House Republicans filed their articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden on Thursday, while Democrats pointed out that Republicans have still not found any meaningful evidence to support their investigation.
The GOP accuses Biden of corruption by interfering in and profiting from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China and Ukraine, including by accepting bribes, during his tenure as vice president. The claims have long been denied by the White House and Hunter Biden’s lawyers.
The trial, recently announced by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to appease the hardliners and far-right factions of the Republican Party, got off to a rocky start, with the Republican’s star witness in the House saying it wasn’t enough evidence Support articles of impeachment against Biden, and Democratic members of Congress called the hearings an “embarrassment” and “an impeachment hearing about nothing.”
Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said the hearings would still unearth “a mountain of evidence” to support allegations that Biden used his power and influence to benefit his family financially and that such an investigation is necessary.
Below, Newsweek compiled five key moments from Biden’s first impeachment hearing.
GOP star witness downplays case against Biden
Law professor Jonathan Turley, an expert witness who previously testified in the impeachment hearings of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, blasted Republicans’ attempt to impeach Biden, saying he didn’t believe “the evidence is currently up to standard.” correspond to a punishment”. high criminal and misdemeanor levels necessary for indictment.”
Turley said there were enough allegations to warrant launching a House investigation, including that Biden made “demonstrably untrue” statements about business deals.
“Made up image” used in listening
On Thursday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds for submitting a screenshot of a fake text message containing an “explosive accusation” as evidence at the hearing.
Donalds presented the image of the text messages in which he claimed that Hunter Biden committed fraud and money laundering on behalf of his father. Ocasio-Cortez said the screenshot was “manufactured.”
“I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if it came from the committee staff, but it wasn’t the actual direct screenshot from that phone,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The New York congresswoman added that the fabricated image “excluded critical context that altered the underlying meaning and claim.”
Under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, members of Congress are not required to take an oath during legislative hearings.
Elsewhere, Ocasio-Cortez called the hearings “an embarrassment to the times and people of this country,” while noting that Republicans have provided no real evidence to back up their claims.
Distraction caused by the government shutdown
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, also attacked Republicans for focusing on the impeachment hearing amid the threat of a government shutdown.
“We are just 62 hours away from overthrowing the government of the United States of America, and Republicans are launching an impeachment campaign based on a long, tired and discredited lie,” Raskin said. “No foreign enemy has ever been able to bring down the government of the United States, but now MAGA Republicans are about to do just that.”
Raskin, sitting next to a clock counting down the impending government shutdown, also displayed posters with quotes from Republicans who called the MAGA members in their party a “clown show” and “individuals who just want to burn everything down.”
“If I say any of these things, they’ll probably discount my words, but these are Republicans talking about Republicans,” Raskin said. “So let’s be clear, this is not a partisan warfare scene in America today. It’s chaotic power struggles between Republicans and Republicans.”
Elsewhere, Raskin said the lack of evidence against Biden presented by the GOP meant Thursday would be a “His field Impeachment, an impeachment hearing about nothing.”
In a statement, the White House also claimed that House Republicans used the impeachment hearing to distract from the looming government shutdown.
“Today, House Republicans wasted hours spreading debunked lies, even though their own witness admitted there was no evidence to justify this baseless ploy,” White House spokeswoman Sharon Yang said.
“This flop was a failed attempt to distract from our own chaos and inability to govern, which is driving the country into an unnecessary government shutdown that will harm American families.”
Comer struggles to control his hearing
At times, the Kentucky congressman and chairman of the House Oversight Committee struggled to maintain order in the contentious hearing, including interrupting Rep. Summer Lee as she criticized the GOP for not providing “dubious evidence” or even “probative evidence.” against Biden.
“Can you read a bank statement?!” Comer yelled during Lee’s testimony, an interruption unusual for a committee chairman.
Comer also told Ocasio-Cortez, “You’re out of order,” failing to acknowledge the Democrat as a point of order, as required by House rules.
GOP ignores Trump allegations
In impassioned testimony Thursday, Texas Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett called out Republicans who are focusing on the controversial Biden allegations while ignoring the damning evidence against Donald Trump, including claims that he illegally withheld classified documents and stored them in his bathroom Mar-a-Lago preserved.
“When we started talking about things that looked like evidence, they wanted to act like they were blind,” Crockett said while holding up pictures of the documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“You don’t know what that is. These are our national secrets, looks damn to me.”
Crockett then listed dozens of the 91 criminal charges facing the former president as he attacked the Republican Party’s attempt to investigate Biden.
“I will tell you what the President is guilty of. Unfortunately, he was guilty of loving his child unconditionally,” Crockett said. “And that’s the only evidence they’ve presented, and honestly I hope and pray that my parents love me half as much as he loves his child.”
“Until they find any evidence, we need to get back to people’s work, which means keeping this government open so people don’t starve on the streets.”