House Republicans say Hunter Biden used dad’s role as VP to ‘discourage’ further SEC scrutiny in 2016 probe

FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans say Hunter Biden "gratuitously" used his father's role as vice president in an effort to "discourage" further scrutiny in a 2016 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation involving his business associates and their entities, Fox News Digital has learned. 

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, penned a letter to the chairman of the SEC as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

"In 2016, attorneys within the SEC’s Enforcement Division were investigating a tribal bond scheme in which several individuals were charged with violating federal securities laws. As part of this investigation, several of Robert Hunter Biden’s (Hunter Biden) business associates and inter-connected entities were implicated by the alleged conduct," Comer and Jordan wrote. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS REFER HUNTER BIDEN, JAMES BIDEN FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AMID IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

As part of the investigation, the SEC subpoenaed individuals and entities "for documents, communications, and testimony."

At the time, the SEC subpoenaed Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer, and Rosemont Seneca Bohai – an entity utilized by both Archer and Hunter Biden. 

Comer and Jordan revealed that Hunter Biden was also subpoenaed as part of the investigation in March 2016, while Joe Biden was serving as vice president. 

The subpoena for Hunter Biden compelled him to produce documents and communications regarding Rosemont Seneca Bohai. 

Comer and Jordan wrote that Rosemont Seneca Bohai "was directly implicated in the tribal bond scheme." 

Citing the initial complaint, Comer and Jordan noted that in October 2014, Rosemont purchased "the entirety of the Second Tribal Bond Issuance" for $15 million. 

Archer, during his interview before the House Oversight Committee last year, testified that Hunter Biden, at the time, was "a corporate secretary" of Rosemont and that "they had a handshake 50-50 ownership." 

Comer and Jordan also noted that last month the House Ways and Means Committee voted to release IRS documents that showed that Hunter Biden certified on a document that he was, in fact, the secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai. 

"According to Mr. Archer, ‘Rosemont Seneca Bohai was set up to hold the equity of BHR,’ which stands for Bohai Harvest Rosemont [Partners]. BHR was supposed to be a private equity fund based in China to engage in cross-border investments," they wrote. "The RSB bank account was used to funnel other foreign payments and benefits to Hunter Biden, including money from Ukraine and a new sports car from an oligarch in Kazakhstan." 

Comer and Jordan revealed that Hunter Biden was responsive to the subpoena in 2016 and provided 1,749 responsive documents to the SEC as part of the investigation. 

But Comer and Jordan said that, "concerningly," Hunter Biden’s attorney reminded in his response that his father was the sitting vice president. 

HOUSE GOP CLAIMS HUNTER BIDEN LIED UNDER OATH MULTIPLE TIMES DURING CONGRESSIONAL DEPOSITION

"As a threshold matter, we request that you treat this matter with the highest degree of confidentiality, consistent with Commission policy and applicable law," Hunter Biden’s attorney wrote on April 20, 2016. "The confidential nature of this investigation is very important to our client and it would be unfair, not just to our client, but also to his father, the Vice President of the United States, if his involvement in an SEC investigation and parallel criminal probe were to become the subject of any media attention." 

Comer and Jordan said Hunter Biden’s response "gratuitously invoked his father’s position as the Vice President in what could be interpreted as an effort to discourage further SEC scrutiny." 

Comer and Jordan also noted that on May 11, 2016, the SEC published its press release announcing the charging of seven individuals, with no mention or charging of Hunter Biden. 

His business associates Devon Archer and Jason Galanis, however, were charged. 

Galanis pleaded guilty to securities fraud based on bonds issued by a company affiliated with a Native American tribe in South Dakota. The funds were reportedly supposed to be used for certain projects but were instead used for his personal finances. He was sentenced in 2017 to 14 years. House Republicans interviewed Galanis from his prison cell as part of the impeachment inquiry. 

Archer was also tied to the scheme and convicted in 2018 for defrauding the Native American tribal entity and various investment advisory clients of tens of millions of dollars in connection with the issuance of bonds by the tribal entity and the subsequent sale of those bonds through fraudulent and deceptive means. Archer was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. 

As part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, Comer and Jordan are demanding all documents and communications between the SEC and the White House, including the Office of the Vice President and all documents provided by Rosemont Seneca, Archer, and Hunter Biden in the SEC investigation.  

COMER INVITES BIDEN TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY AS PART OF HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

They also are demanding the SEC’s "justification for seeking documents from Hunter Biden" in the matter; all internal documents and communications regarding Hunter Biden’s response; and any internal ethics opinions rendered by the SEC regarding Hunter Biden or then-Vice President Biden. 

Comer and Jordan are also asking the SEC to make Tejal D. Shah, a former staff attorney who led the investigation who now serves as a principal adviser, appear for questioning by the committees in the form of a transcribed interview. 

"In short, the records sought by this request are critical to the impeachment inquiry," they wrote. 

The requests come after the Comer, Jordan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, earlier this month, sent criminal referrals to the Justice Department recommending Hunter Biden and James Biden be charged with making false statements to Congress about "key aspects" of the impeachment inquiry. 

One of the false statements allegedly made by Hunter Biden was regarding his role at Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC as corporate secretary. 

House Republicans allege that during his deposition before Congress earlier this year, Hunter Biden made false statements about holding a position at Rosemont Seneca Bohai. The committees describe the entity as one which was used to receive millions of dollars from foreign individuals and entities who met with then-Vice President Biden before and after transmitting money to the RSB account that then transferred funds to Hunter Biden. 

House Republicans are continuing their impeachment inquiry against the president. They are investigating his role and knowledge of his family’s international influence-peddling schemes that they say generated more than $18 million for Biden family members and their companies, and more than $27 million, when including the payments to their business associates, who they say were often used to transfer funds to Biden family members. 

House GOP probes whether special counsel office helped retaliate against Hunter Biden whistleblowers

EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are investigating whether the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has contributed to the alleged retaliation and "smear campaign" against IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who brought claims of political influence in the Hunter Biden investigation to Congress. 

Fox News Digital has exclusively obtained a letter penned by House Speaker Mike Johnson; House Majority Leader Steve Scalise; House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan; and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith to the Office of Special Counsel. 

The top Republican lawmakers are seeking a briefing to determine whether there has been improper influence surrounding the IRS whistleblowers’ claims pending before the OSC. 

"IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have been wholly consistent in their testimony about misconduct and politicization in the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation of Hunter Biden," the Republican leaders said in a joint-statement to Fox News Digital. "They did exactly what an honorable government employee should do: when they witnessed wrongdoing, they reported it responsibly and made legally protected disclosures." 

ADVOCATES FOR IRS WHISTLEBLOWERS ACCUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL WEISS OF RETALIATION, MISLEADING: ‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’

The lawmakers said that "because of their bravery and integrity, we are finally beginning to see steps toward accountability." 

"But this has not come without great cost to them," they added. "Mr. Shapley and Ziegler have faced retaliation for doing the right thing." 

IRS WHISTLEBLOWER SHAPLEY SAID HE 'COULD NO LONGER PURSUE' HUNTER BIDEN SUGAR BROTHER KEVIN MORRIS DUE TO CIA

"The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which is tasked with protecting whistleblowers, must conduct an impartial investigation of the claims of Mr. Shapley and Ziegler without improper influence from those seeking to smear these courageous individuals." 

Shapley, who led the IRS’ portion of the Hunter Biden probe, and Ziegler, a 13-year special agent within the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division, have alleged political influence surrounding prosecutorial decisions throughout the Hunter Biden investigation, which began in 2018.

Shapley has said decisions "at every stage" of the probe "had the effect of benefiting the subject of the investigation."

And Ziegler has said that Hunter Biden "should have been charged with a tax felony, and not only the tax misdemeanor charge," and that communications and text messages reviewed by investigators "may be a contradiction to what President Biden was saying about not being involved in Hunter’s overseas business dealings."

Ziegler also alleged that federal investigators "did not follow the ordinary process, slow-walked the investigation, and put in place unnecessary approvals and roadblocks from effectively and efficiently investigating the case," including prosecutors blocking certain questioning and interviewing of Hunter Biden’s adult children.

IRS OFFICIAL SAYS HE WAS FRUSTRATED DOJ DID NOT BRING CHARGES AGAINST HUNTER BIDEN FOR 2014, 2015 TAX YEARS

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the letter they wrote to OSC Acting Principal Deputy Special Counsel Karen Gorman, which notifies her that they are investigating whether the OSC "has contributed by action and/or inaction to retaliation" against Shapley and Ziegler. 

The House Republican leadership and committee chairmen requested a briefing to "better understand OSC’s conduct and to ensure that there has not been any improper influence on OSC’s investigation." 

Shapley and Ziegler both have whistleblower retaliation claims pending before the OSC.

"In particular, SSA Shapley made protected disclosures about the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, alleging prosecutorial misconduct in the Hunter Biden investigation," they wrote, adding that Shapley alleges that then-U.S. Attorney, now-Special Counsel David Weiss "began retaliating against him in November 2022 upon learning of the disclosure of his Office’s wrongdoing." 

The Republicans said that in March of this year, Weiss filed a redacted document related to the whistleblowers with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS REFER HUNTER BIDEN, JAMES BIDEN FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AMID IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

They noted that "the phrasing of and redactions to the filing have led to media speculation about whether the whistleblowers themselves are under investigation for wrongdoing," but said they have received information to prove that Shapley and Ziegler "are not under investigation." 

Last month, Shapley and Ziegler said they would seek an inspector general investigation into Weiss, alleging he "hid and twisted" information – prompting more angst on Capitol Hill amid inquiries into Biden family conduct and alleged politicization of the Justice Department.

Empower Oversight, the legal group representing Shapley and Ziegler, alleged that Weiss’ team – in a March 11 federal court filing – deliberately misled the public by suggesting an unnamed federal agency was investigating the two whistleblowers for misconduct. However, the vague reference to the "potential investigation(s)" is a reference to a probe the whistleblowers sought, alleging the Justice Department and IRS were retaliating against them for their disclosures.

"David Weiss has been retaliating against Gary Shapley ever since Shapley objected a year and a half ago to letting the statute of limitations lapse on 2014 felony tax charges against Hunter Biden," Tristan Leavitt, president of Empower Oversight, told Fox News Digital last month. "Weiss then learned from internal IRS communications that Shapley had been telling his IRS chain of command about Weiss' office pulling punches in the Hunter Biden probe."

Empower Oversight at the time also asked the OSC to clarify for the record that the two agents are not under investigation.

Meanwhile, the House GOP leaders noted that President Biden’s nomination of now-Special Counsel Hampton Dellinger caused senators to express "deep concern" about his ability to "fairly" investigate the whistleblowers’ claims given his past work. 

Dellinger worked at Boise Schiller law firm "with Hunter Biden on various Burisma-related matters." 

Dellinger recused himself from the OSC’s investigation related to whistleblowers’ claims. 

OSC did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment. 

Weiss indicted Hunter Biden on federal gun charges in Delaware. Hunter Biden was found guilty on all counts last week. Hunter Biden had pleaded not guilty. 

Weiss also charged the first son with federal tax crimes. That trial is set to begin on Sept. 5 with jury selection in California. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty. 

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to force vote on impeaching Biden over border crisis

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Monday threatened to trigger a privileged resolution to impeach President Biden this week over his handling of the border, in what she describes as the "permanent invasion of the United States."

Greene said she contemplated triggering the resolution on Monday but said she decided to speak with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., first.

"I can force a vote this week," Greene told reporters. "But you know what, I was gonna do it tonight but I decided I’m gonna go talk to our Republican elected Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, that I actually voted for [who] claims he supports Trump, and ask him if he’s gonna do something about it."

Greene said she plans to talk about her privileged impeachment resolution in a closed-door GOP conference meeting this week. 

BIDEN IS SAID TO BE FINALIZING PLANS FOR MIGRANT LIMITS AS PART OF A US-MEXICO BORDER CLAMPDOWN

The move comes as Biden plans to roll out an executive order that would crack down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. The order is expected to shut down asylum requests at the border if the average number of daily encounters reaches 2,500 at ports of entry. 

"When are we going to impeach Joe Biden"? Greene asked. "I've got articles of impeachment ready to go, privileged resolution. I'm happy to force everyone up here to vote because that's what we should be doing."

"Because here's Joe Biden, he's going to come out with his garbage executive orders on Wednesday, his permanent invasion of the United States of America plan where he sets a limit, a weekly limit. Here you go, everybody. You get to come in."

She railed against a report that shows that since 2022, over 350,000 asylum cases filed by migrants were closed by the U.S. government on the basis that those who filed did not have a criminal record or were not deemed a threat to the U.S.

"So, you know what? Republicans need to grow a spine. They need to learn that this is our country, our America that we know is gone, because Democrats are willing to put every single one of their political opponents in prison."

IMMIGRATION JUDGES RAMP UP PACE CLOSING DEPORTATION CASES, BUT BACKLOG EXPLODES AS BORDER CRISIS GROWS

If Greene were to trigger the resolution on Tuesday or Wednesday, it would force a vote within two legislative days – likely with a procedural vote coming first on a motion to table or refer to a committee. This would be procedurally similar to what happened with the privileged resolution by Rep. Boebert, R-Colo., to impeach Biden in June of last year. It would also be procedurally similar to what happened to her resolution to oust Johnson last month. 

The vote could happen immediately after Green's resolution is triggered, while it could also be put off until later in the same day, the next day, or even until the House comes back next week as the chamber is leaving town on Wednesday to allow a congressional delegation to go to Normandy for the anniversary of D-Day. In the case the motion to table or refer were to fail, the House would then vote on a privileged resolution to impeach Biden immediately. 

It does not appear likely at this time that the votes are there to impeach Biden.

Greene said if Johnson does not move to impeach Biden she will try and force the matter.

"And if he says he won't bring an impeachment resolution against him, I'll just drop 'em on the floor," Green said. 

"And then we can vote and see where everybody stands. So I'm mad, I'm mad…my people at home are mad. Everybody across this country are furious. We don't want a banana republic. We want an actual legitimate government. We want a real justice system. We don't have one."

Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

Fifth-generation Texan advances past GOP primary runoff to take on progressive homeless activist

State Rep. Craig Goldman secured the Republican nomination for the open 12th Congressional District in Texas in a runoff Tuesday, a seat opening up due to the retirement of Rep. Kay Granger, according to the Associated Press.

Goldman won in a runoff after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the March primary. Granger has held the seat since 1997 but is retiring at the end of the term. 

The race had been a demonstration of the split in the state’s Republican Party. O’Shea had framed himself an "America First" candidate and had touted the backing of Attorney General Ken Paxton and Trump allies, including Roger Stone and Gen. Michael Flynn.

TEXAS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RUNOFFS FEATURE POLITICAL REVENGE, TRUMP AS KEY FACTORS

"It is an honor to support John O’Shea for Texas’ 12th. John is a friend who I have found to be a dedicated husband and father who will put family, faith and country first," Paxton said in a statement backing the candidate. 

O'Shea argued the U.S. "has a number of higher priority issues that must be addressed to ensure our citizens are taken care of before focusing on other global matters."

Goldman, a fifth-generation Texan, meanwhile, had the endorsement of Gov. Greg Abbott and Speaker Dade Phelan, and had voted to impeach Paxton in 2023.  He had promised to be a "conservative fighter who will prioritize border security and the American taxpayer."

CONTROVERSIAL MOVE: ABBOTT PARDONS ARMY SERGEANT WHO KILLED BLM PROTESTER

O’Shea had used that vote for Paxton's impeachment to hit his opponent. 

"There is a civil war in the party in the state of Texas," O’Shea said in April, according to the Texas Tribune. "I like to characterize it as the America First-Paxton side, and then there’s the establishment team Phelan side. You have a candidate who represents each one of those two sides. The choice is clear. Now, you have a chance to choose."

Goldman has pushed back against claims he is less conservative than O’Shea, arguing he had a proven conservative voting record.

"That’s the difference between John and I," Goldman said at an April debate, according to KERA News.

The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face Trey Hunt, a progressive activist and mental health professional who has been outspoken on homeless issues. Hunt, whose campaign website says he was "born and raised in Southwest Fort Worth," is running to push for "reform in the criminal justice system," "guaranteeing abortion rights" for women and other issues.

HEAD HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2024 PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS

Both Republican candidates have emphasized their stances on tackling illegal immigration in a state that has been on the frontline of the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border. They have both also highlighted their positions on abortion and Second Amendment rights.

It’s one of a number of races in which Abbott and Paxton have chosen opposing candidates. They have done so in five separate races. Both lawmakers have scores to settle, with Paxton targeting those Republicans who voted to impeach him last year on corruption charges and Abbott eyeing those who defeated his 2023 education plan. The school voucher measure, which was Abbott's top legislative item last year, passed the state Senate, but its defeat in the state House was a rare political setback for Abbott.

"It’s a power play and definitely a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party of Texas, and Gov. Abbott wants to get legislators in there who will support his agenda," veteran Texas-based Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser told Fox News.

Granger had backed Goldman for the seat, touting his credentials as a "staunch advocate for a strong national defense."

Phelan faces his own challenge in District 21 from oil and gas consultant David Covey. Phelan oversaw the impeachment effort against Paxton. He was later censured by the Texas GOP for the effort. 

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Vince Fong advances in special election runoff to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Californians voted to advance Republican State Assemblyman Vince Fong during Tuesday's special election to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted last year.

Fong, a former McCarthy aide endorsed by both McCarthy and former President Trump, faced off with Republican Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux at the polls on Tuesday. 

Because both candidates are Republicans, the GOP will hold 218 seats, compared to the Democrats' 213, factoring in four vacancies. In California's jungle primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

Fong, who also earned the most votes in March's primary election, will serve out the rest of McCarthy's term until he battles against Boudreaux again in November in the general election.

TRUMP ENDORSES EX-KEVIN MCCARTHY AIDE VINCE FONG TO FILL VACANT SEAT AS HIS FORMER AIDES BACK FONG’S OPPONENT

Fong and Boudreaux advanced to Tuesday's runoff following a March special election where they emerged as the top two candidates, with neither getting more than 50% of the vote to trigger a victor. By November, voters in the district will have voted for either candidate a total of three times.

McCarthy resigned from the House in December, three months after he was voted out of the speakership. 

The district, which cuts through the Central Valley farm belt, including parts of Bakersfield and Fresno, is the most strongly Republican House seat in heavily Democratic California. Trump largely carried CA-20 in 2020 and McCarthy represented the district from 2007 until his resignation in late 2023. In February, Trump called Fong "a true Republican."

Among Boudreaux's supporters are Ric Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence under Trump, and Republican state Sen. Shannon Grove, from Fong's hometown of Bakersfield.

TULARE COUNTY SHERIFF MIKE BOUDREAUX ON THE CARTEL STYLE HIT THAT KILLED SIX PEOPLE

Trump's involvement in the race casts it as a litmus test for the former president's political relevance as he presumably gears up for a potential rematch against President Biden in November.

"I am proud to join California’s Republican Congressional Delegation, and give Vince Fong my Complete and Total Endorsement!" Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. "Vince was one of only 6 Republicans in the State Assembly to stand with me, and reject the Second Impeachment Hoax. In Congress, Vince will work with me to Grow the Economy, Lower your Taxes, Cut Burdensome Regulations, Champion American Energy, and Protect and Defend the Second Amendment, which is under siege by the Radical Left."

HOUSE VOTES TO REMOVE KEVIN MCCARTHY AS SPEAKER IN HISTORIC FIRST

In October, the House of Representatives voted to oust McCarthy, the first time in history the top leader of the lower chamber was booted from the job. 

Fox News Digital's Danielle Wallace contributed to this report. 

House Dems seeking re-election seemingly reverse course, call on Biden to ‘bring order to the southern border’

Five vulnerable Democrats who voted against measures to strengthen border security in the past have seemingly changed their tune as they seek re-election to their posts in the lower chamber.

Following President Biden's signing of a $95 billion package with aid to both Ukraine and Israel last week, five Democrats – Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington, Mary Peltola of Alaska, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas and Don Davis of North Carolina – released a joint statement agreeing with calls for Congress and the president to "act and bring order to the southern border."

"Beyond defending our allies, we strongly agree with the National Border Patrol Council that Congress and the President must act and bring order to the Southern border," the lawmakers stated. "That is why we also voted for H.R. 3602 on Saturday, and why we all voted last month for $19.6 billion for Border Patrol so that it could ramp up its efforts to secure the border."

The comments from the five Democrats – three of whom (Golden, GluesenKamp, and Davis) are engaged in tough re-election battles that have been labeled "toss up" races by the Cook Political Report, and another two (Peltola and Gonzalez) competing in races labeled "lean Democrat" – came after each one of them voted against the Secure the Border Act of 2023.

VULNERABLE HOUSE DEMS DO A U-TURN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AFTER CALLING CRISIS 'NON-EXISTENT THREAT'

That bill, which passed in the House, would have expanded the type of crimes that make someone ineligible for asylum, limited the eligibility to those who arrive at ports of entry, mandated a system similar to the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system, and created additional penalties for visa overstay.

In addition to not supporting the Secure the Border Act, the same five Democrats voted on two different occasions against GOP-led efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom many Republicans have argued is largely responsible for the migrant crisis at the southern border.

Certain Democrats, like Gluesenkamp Perez, who was first elected to Congress in 2022 and co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition with Golden and Peltola, have made dismissive comments about the border crisis in recent years.

The Washington lawmaker previously faced criticism from Republicans over border-related comments she made in March 2023 during an appearance on Pod Save America, which came prior to the ending of the Title 42 public health order.

"Listen, nobody stays awake at night worrying about the southern border," she said at the time. "That's just not… people stay awake at night worrying that their kid is gonna relapse or that, you know, someone's going to drop out of school or they're going to lose their house."

Gluesenkamp Perez was also one of many Democrats who defended Mayorkas amid calls for his impeachment earlier this year, saying it was "frustrating to see" Republicans push for his ouster because "he doesn't set policy, he implements it."

Despite her past remarks, Gluesenkamp Perez has been critical of Biden's handling of the border crisis in recent months, saying in April that she voted in support of H.R. 3602, which provides for criminal penalties for certain conduct that interferes with U.S. border control measures, because "President Biden has failed to end the crisis at our Southern Border."

"Every country has an obligation to protect its citizens and secure its sovereign borders, and H.R. 3602 focuses on the urgent need to restore operational control of the Southern Border. Unlike the unworkable and un-American immigration proposals pushed by far-right extremists, this bipartisan bill doesn’t create burdensome government mandates that would harm small businesses, agricultural employers, rural communities, and our economy," she said at the time.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, a member of the congresswoman's press team insisted that she has "called on the [Biden] Administration her entire time in office to fix the crisis at our Southern Border, and for Congress to do its job to pass meaningful border security legislation."

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The spokesperson also touted the Washington lawmaker's introduction of the "Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act to restore operational control at the Southern Border by restoring expulsion authority for Border Patrol and requiring the President to reinstate Remain in Mexico," as well as her support for the End Fentanyl Act.

"Marie continues to urge Congress to get back to work to address the real crisis at our border and end the petty gamesmanship," the spokesperson said.

Gonzalez is another Democrat who made dismissive remarks prior to the expiration of Title 42, which provided the ability for American officials to bar migrants from entering the country during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a July 2023 stop in Edinburgh, Texas, Gonzalez reportedly shot down questions and concern over whether Biden was doing enough to secure the southern border amid an overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants.

"We have seen major improvements along the border.… If you go to the border now, in our region, it’s pretty unremarkable what you see," Gonzalez said, according to the Rio Grande Guardian. "When they lifted Title 42 and implemented Title 7, which I advocated against… I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong. What the president did, what Secretary Mayorkas has done, has positively impacted our border and that’s a fact."

"People could point fingers and say things, but the reality is, undocumented crossings are down by 70%," he added at the time.

A little more than a week after Gonzalez gave those remarks, the Texas Tribune reported that Border Patrol agents "made more than 130,000 arrests along the Mexico border [in July 2023], preliminary figures show, up from 99,545 in June."

Gonzalez is one of 154 Democrats who voted this January against the Agent Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act, which would have created hefty federal penalties for illegal migrants who evade U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers during motor vehicle pursuits. The measure was named after a Border Patrol officer who died in a vehicle crash in Texas last year during a pursuit.

Along with Golden and Gluesenkamp Perez, Gonzalez was one of 201 Democrats who voted in July 2023 against the Schools Not Shelters Act, which would have prohibited "the use of the facilities of a public elementary school, a public secondary school, or an institution of higher education to provide shelter for aliens who have not been admitted into the United States, and for other purposes."

Peltola joined 218 Republicans in voting in favor of that measure at the time, while Davis did not vote.

"I remain dedicated to addressing the border crisis. However, we must not inflict harm on American agriculture in the process," Davis said in a statement to Fox. "Initially, I had concerns about the e-verify provision in HR-2, but it was removed, allowing me to fully lend my support, along with just four other Democrats, to H.R. 3602, the Bipartisan End the Border Catastrophe Act."

Asked whether he believes Biden is responsible for the border crisis, Davis said his "votes speak for themselves."

CBP records show the first six months of fiscal year 2024 had 1,340,801 total encounters, exceeding the first six months of fiscal year 2023, which set a record of 1,226,254 total encounters.

Vulnerable House Dems do a U-turn on illegal immigration after calling crisis ‘non-existent threat’

A handful of vulnerable House Democrats, all of whom dismissed concern about the southern border crisis and voted against measures to enhance border security in the past, have attempted to show their attention to the issue as they campaign for re-election.

Three Democrats in competitive House races this election cycle — Reps. Yadira Caraveo, D-Colo., Gabe Vasquez, D-N.M., and Eric Sorenson, D-Ill. — have introduced bills, resolutions and amendments over the last year that would do little to limit the flow of migrants entering the country illegally, but they acknowledge the crisis.

Caraveo, who represents Colorado's 8th Congressional District, introduced a package of legislation earlier this year pertaining to some of the immigration struggles facing the United States.

The first-term lawmaker introduced two bills — the HELP for Interior Cities ACT and the ANTI-Drugs Act — in February and insisted both pieces of legislation address "the needs of Colorado communities in the wake of a recent increase in migrant arrivals."

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"This comprehensive plan would deliver funding to interior cities like Denver that are in need of support, reduce the financial burden placed on local governments, and stem the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. It would also deliver much-needed funding to law enforcement both at the border and here in Colorado," she said of the measures at the time.

The HELP for Interior Cities ACT does little to address the flow of migrants entering the country and provides additional funding for migrant shelters located in cities not found along the border. The ANTI-Drugs Act, however, would make an already-existing Department of Homeland program titled "Operation Stonegarden" permanent and give law enforcement agencies grants for equipment and "personnel, including overtime and backfill, in support of enhanced border law enforcement activities."

Prior to introducing the measures, Caraveo was one of 211 Democrats who voted against the Secure the Border Act of 2023. That measure, which passed in the House, would have expanded the type of crimes that make someone ineligible for asylum, limited the eligibility to those who arrive at ports of entry, mandated a system similar to the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system and created additional penalties for visa overstay.

Caraveo was also one of 210 House Democrats who voted against a GOP-led effort in the House to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas.

During her previous tenure in the Colorado state House of Representatives, Caraveo joined other Democrats from across the nation to send a letter urging the Biden administration to relax immigration rules and "divest from immigration enforcement agencies like ICE and CBP."

Another Democrat who has brought attention to the issue in recent months is Vasquez, who represents New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District.

Earlier this month, Vasquez introduced a resolution that "condemns Republican inaction on common-sense solutions to our Nation’s broken immigration system and the challenges our Nation faces at the border."

Like Caraveo, Vasquez voted against the Secure the Border Act of 2023. Last October, however, he introduced a package of immigration bills amid a skyrocketing number of illegal immigrants arriving at the U.S. border. Those measures aimed to increase penalties for smugglers and cartels who engage in violent crimes, provide pathways for certain migrants to lawfully work in the U.S. and fund additional personnel at ports of entry.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ARRESTED IN CRASH THAT KILLED DEMOCRATIC SENATOR'S ADVISER

Prior to joining Congress, Vasquez lashed out at then-President Trump amid immigration woes in 2018 and insisted the idea of "sending the military to quell a non-existent threat" is "beyond stupid."

In a November 2020 post to Twitter, now known as X, Vasquez responded to one social media user who called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection by writing, "the only ICE we need to be melting."

Vasquez was also one of many Democrats who applauded President Biden's decision to terminate construction of a border wall along the southern border. In a January 2021 post on social media, he said, "As of today, all construction on this racist, environmentally destructive, massive waste of money comes to a grinding halt. This vanity project was little more than a glorification of xenophobia and an insult to border communities. Lets tear it down."

Like Caraveo and Vasquez, Sorensen, who represents Illinois' 17th Congressional District, voted against the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which would have largely increased the total number of CBP agents.

Sorensen introduced two amendments to the Secure the Border Act — one that would require the hiring, training and assigning of "not fewer than 500 additional CBP officers" at points of entry and another that would have appropriated $25 million to "improve coordination" and "expand" a fentanyl task force.

Both amendments were not considered prior to a vote on the bill in the House, and Sorensen cited a lack of bipartisan cooperation in voting against the legislation.

After introducing the amendments, Sorensen went on to vote "nay" on impeachment efforts against Mayorkas earlier this year.

Sorensen, like most of his colleagues on his side of the aisle, has expressed opposition to the Trump-proposed idea of a southern border wall. In a November 2019 post promoting an Illinois restaurant, he wrote, "We don’t need border walls, we need more pancakes and burritos!"

Last July, Sorensen joined 201 other Democrats, including Vasquez and Caraveo, in voting against a measure that would have prevented the use of facilities of certain schools that receive federal financial assistance to provide shelter or housing to illegal immigrants. Additionally, the trio of Democrat lawmakers rejected a measure that aimed to prohibit the federal government from using certain federally administered lands to provide housing for illegal immigrants.

Caraveo and Vasquez are both seeking re-election to their seats that have been labeled "Democrat Toss Up" by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analyst. Sorensen's seat has been labeled as "Lean Democrat."

CBP records show the first six months of fiscal year 2024 had 1,340,801 total encounters, exceeding the first six months of fiscal year 2023, which set a record of 1,226,254 total encounters.

Caraveo, Vasquez and Sorenson did not respond to Fox News Digital's requests for comment.

White House deems House impeachment inquiry ‘over,’ President Biden formally declines to testify

The White House formally declined an invitation by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., for President Biden to testify in connection to his son Hunter’s business dealings.

"As our Office has demonstrated, and you acknowledged in a recent fundraising email, your impeachment investigation is over," Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, wrote in a letter to Comer on Monday. "It is past time for the House to focus on the issues that matter to the American people rather than continuing to waste time and taxpayer resources on this partisan charade." 

Sauber said the House Oversight Committee’s 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," the special counsel told Comer. "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." 

BIDEN IMPEACHMENT EFFORT STARTING TO 'LOSE STEAM,' HOUSE REPUBLICANS SAY

The National Review published a full copy of the letter also obtained by The Associated Press and other outlets.

Reacting to President Biden’s refusal to testify, Comer issued a blistering statement on his X account, declaring, "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 wrote. "This comes as no surprise since President Biden continues to lie about his relationships with his son’s business partners, even denying they exists when his son said under oath during a deposition that they did. 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? The American people deserve transparency from President Biden, not more lies."

Despite providing testimony behind closed doors, Hunter Biden declined to testify in a public committee alongside former business associates, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, regarding alleged "pay-for- influence" schemes to provide access to certain offices in exchange for payments to the Biden family.    

Notably, Bobulinski at the committee hearing accused Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, of lying under oath regarding the nature of their dealings with the Chinese conglomerate CEFC. 

In a March 28 letter, Comer invited President Biden to "explain, under oath," what involvement he had in the Biden family businesses, claiming the committee "has accounted for over $24 million that has flowed from foreign sources to you, your family and their business associates." 

FBI INFORMANT CHARGED WITH GIVING FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN IN 2020

The letter included questions about Biden’s interactions with specific foreign business officials. 

Comer told President Biden that "you have asserted your pressuring Ukraine in 2015 to fire a government official investigating a company in which your son has a financial interest was wholly in line with U.S. policy." 

The committee received bank records showing Hunter Biden was paid $1 million per year for his position on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma until Joe Biden left office, when Hunter’s salary "was inexplicably cut in half," Comer wrote. The letter specifically asks if President Biden has interacted with executives at Burisma Holdings, which was at the center of the indictment of a former FBI informant in February who the Justice Department accused of providing false information to the FBI.  

The indictment says the former informant, Alexander Smirnov, claimed that during meetings with Burisma executives, they admitted to hiring Hunter to "protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems," and later that they had specifically paid $5 million for such protection. But the DOJ goes on the claim that those events that Smirnov first reported to the FBI Agent in June 2020 were "fabrications." 

Sauber, who was brought on in 2022 to oversee the president’s response to congressional investigations into the Biden family, is leaving the White House early next month to return to the private sector. 

To replace him, the White House is elevating his deputy, Rachel Cotton. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

House to focus just on Israel, Iran next week

EXCLUSIVE: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R, La., tells Fox News the House is shifting its legislative docket next week to deal exclusively with the crisis in the Middle East.

Scalise says the House is jettisoning "themed" legislation focusing on attempts by the Biden Administration to curb the types of appliances people can buy and recalibrating toward foreign policy.

WHY THE HOUSE DELAYED SENDING MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES TO THE SENATE TO BEGIN TRIAL

The biggest issue is a potential aid package for Israel. Scalise says it’s not clear if the House would focus on just Israel or do something related to Ukraine and Taiwan. Scalise suggested an Israel-only bill was a distinct possibility. But did not rule out including Ukraine. Scalise says members must just figure out what can pass.

Scalise says the House is also looking at bills to support Israel and resolutions to condemn Iran and condemn this weekend’s attacks.

In particular, Scalise says the House will bring up a measure which was blocked last week when members torpedoed a procedural measure, blocking debate on a FISA bill.

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Scalise says the House will resuscitate a resolution which supports Israel, condemning antisemitism and calls for a unilateral ceasefire.

Rep. Mike Garcia slams FBI director as being ineffective at his job: ‘I don’t trust you’

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., blatantly told FBI Director Christopher Wray that he does not trust him, while accusing him of not being transparent and standing "relatively silent" about the southern border instead of helping to shape policies on the matter, particularly regarding national security.

Wray met with the House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday afternoon urging Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to be reauthorized by Congress and to discuss next year’s budget, and while some of the discussion involved dollar figures, the FBI director was there to defend efforts to fend off terrorist attacks and the infiltration of the U.S. by violent gangs through the southern border, many of which are connected to the fentanyl epidemic.

When it was time for Garcia to question Wray, the Congressional representative did not hold back.

"I’ll be honest with you, and this pains me to say this, but I don’t trust you," Garcia told Wray.

MORE THAN 40 SENATE REPUBLICANS CALL FOR MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN LETTER TO SCHUMER

The legislator told Wray he did not think it was a funding problem, but rather a "lack of transparency," along with the "weaponization and politicization" of issues and instruments used for national security against Americans and institutions, like churches.

Garcia accused Wray of standing relatively silent and passive about "the biggest national security threat" to the U.S. – referring to the southern border — and refused to give "little credence" in the director’s ability to do his job or lead the "brave agents" below him.

"I don’t trust you to protect us," Garcia said. "I think because of your inability to lead and also shape the policies and the DOJ and at the White House, we are now in a more precarious position than we were, I would submit, than we were on September 10th of 2001."

FBI DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY CITES INCREASED FOREIGN THREATS IN FISA REAUTHORIZATION PLEA: ‘ROGUE’S GALLERY'

Wray appeared to listen as the congressional representative continued to attack him and his reputation.

During the hearing, Wray spoke about the border and his concerns about it being open, particularly in terms of how the opening benefits the cartels and the flow of fentanyl into the U.S.

He told the subcommittee that when agents take down violent gangs, they notice it includes the seizure of fentanyl. The fentanyl, Wray explained, is coming from the cartels, which are getting the dangerous drug from China.

HOUSE BRACES FOR BATTLE OVER RENEWING CONTROVERSIAL FISA SURVEILLANCE TOOL

"Last year, I guess the last two years in a row…the FBI seized enough fentanyl to kill 270 million American people," he said. "And that gives you a sense of the scale of what we’re up against."

Wray continued to speak about instances with the Sinaloa and CJNG cartels, saying he has asked for help from the Mexican government in dealing with these dangerous criminals.

Efforts to target the cartels include going after their money and assets and other infrastructure, as well as going after leadership. But to do so, he added, the FBI is going to need more money.

Garcia told Wray that prior to him being able to ask questions, the FBI director had only mentioned the southern border about four times, closing over the idea that there are over 7 million people who have entered the country illegally, 350 of whom are on the FBI terror watch list, and 1.7 million who were able to flee border patrols before being apprehended.

FBI DIRECTOR SAYS CHINESE HACKERS ARE 'POISED TO ATTACK' AS INFILTRATIONS REACH 'FEVER PITCH'

The representative accused Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden of not protecting American citizens, and putting them into a "clear and present danger situation."

"You have been unable to change the policies driven by your leadership," Garcia told Wray, adding he was ineffective at shaping policies that affect national security.

"Can I just get a simple yes or no response," Garcia asked. "Does the border policy make your job easier or harder, or are we safer or less safe as a result of the open border policy?"

Wray responded and said he had been consistent in citing his concerns about the threats along the border, adding he disagreed "very strongly" with a number of aspects of it.

He then asked if he had gone to Biden and pointed out that the "border policy is a galactic stupid policy from a national security perspective," and if so, how it went.

"Well, I’m not going to get into specific conversations with people," Wray said. "I’ve been consistent in my message externally and internally about my concerns about the threats that are from the FBI’s perspective, that emanate from the border."