House Republicans are working to build a case for impeaching President Joe Biden. A series of inquiry hearings in the House Oversight Committee kicked off Thursday.
At issue, suspected improper business dealings, in which the president may have participated or profited.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said their evidence shows Biden abused his office by playing a key role in the "family business," involving Hunter Biden and others. That role involved selling the "Joe Biden Brand," to those willing to pay for access, influence, and power.
"Today, the House Oversight Committee will examine over two dozen pieces of evidence revealing Joe Biden's corruption and abuse of public office," Comer said during his opening remarks.
That evidence reportedly includes e-mails, text messages, bank records, and the testimony of Biden business associates. Thursday's hearing, however, did not unveil any new evidence, rather it was an effort to lay groundwork for why the GOP believes the inquiry is warranted.
"Whether it was lunches, phone calls, White House meetings, or official foreign trips, Hunter Biden cashed in by arranging access to Joe Biden, the family brand," said Rep. Jason Smith, (R-MS)
GOP-called witness Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, and an expert on impeachment, testified that he believes the House passed the threshold for an inquiry, but not for charges.
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"I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment. That is something that an inquiry has to establish," Turley said.
"If the Republicans had a smoking gun or even a dripping water pistol, they would be presenting it today. But they've got nothing on Joe Biden," said Ranking Democrat Jamie Raskin, (D-MD).
He displayed a government shutdown countdown clock throughout the hearing and criticized Republicans for focusing on impeachment when the nation is days away from running out of money because they can't agree on a spending bill.
"This isn't partisan warfare America is seeing today. It's chaotic infighting between Republicans and Republicans," Raskin said.
He also accused the GOP of opening an impeachment inquiry due to pressure from former President Donald Trump, bringing up a Truth Social post from the end of August.
"Of course, the standard for impeachment is not whether they, 'Did it to us,' but whether the president committed treason, or bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. But the Constitution is irrelevant to them. What counts is what Trump wants," Raskin said.
It's unclear whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could get the necessary support to pursue articles of impeachment against Biden.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans warn there's no way the Democrat majority would have a trial if it makes it out of the House.