White House declines Comer testimony invite, declaring impeachment investigation ‘over’

President Biden declined to appear before House impeachment investigators, writing in a Monday letter through an attorney that the investigation “is over.”

Though brief, the letter tears into the impeachment investigation being led in part by House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), which has yet to uncover any wrongdoing by President Biden.

“Your Committee’s purported ‘impeachment inquiry’ has succeeded only in turning up abundant evidence that, in fact, the President has done nothing wrong. Yet rather than acknowledge this reality, your March 28, 2024, letter contains the same litany of false allegations that have been repeatedly debunked and refuted by the very witnesses you have called before your Committee and the many documents you have obtained,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, wrote in a letter to Comer obtained by The Hill

“Your insistence on peddling these false and unsupported allegations despite ample evidence to the contrary makes one thing about your investigation abundantly clear: The facts do not matter to you.”

CNN first reported Sauber’s response.

Comer’s March letter to President Biden contained numerous dubious claims in an effort to connect the president to various family members’ business dealings.

It also showcased Comer’s reliance on a line of inquiry related to President Biden’s work as vice president in Ukraine. Authorities recently arrested a former FBI informant indicted for lying to the bureau in fabricating allegations that Biden accepted a bribe in connection with his work there. 

Sauber further pointed to discussions by Comer and other Republicans to make criminal referrals from their investigation rather than pursue charges through impeachment, noting the chair also floated the pivot in a fundraising email.

“As our Office has demonstrated, and you acknowledged in a recent fundraising email, your impeachment investigation is over,” Sauber wrote.

The impeachment has taken a back seat in the House in recent weeks, as the chamber prioritizes other deadlines and as support has fizzled among the GOP conference.

GOP colleagues have become more open in recent weeks in questioning whether Comer and the other investigators have gathered enough evidence to build a case against President Biden. 

Democrats, meanwhile, have pressed Comer to name a crime President Biden could be accused of.

The letter comes the evening before the date Comer suggested President Biden testify, though the chair had yet to schedule a hearing.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Biden family. Like his son, Hunter Biden, President Biden is refusing to testify in public about the Bidens’ corrupt influence peddling,” Comer said in a statement, nodding to Hunter Biden’s declination to appear at a hearing after testifying behind closed doors.

Comer went on to suggest that President Biden was not being truthful about the extent he interacted with his son’s business associates, listing off a number of names he wished to ask the president about. The list includes Mykola Zlochevsky, the head of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa and the figure the now-indicted former FBI informant accused of bribing the Biden family.

“It is unfortunate President Biden is unwilling to answer questions before the American people and refuses to answer the very simple, straightforward questions we included in the invitation. Why is it so difficult for the White House to answer those questions?” Comer said.

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