With a government shutdown just two days away, the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee on Thursday launched its first hearing as part of the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, a probe that campaigners and the White House have dismissed as a sham.
Brett Edkins, managing director of policy and political affairs at the progressive advocacy group Stand Up America, echoed that assessment in a statement ahead of the hearing, denouncing the proceedings as Republicans’ “most desperate and embarrassing ploy yet.”
“House Republicans are not serious people,” said Edkins. “Today’s impeachment hearing will feature neither fact witnesses nor evidence that President Biden did anything wrong.”
“Instead, it’ll be a shameless display of political grandstanding, conspiracy theory quackery, and a who’s who of right-wing punditry,” he added. “Republicans should try governing for a change and keep the government open, rather than wasting time and tax dollars on this sad sack political theater.”
Watch the hearing live:
Spearheaded by Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), Thursday’s hearing will feature testimony from four witnesses, including conservative legal scholar Jonathan Turley, who testified against the impeachment of former President Donald Trump in 2019 and expressed concern at the time about “lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger.”
The committee will also hear from former George W. Bush Justice Department official Eileen O’Connor, forensic accountant Bruce Dubinsky, and impeachment expert Michael Gerhardt, a witness called by the oversight panel’s Democratic minority.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, lamented in a social media post that instead of working to prevent a government shutdown, the panel is “holding a baseless impeachment hearing.”
“The Oversight Committee is supposed to serve the people, NOT run interference for Donald Trump,” Bush wrote.
Republicans have been investigating Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, for years but have yet to demonstrate wrongdoing by the president — and have in some cases acknowledged that their efforts have yielded no incriminating evidence.
“Let’s get it straight: We’re 62 hours away from shutting down the government of the United States of America, and Republicans are launching an impeachment drive based on a long-debunked and discredited lie,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said during his opening statement at Thursday’s hearing. “No foreign enemy has ever been able to shut down the government of the United States, but now MAGA Republicans are about to do just that.”
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