A series of witnesses in the House Republican impeachment probe into President Joe Biden told investigators they were unaware of any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the president and said they did not know of any evidence that Mr Biden had any involvement in his family’s overseas or domestic business ventures, according to a Democratic staff memorandum obtained by The Independent.
The memorandum, which was prepared by staff on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, said the series of seven witness interviews conducted over the last two months turned up nothing in the way of derogatory evidence in the long-running probe, which Republicans opened shortly after taking control of the House last year.
Although prominent members of the GOP such as Oversight Committee chairman James Comer have intimated that their investigation has uncovered evidence of criminality by Mr Biden and members of his family, the memorandum flatly states that each of the seven witnesses said “they were not aware of any evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden or of President Biden being involved in, profiting from, or taking official actions in relation to family members’ business ventures”.
“Further, not one of these witnesses indicated they ever had any expectation of receiving or ever did receive any political favors from President Biden or his Administration,” it continued.
“Far from yielding any evidence of misconduct by President Biden, these efforts have served only to add to the mountain of evidence rebutting the Chairmen’s false claims about the President and proving that their so-called ‘impeachment inquiry’ rests on nothing but distorted and cherry-picked facts and long debunked conspiracy theories.”
Excerpts from transcripts of some of the interviews bolster the Democrats’ assertion that Mr Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan have turned up nothing against Mr Biden thus far.
One witness, Carol Fox, was questioned about her work overseeing the liquidation of Americore Holdings, a company for which Mr Biden’s brother, James Biden, worked as a consultant in 2018 and 2019. James Biden’s work has figured prominently in the probe because he used some of the funds he was paid by the company to repay a loan his brother had made to him some months before.
Ms Fox told investigators that she had no evidence that President Biden had anything to do with the company or discussed it with his brother.
Asked if it would be “fair to say” that she had “no firsthand knowledge at all concerning President Biden,” Ms Fox replied: “That would be correct.”
Another friend and business associate of James Biden, Joseph Langston, told the committee that as far as he knew, President Biden “had no involvement whatsoever in his business ventures with James” and “received no money from any of those ventures”.
He further explained that the “mere notion” of involving President Biden in any business venture was “categorically unacceptable” to James Biden and his wife, Sara Biden.
While Mr Langston has loaned James and Sara Biden money in the past — loans which Republicans have sought to portray as attempts to curry favour with President Biden — he told the panel that his decision to loan money to the couple was made “out of friendship to James Biden” only.
“None of the Bidens ever suggested to me that, hey, you can take this relationship – or we’ll participate with you in taking this relationship and using it as leverage in any matter of business, money, politics, nothing, that I knew of,” he said.
He also strenuously denied that President Biden ever received any financial benefit from business ventures which Mr Langston had entered into with James Biden, telling the panel that he would never have suggested any such arrangement because it would have been “shot down immediately”.
The failure of any of the panel’s witnesses to link President Biden to anything illegal or unethical appears to be a major blow to efforts by Mr Comer and Mr Jordan to damage the president politically ahead of the 2024 general election.
The impeachment probe into Mr Biden also has the support of his likely opponent, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump, who has called for Mr Biden’s impeachment as a matter of revenge.