Joe Biden could “follow Trump’s lead” and ignore Republican House subpoena

President Joe Biden could soon face a subpoena from the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives as the GOP has pledged to investigate his administration.

Republicans will control key committees once the new Congress meets on Jan. 3, and they will have the power to search documents and compel testimony, political scientists have said news week thatBiden will likely be a target.

The President could be subpoenaed as part of an investigation into his son Hunter Biden and his foreign dealings. Republicans on the Oversight and Reform Committee accused Biden of lying about his involvement in his son’s business affairs in a 31-page interim report last week.

Biden has always denied playing any role in Hunter Biden’s business dealings, but Oversight Republicans made it clear their investigation was about the President, alleging that he “abused his public office to further his financial interests.” to support his family”.

US policy experts told news week that Biden could potentially ignore a subpoena, citing the example of former President Donald Trump.

Ignoring a Subpoena

Republicans are likely to seek to link Hunter Biden’s business affairs to his father as part of an investigation into the matter, but the president may have a reason, according to David A. Bateman, an associate professor of government at Cornell University to ignore a subpoena .

“You can’t just subpoena and expect compliance because you’ve decided something stinks: for it to even remotely work, politically or to get the president to comply, there would have to be something to back it up,” Bateman said news week.

“The president could ignore the subpoena, and unless a lawsuit loomed or the Democrats defected, he probably would ignore it,” he said.

Bateman added that trials and Democrat defectors would require “a pretty compelling case” that Hunter Biden did something wrong, but also “that the wrongs he did essentially implicate the president.”

Follow Trump’s lead

Former President Trump could provide an example of how Biden might handle GOP investigations, although it’s not clear if the administration will embrace his tactics.

The House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, earlier this month charged Trump with defying a subpoena they issued him that required him to come for testimony on or about Nov. 14 and documents to submit.

The former president has sued to avoid testifying or providing documents to the committee, which could also be open to Biden.

“The big question in general is whether Biden will cooperate with Republican-led investigations,” said Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London’s Center for US Policy news week.

Joe Biden speaks in the East Room
US President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure job development in the East Room of the White House on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden could soon face a subpoena from the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Oliver Contreras/Getty Images

“Trump has repeatedly violated executive transparency norms by refusing to release documents, testify, and comply with subpoenas in investigations into his own conduct,” he said.

“With this new standard, it’s unclear whether the White House will return to the status quo ante by working with Congress to provide relevant information — or whether it will follow Trump’s example by thwarting investigations at every turn. I suspect we’ll see a little bit of both,” Gift added.

Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, narrates news week: “Attempting to vacate the subpoena will look Trump-style at first, but not for long if the attempt is successful and the courts reprimand investigators.”

“Biden may wish to carefully consider the legal and constitutional justification for the subpoena and testify if it is strong; but if she’s weak, challenge her,” he said.

embarrassing moments

If President Biden were to receive a subpoena from Republicans and testify, that would come with risks of its own.

“Biden will have a difficult decision whether to comply with the subpoena or go to court and try to overturn it,” Quirk said.

“Even if the investigation does not uncover credible evidence of wrongdoing, the president’s appearance before a committee of inquiry would likely create some embarrassing moments for him and his son,” he said.

“Republicans would seize the opportunity to hurl insults and bizarre accusations right in the President’s face,” Quirk continued.

Quirk said that in the absence of major revelations, “the investigation is likely to go down poorly with moderates, swing voters and the mainstream media and could backfire against Republicans.”

“But even if it does, Biden’s image will inevitably suffer,” he said.

Serious Evidence

Republicans could risk an unfavorable contrast between their probe into the Bidens and the ongoing investigation into former President Trump, while the GOP’s Biden could complicate things by fighting a subpoena.

“The president has a short-term interest in officials complying with subpoenas from Congress — but even that is pretty thin,” Bateman said news week.

“After all, Biden has no say in whether Trump will be subpoenaed by the House of Representatives, the Senate, or even the Justice Department for real,” he said. “He has an interest in seeing that there is justice, but that is delegated to the Attorney General and now the Special Counsel, who can do this just as well as Congress — and since the judiciary has weakened Congress’s own authority, can.” they maybe do it even better.”

“Lastly, and most importantly, the sitting President would have a very simple argument for ignoring a subpoena: Hunter Biden is just a private individual, not even a Billy Carter at large,” Bateman continued.

Billy Carter was the younger brother of former President Jimmy Carter, whose relationship with the Libyan government was the subject of a Senate hearing, dubbed “Billygate” by some in the press.

“Without some serious evidence of the president’s impropriety, a subpoena would look like a clear attempt at political gain,” Bateman said.

“By contrast, the Donald Trump investigation is an investigation into a former official for whom credible evidence of wrongdoing was rife. Republicans could try to pretend this is hypocrisy, but that would not be a serious or gullible argument,” he said. Joe Biden could “follow Trump’s lead” and ignore Republican House subpoena

Rick Schindler

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