoke with Ukrainian oligarch and Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Hunter Biden previously sat on the board of Burisma, and his time there is at the center of Republican investigations. While Zlochevsky alluded to payments to the Bidens in the conversation, he appeared to deny that allegation in records on file with Congress since former President Trump’s first impeachment.
Earlier in the interview, when discussing a potential impeachment inquiry, McCarthy raised several allegations House Republicans have made regarding President Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
He also cited the controversy surrounding the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden case. Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss to be special counsel in the case overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation, but that decision came after two IRS whistleblowers claimed that Weiss was blocked from seeking special counsel status. Weiss and the Justice Department have denied the allegations.
“Somebody is lying in this process. And the only thing I realize here is the only stories that have not changed are the whistleblowers from the IRS. Their story has held up time and again, and it really looks like there’s two justice systems here. If the Biden administration continues to fight to withhold information that could really clear all this up. Did they take bribes? Did they deal in the business?” McCarthy said.
McCarthy also warned that the House could move to an impeachment inquiry if Weiss, the special counsel, refuses to hand over information to Congress.
While Republicans had been pushing for the appointment of a special counsel in the case, many were disappointed the authority was given to Weiss.
Some have since raised concerns that the appointment could interfere with investigations on Capitol Hill. Law enforcement officials routinely refuse to share information about ongoing investigations with lawmakers.
“If they use this special counsel to say that they can’t provide us the information, then it just shows more politics. And it will not stop us. Then we would move to impeachment inquiry and we would be able to still get the documents that we need as we move forward,” McCarthy told Kudlow.
McCarthy first raised the prospect of an impeachment inquiry in July, telling reporters that the House could launch such an investigation if the actions uncovered by their probes into the Biden family rise to such a level.
On a House GOP member call earlier this month, McCarthy said committees would continue their probes and that the conference would hold the administration accountable, according to The Washington Post.