Rep. James Comer, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight panel, has formally invited President Joe Biden to testify before the committee as part of its impeachment probe. The invitation comes following testimony from former business associates of Hunter Biden that contradicted statements made by the president regarding his involvement in his son’s business dealings. Comer proposed that Biden appear on April 16 and cited the precedent of President Gerald Ford testifying before a House Judiciary Committee in 1974. The proposed testimony would coincide with the start of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York.

The White House responded to the invitation by pointing to previous testimony that has cleared the president of any wrongdoing. Spokesman Ian Sams referred to the invitation as a “sad stunt” and suggested that Comer should end the impeachment inquiry. Democrats on the Oversight panel also criticized the Republican-led probe, calling it a “circus” and accusing Republicans of having distorted and twisted evidence. However, Comer’s letter points to evidence suggesting that Biden was involved in schemes to help Hunter Biden’s businesses, specifically citing loans made by the president to his brother, James Biden, prior to his presidency.

During the hearing where Bobulinski and Galanis testified about the president’s involvement in pay-for-influence schemes, it was revealed that Biden regularly joined meetings by speakerphone with his son and his business associates. Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, testified that the president joined approximately 20 calls with his son and associates, although they were described as brief conversations that did not address official business. Parnas, who was invited to appear as a witness by Democrats on the committee, testified that there was no evidence of Biden family corruption involving Ukraine and that the Russian government had pushed false claims.

The impeachment inquiry into President Biden has been a central focus for House Republicans, who have targeted Hunter Biden as part of their investigation. However, the probe faced a significant setback when former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, whose claims sparked the investigation, was indicted and accused of providing false information to the FBI about Biden and his son during the 2020 presidential campaign. Hunter Biden himself testified in a closed-door deposition as part of the inquiry, denying any involvement by his father in his business dealings and condemning the probe as a baseless political charade fueled by conspiracies.

Overall, the invitation for President Biden to testify before the House Oversight panel represents a significant development in the ongoing impeachment probe. As both sides present conflicting narratives and evidence, the testimony could provide crucial clarity on the allegations surrounding the president’s involvement in his son’s business dealings. With the proposed testimony coinciding with the start of Trump’s trial, the political implications of this invitation are likely to be far-reaching and could impact the trajectory of the impeachment inquiry.

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