House GOP drafting Biden impeachment articles over Israel aid cutoff threat

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., is preparing impeachment articles against President Biden over his threat to halt U.S. offensive aid to Israel, the first-term lawmaker told Fox News Digital on Thursday.

Mills accused Biden of forcing Israel into a "quid pro quo" situation by leveraging U.S. dollars against the Israeli government's actions in Gaza, drawing parallels to Democrats' first impeachment of former President Trump over his handling of Ukraine aid.

"The House has no choice but to impeach President ‘Quid pro Joe’ Biden. As Vice President, Biden was caught threatening to withhold funding and aid to Ukraine unless they fired the attorney general investigating Burisma, a company financially benefiting his son Hunter, not to mention the 10% share for 'the big guy' himself," Mills said in a statement.

"Now, Joe Biden is pressuring Israel, our biggest ally in the Middle East, by pausing their funding that has already been approved in the House, if they don't stop all operations with Hamas. It’s a very clear message, ‘this for that.’

MANY ISRAELIS FEEL ‘BETRAYED’ FOLLOWING BIDEN THREAT TO WITHHOLD ARMS TO DEFEAT HAMAS IN RAFAH

"These are the same accusations made against President Trump, which resulted in his impeachment by Democrats. The same must happen for Joe Biden, which is why we’re drawing up articles of impeachment now," Mills finished.

Biden made the high-stakes ultimatum to Israel's government in a CNN interview that aired Wednesday night as it prepares for a ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The city is currently home to more than a million Palestinians who left other parts of the Gaza Strip, where Israel has conducted its mission to eradicate the terrorist group Hamas.

Biden said Israel would continue to see U.S. support for its defensive systems, like the Iron Dome, in the CNN interview. He added, however, "if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, that deal with that problem."

BIDEN'S DECISION TO PULL ISRAEL WEAPONS SHIPMENT KEPT QUIET UNTIL AFTER HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ADDRESS: REPORT

The remarks prompted a flurry of backlash from Republicans and some moderate Democrats. Several more GOP lawmakers voiced support for impeaching Biden over the decision, arguing there are parallels to Trump's withholding of weapons aid to Ukraine in exchange for announcing an investigation into the Biden family.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., called on the House to open an immediate impeachment inquiry, arguing that Biden was motivated by political reasons.

"Given Democrats’ Trump-Ukraine precedent, President Biden’s decision to withhold lethal aid to our ally, Israel, for political gain is undoubtedly an impeachable offense. Clearly, the nefarious motive behind our commander in chief’s move to condition U.S. aid to Israel is to appease radical leftists and Hamas sympathizers ahead of the 2024 election," Clyde said. "The House must immediately open an impeachment inquiry due to the president’s disastrous decision to play politics with national security."

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Fox News Digital, "The Democrats made their bed, and now they're [lying] in it. This is just the latest on a long list of reasons to impeach Biden, including the deadline withdrawal in Afghanistan and allowing more than 9 million illegal immigrants to invade our southern border."

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INVESTIGATING EMORY UNIVERSITY FOR ALLEGED ANTI-MUSLIM DISCRIMINATION 

It's highly unlikely for the push to reach the level of a Senate trial, with the House's current ongoing impeachment inquiry into Biden still searching for smoking gun evidence amid a mountain of accusations of improper behavior and bribery. 

But it shows the sky-high tensions that have taken over Washington amid Israel's war on Hamas after the terrorist group's Oct. 7 attack.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stopped short of calling for impeachment, but said, "The president is essentially threatening an arms embargo on our closest ally in the Middle East that is fighting a terror army holding American citizens hostage. Withholding critical munitions that Congress appropriated and Biden himself signed into law is wrong."

The first member of Congress to make the call was Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., posting on X early on Thursday morning, "The House has no choice but to impeach Biden based on the Trump-Ukraine precedent of withholding foreign aid to help with reelection. Only with Biden, it’s true."

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House for comment.

Sen Hawley calls on Energy Secretary Granholm to resign in heated exchange over stock trades

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., called on Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to resign Tuesday following a heated exchange over her past financial transactions.

Hawley's tense back-and-forth with Granholm came during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing held to review the Department of Energy's (DOE) 2025 budget request. The Missouri Republican excoriated the energy secretary for violating the STOCK Act and for continuing to own shares of individual companies last year despite testifying that she did not own any individual stock.

"It is outrageous that you misled us. It is outrageous that you are continuing to mislead us," Hawley remarked. "This has got to change. And, frankly, you should go."

Early in her tenure leading the Department of Energy, it was revealed that Granholm violated the STOCK Act nine times by failing to disclose $240,000 worth of stock sales within the legally-mandated time frame.

GOP REP CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO BIDEN ENERGY SECRETARY GRANHOLM: 'SHE LIED, UNDER OATH'

And separately, in a June 2023 letter to Energy and Natural Resource Committee leadership, Granholm said she owned shares of six unnamed individual companies worth up to $120,000 and that her husband owned $2,457.89 worth of shares in Ford Motor Co. at the time of her under-oath testimony before the panel months prior.

During the April 20, 2023, hearing, Granholm told Hawley that she was "not owning individual stocks." After discovering her and her husband's ownership of stock, Granholm sold her husband's Ford shares on May 15, 2023, and sold her remaining individual stock holdings days later, according to her letter.

BIDEN ENERGY SECRETARY REVEALS STOCK OWNERSHIP OF EV LOBBY GROUP FOUNDING COMPANY

"You neglected to report it to this committee for months afterwards," Hawley asked Granholm during the hearing Tuesday. "Why did you mislead this committee?"

"Oh, my goodness," Granholm responded. "I believed that I had sold all individual stocks, and I was incorrect. So, I came back as soon as I found out that, in fact, I had not sold all individual stocks."

Hawley then interrupted her, saying she had waited a month before informing the committee of the transactions.

"I did not hide it because I brought it forth to the committee when I realized that we had made a mistake," Granholm added.

In addition, the GOP lawmaker blasted Granholm for allowing agency employees to own individual stocks. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that hundreds of senior DOE officials owned stocks related to the agency's work, a potential conflict-of-interest violation.

He said that senior DOE officials owning stocks reveals the "institutionalized corruption in the Department of Energy."

Granholm responded by saying officials strictly own stocks in companies in areas they do not have any influence over. She also said the agency has a strong ethics office that reviews relevant transactions.

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. 

Biden resists pulling controversial judicial nominee Adeel Mangi despite Democrat defectors

The White House is not taking any cues from Republicans who have advised President Biden to withdraw a controversial judicial nomination.

Instead, it's digging in its heels to lobby Democratic senators to support Adeel Mangi for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. 

A White House official updated Fox News Digital on the status of Mangi's nomination, which has been scrutinized over his ties to two groups, one accused of antisemitism and another that has supported "cop killers," as Republican critics have alleged. 

Biden is not considering withdrawing the judicial nomination despite a call from Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. 

BIDEN HAD SIMILAR LEGAL AID ARRANGEMENT HE SLAMMED TRUMP OVER

Mangi served on the board of advisers for the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR) from 2019 to 2023. The center has been accused by Republicans of antisemitism due to its sponsored events and speakers. One such event was held on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and featured controversial speakers like Hatem Bazian, who in 2004 called for an "intifada," according to video from an anti-war protest in San Francisco, and Sami Al-Arian.

In 2006, Al-Arian pleaded guilty to "conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," according to the Justice Department

SEN. ERNST CITES JEWISH STUDENT DISCRIMINATION IN BID TO PROTECT FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUSES

Noura Erakat, who had previously been advertised as a panelist for a separate event alongside Hamas commander Ghazi Hamad, was also hosted at a CSRR event. 

The Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ), whose founding board member, Kathy Boudin, pleaded guilty to the felony murder of two police officers in 1981 after they died following an armored truck robbery, features Mangi as a current advisory board member. The robbery was carried out by Boudin's group, the Weather Underground Organization, which was recognized as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI

Neither the CSRR nor AFJ provided comments to Fox News Digital. 

As pressure has been applied by Republican lawmakers and an ad campaign from Judicial Crisis Network targets vulnerable Senate Democrats, Biden's nominee has begun to lose support from his party. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., have come out publicly against Mangi, citing his AFJ affiliation. 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has also complicated the nomination by claiming he won't support anyone who can't garner at least one Republican supporter. 

'EXPECT NPR TO SUFFER’ UNDER GOP ADMIN: REPUBLICANS RENEW CALL TO DEFUND OUTLET AMID BIAS SCANDAL

"The opposition to Adeel Mangi — in and outside the Senate — is growing by the day," a spokesperson for the Senate Judiciary Republicans told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

"It’s clear the math is not there for the White House," the statement added, calling Biden's decision not to withdraw Mangi's nomination "puzzling indeed."

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates pushed back in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

"President Biden is proud to have chosen Adeel Mangi," he said, calling Mangi "an extraordinarily qualified nominee" and noting he "would make history on the bench" as the first Muslim in such a position.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Mr. Mangi’s nomination, and the rest of the Senate should side with what makes America the greatest nation on Earth and support him, not cave to vicious, undignified attempts to drag America into the past," Bates added. 

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs Ali Nouri, White House Counsel Ed Siskel and White House senior counsel in charge of nominations Phil Brest, continue to press senators to support Mangi, who would be the first Muslim federal appellate court judge, a White House official revealed. 

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

Through these officials, the White House is persisting and pushing back on the concerns over Mangi's two group affiliations in question, telling senators they are false and a smear campaign. They are also reiterating to lawmakers that the nominee is qualified for the role. 

Senate Judiciary Chariman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will also keep up pressure on his colleagues to support Mangi and dismiss what he also considers to be a smear campaign. 

"The treatment of this nominee before the Senate Judiciary Committee has reached a new low in many ways," he said in a recent speech on the chamber floor, insinuating Mangi's status as a Muslim is the reason for opposition to his confirmation.

If Biden does not withdraw Mangi's nomination and it is not scheduled for a confirmation vote in 2024, the nomination will expire on its own. In this case, he would need to be nominated again in the next Congress. 

The nomination has not yet been scheduled for a vote by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who has noted his own support for Mangi but hasn't given any indication whether he plans to schedule a vote. 

Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, a former spokesman to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former chief of staff of the Senate Republican Conference, said it was "unlikely" Mangi's nomination survives a Senate confirmation. 

"The White House has not put up an aggressive defense of Mangi, which is really sending my message that he should withdraw [on] his own," said Bonjean, who also ran communications for the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. "Unless the Biden administration changes its strategy, the Mangi nomination is dead in the water."

Mangi did not provide comment to Fox News Digital.

Hunter Biden seen with president at White House Easter Egg Roll as House GOP mulls criminal referrals

Hunter Biden was spotted attending Monday's White House Easter Egg Roll alongside his father, President Biden, as House Republicans reportedly mull potential criminal referrals against them to the Department of Justice.

Hunter arrived at the White House on Sunday evening with his wife, Melissa Cohen, and their son, Beau, after spending the Easter weekend at Camp David with the president and First Lady Jill Biden. The five were photographed exiting Marine One at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

The family getaway came as Republicans on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees are jointly investigating alleged Biden family corruption as part of an impeachment inquiry into the president, and are reportedly floating possible criminal referrals in lieu of an impeachment vote.

SWING STATE HOUSE HOPEFUL CHANGES TUNE AFTER SCRUBBING VIOLENT CRIME DEFENSES FROM LAW FIRM WEBSITE

Reports that Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., was considering criminal referrals followed the two committees' joint hearing last week that included testimony from multiple former business associates of Hunter who testified to the extent of Biden's involvement in his son's business dealings, which the White House has denied.

Although Comer hasn't specified who these criminal referrals would target, they could provide a way for Republicans to please those anxious for the Biden family to face some sort of consequences from the alleged influence-peddling scheme as the party looks unlikely to have the votes to successfully impeach the president.

NEW JERSEY DEMOCRAT FACING PRESSURE TO RESIGN AFTER MOCKING EASTER ONLINE WITH DRAG, ABORTION REFERENCES

Hunter's appearance at the White House capped a multi-day schedule that included his attendance at his dad's swanky, but controversial, New York City fundraiser held last Thursday, the same day as the wake of an NYPD officer killed in the line of duty.

Last year, the White House faced flak for omitting Hunter's visits and extended stays from its visitor logs from the beginning of the Biden administration through Feb. 2023 despite claiming it was "the most transparent administration in American history."

While many of the events attended by Hunter were ceremonial and a tradition at the White House, Fox News Digital previously reported how Hunter sought to use such events for his personal financial gain during the Obama administration

Biden rolls out new endorsements for controversial judicial nominee as Dem support dwindles

The White House is moving forward with its campaign to confirm judicial nominee Adeel Mangi and pushing back on claims that he is antisemitic or against law enforcement, despite several Democratic senators expressing concern over the nominee's organizational ties and casting doubt on his chances of garnering enough votes. 

According to a White House official, Biden's team is keeping the pressure on senators to confirm Mangi, who is nominated to serve on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, dismissing attacks on him as false. The official said those focused on lobbying senators to support the nominee are White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs Ali Nouri, White House Counsel Ed Siskel, and White House senior counsel in charge of nominations Phil Brest.

Zients said in a statement to Fox News Digital, "Some Senate Republicans and their extreme allies are relentlessly smearing Adeel Mangi with baseless accusations that he is anti-police."

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"That could not be further from the truth and the close to a dozen law enforcement organizations that have endorsed him agree," he said, pointing to several new endorsements of Mangi by three former attorneys general in New Jersey, two former U.S. attorneys who served in the state, the International Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. 

"The Senate must confirm Mr. Mangi without further delay," Zients said. 

DEMS TARGET FOUR COMPETITIVE HOUSE SEATS TO WRESTLE BACK MAJORITY FROM GOP

Chances of Mangi being confirmed have appeared grim in recent weeks as allegations of antisemitism have been spotlighted due to his previous role on the board of advisers for the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR). The center has sponsored events, including one on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with controversial speakers like Hatem Bazian, who in 2004 called for an "Intifada," according to video from an anti-war protest in San Francisco, and Sami Al-Arian, who in 2006 pleaded guilty to "conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," according to the Justice Department. 

The CSRR has also hosted an event with Noura Erakat, who had previously been advertised as a panelist for a separate event alongside Hamas commander Ghazi Hamad.

Mangi has also been accused of being against law enforcement because of his role as a current advisory board member for the Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ). The alliance's founding board member, Kathy Boudin, pleaded guilty to the felony murder of two police officers in 1981 after they died during the robbery of an armored truck. The robbery was carried out by Boudin's group, the Weather Underground Organization, which was recognized as a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI. 

Neither the CSRR nor AFJ provided comments to Fox News Digital. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital in a statement, "It is unsurprising that Mangi’s record has split Senate Democrats, and the White House should recognize their error, withdraw Mangi’s nomination, and instead nominate a candidate who can garner widespread bipartisan support."

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Mangi's "well-known ties to this extreme organization that supports terrorists and cop killers makes him wholly unqualified to serve as an appellate judge."

JOHNSON TO FORMALLY HAND MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES TO SENATE, URGES TRIAL 'EXPEDITIOUSLY'

Biden's White House has previously hit back at criticism of Mangi, calling it a "malicious and debunked smear campaign" prompted by the nominee's potential to become the first Muslim appellate judge. 

While Judiciary Republicans had already sounded alarm bells over Biden's pick last year after probing Mangi about his connections to the groups, Democratic senators appeared likely to fall in line behind the president's choice. 

However, after a recent report indicated Biden was being privately warned that Mangi may not have enough votes for confirmation, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., revealed she was one of the lawmakers to reach out to the White House with concerns. 

The senator previously confirmed her stance against the nominee to Fox News Digital, citing his connection to AFJ.

Several other Democratic senators recently refused to say whether they would support Mangi.

The office of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., confirmed to Fox News Digital that he is also committed to voting against Biden's pick. 

Cortez Masto and Manchin were recently joined by Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., who said in a statement, "Given the concerns I’ve heard from law enforcement in Nevada, I am not planning to vote to confirm this nominee."

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, the law firm at which Mangi is a partner, did not provide comment to Fox News Digital. 

The loss of any Democratic support is a concern for Mangi's confirmation prospects, given the Senate's close 51-49 split in favor of the Democratic caucus.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called on Biden last week to withdraw the nomination, and now Republicans are reinforcing their campaign against Mangi's confirmation. 

"The White House can’t defend Adeel Mangi’s record. So, they’re launching personal attacks against anyone who notices the ties to cop-killers and antisemites that Mr. Mangi has forged of his own free will," Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said in a statement. 

He added, "It’s not Islamophobic for senators to recognize" a nominee's failure to meet qualifications. 

"Now even his own Democrat party is rebelling against [Biden]," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., remarked in a statement, attributing it to the president's "push for radical, anti-Israel nominees."

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary GOP revealed three additional law enforcement groups were opposing Biden's choice, bringing the total to 17. The Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 and Pennsylvania State Troopers Association penned a joint letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Ranking Member Graham; and Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, who are both Democrats. 

The court that Mangi has been nominated to serve on is located in Philadelphia. 

The Pennsylvania-based groups noted their letter is on behalf of over 40,000 members requesting that the Senate "reject the nomination" of Mangi, citing his AFJ affiliation. 

Comer invites Biden to testify publicly as part of House impeachment inquiry

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, in an unprecedented move, invited President Biden to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry against him, stressing that it is "in the best interest of the American people" for him to answer questions from members of Congress. 

Comer urged Biden to accept his invitation in a letter sent Thursday, obtained by Fox News Digital. 

"During the 118th Congress, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has been investigating influence peddling conducted by you and your family," Comer wrote, noting that the committee has "accounted for over $24 million that has flowed from foreign sources to you, your family, and their business associates." 

Comer said the committee has identified "no legitimate services to merit such lucrative payments." 

HUNTER BIDEN ADMITS HE PUT HIS FATHER ON SPEAKERPHONE, INVITED HIM TO MEETINGS, BUT DENIES 'INVOLVEMENT'

"You have repeatedly denied playing any role in your family’s business activities, but the Committee has amassed evidence—including bank records and witness testimony—that wholly contradicts your position on these matters," Comer wrote. 

Comer went on to say that the White House "has taken a position hostile to the Committee’s investigation and refuses to release certain information or make available witnesses to testify regarding issues relevant to the ongoing impeachment inquiry currently authorized by the full House of Representatives." 

"In light of the yawning gap between your public statements and evidence assembled by the Committee, as well as the White House’s obstruction, it is in the best interest of the American people for you to answer questions from Members of Congress directly, and I hereby invite you to do so," Comer wrote. 

Comer said that the committee is "open to accommodating your schedule but proposes April 16, 2024, for the hearing to occur."

Comer said that the impeachment investigation has moved "in phases, beginning with a review of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) held by the Treasury Department. Comer said those SARs gave the committee "sufficient information to determine which bank accounts to narrowly target in issuing subpoenas."

Next, Comer said the committee issued subpoenas for bank accounts belonging to Biden family members and their entities that received foreign funds. 

"This phase highlighted the over $15 million received by members of your family, and the Committee has traced tens of thousands of dollars from China to your bank account as well," he wrote. 

Comer said the next phase was the "interview phase," explaining that the committee brought in multiple witnesses, including Hunter Biden and the president’s brother, James Biden, for depositions. Comer said those witnesses provided "inconsistent testimony regarding your role in your family’s businesses."

Hunter Biden appeared for his highly anticipated closed-door deposition last month before both the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, where he maintained that his father was never involved in, nor ever benefited from his businesses. 

The committee also heard testimony from James Biden, the president’s younger brother, who testified the same. 

JOE BIDEN ALLEGEDLY CONSIDERED JOINING BOARD OF CCP-LINKED COMPANY, WITNESS TESTIFIES FROM PRISON

Hunter Biden did admit, however, that he put his father on speakerphone with his business associates and invited him to drop by his business lunches. 

But Comer said two of those witnesses, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, testified publicly that Biden "participated in schemes to provide access to your or others’ offices in exchange for payments to your family." 

Bobulinski worked on a joint-venture with Hunter Biden and a Chinese energy company. Galanis worked with Hunter Biden as well. Galanis is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence related to securities fraud. He has testified as part of the inquiry twice from prison. 

"The public is left with two irreconcilable narratives. The first—asserted by you—is that you did not engage in influence peddling in exchange for payments to your family," Comer wrote, adding that the second is that Biden was "indeed involved in these pay-for-influence schemes and that you have been repeatedly untruthful regarding a matter relevant to national security and your own fitness to serve as President of the United States." 

Comer went on to detail the "body of evidence" collected through testimony and records, including meetings Biden had with Hunter Biden’s Chinese business partners. 

"You have asserted your family has not made money from China. However, the Committee has identified approximately $10 million originating from China connected to Biden influence peddling. Former business associates of your family have testified that you personally met with multiple individuals from China who have collectively sent millions of dollars to your family," Comer wrote. "Many of these meetings and business development occurred while you were Vice President or campaigning to be President." 

HUNTER BIDEN REFUSES TO ATTEND HOUSE HEARING WITH FORMER BUSINESS ASSOCIATES

Comer, in the letter, asked Biden to confirm whether those meetings took place. 

Comer also questioned Biden on whether he has spoken to or interacted with executives of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, including with the chairman, Mykola Zlochevsky. 

"You have asserted that your pressuring Ukraine in 2015 to fire a government official investigating a company in which your son had a financial interest was wholly in line with U.S. policy. The Committee has received bank records showing that your son was paid $1 million per year for his position on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma until you left public office and then his salary was inexplicably cut in half," Comer wrote. 

Comer also pressed further for information surrounding the decision to push for the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma while Hunter Biden sat on the board. 

As for Russia, Comer wrote that witnesses testified that Biden "regularly joined meetings by speakerphone, including with certain Russian individuals with whom your son did business." 

"The Committee has identified several instances in which your involvement aligned with your family receiving money originating from Russia," Comer wrote. 

Meanwhile, Comer said the committee "identified and successfully traced money from foreign transactions—including from China—to your own bank accounts." Comer said those checks were described as "loan repayments" from his brother, James Biden. 

Comer asked Biden to respond to whether he ever asked his brother about the source of the funds he used to repay him; and asked whether Hunter Biden’s business associate Eric Schwerin, who handled his finances, had insight into all of his bank accounts until December 2017. 

JOE BIDEN 'ENABLED' FAMILY TO SELL ACCESS TO 'DANGEROUS ADVERSARIES,' TONY BOBULINSKI TESTIFIES

"As the foregoing demonstrates, the Committee has compiled evidence—bank records, contemporaneous electronic communications, and witness testimony—showing your awareness, acquiescence, and participation in self-enrichment schemes of your family members," Comer wrote. "As Chairman of the Committee, in addition to requesting that you answer the questions posed in this letter, I invite you to participate in a public hearing at which you will be afforded the opportunity to explain, under oath, your involvement with your family’s sources of income and the means it has used to generate it." 

Comer added: "As you are aware, presidents before you have provided testimony to congressional committees, including President Ford’s testimony before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974." 

White House spokesman Ian Sams blasted the impeachment inquiry earlier this month. 

"Comer knows 20+ witnesses have testified that POTUS did nothing wrong. He knows that the hundreds of thousands of pages of records he’s received have refuted his false allegations. This is a sad stunt at the end of a dead impeachment," he said. 

Sams added: "Call it a day, pal."

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

Comer fundraising email dampens prospects of Biden impeachment, says ‘criminal referrals’ are goal

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer appears to be pouring cold water on the prospects of impeaching President Biden in a new fundraising email sent to voters on Monday evening.

Comer said "criminal referrals" would be the "culmination" of his ongoing impeachment inquiry.

In the message sent to supporters, the Kentucky Republican blamed Democrats and cited the left’s uniform opposition to impeaching Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

"I’ve presented mountains of evidence confirming Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s influence peddling scheme, and I just had a group of the Biden family’s business confidants publicly testify about the first family’s criminal activity," Comer’s email read. "At any other time in history, that would have been the final nail in the coffin of the Biden Crime Family’s reign of corruption."

AOC TAKES HEAT OVER 'RICO IS NOT A CRIME' COMMENT IN BIDEN IMPEACHMENT PROBE HEARING

"But we are not in a normal time in history… As it stands right now, the deranged Democrats are refusing to take up the Impeachment Trial of Alejandro Mayorkas and threatening to dismiss it within minutes when it finally is brought up. Even ‘centrist’ Democrats called the Mayorkas Impeachment Trial ‘ridiculous’ just days after a criminal illegal brutally murdered Laken Riley in cold blood."

House Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas over the border crisis last month, but the impeachment articles have not yet been sent over to the Senate. Once they are, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., must act on them swiftly – though the Democratic majority is likely to scuttle them as soon as possible.

Comer’s email then asked, "What do you think they would do if we Impeached Biden?"

HOUSE HOLDS PUBLIC HEARING ON BIDEN FAMILY 'INFLUENCE PEDDLING' WITH EX-HUNTER BIDEN ASSOCIATES

"It’s clear that Democrats will choose their party over their country and the truth at every turn. They should be ashamed of themselves. That’s why I am preparing criminal referrals as the culmination of my investigation," he wrote.

"When President Trump returns to the White House, it’s critical the new leadership at the DOJ have everything they need to prosecute the Biden Crime Family and deliver swift justice."

Comer said criminal referrals are "the best way" to hold the Bidens accountable, "as it’s now clear the Democrats will do anything to hold onto power."

He made similar comments during a Newsmax interview last week after the House held its second impeachment inquiry hearing. Hunter Biden, whose foreign business dealings are a central focus of investigators looking into whether then-Vice President Biden used his position to enrich his family, turned down an invitation to appear at that event.

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

Earlier this month, Fox News Digital heard from several GOP lawmakers who, while maintaining they believe the president is guilty of at least acting improperly, admitted current conditions in the House make it unlikely the chamber will actually impeach him. 

Those prospects will get trickier after April 19 when Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., leaves early, leaving House Republicans with just a one-vote majority. 

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., a member of the Oversight Committee, told Fox News Digital last week that it’s "very possible" there will be a full House vote, but said impeaching Biden "has never been the purpose" of the inquiry.

"The purpose is doing these investigations. We have a formalized impeachment inquiry because some of the initial information we've uncovered has led us to the current information now," Donalds said.

When asked whether he meant the impeachment inquiry’s goal was not an impeachment vote, Donalds challenged, "That’s not what I’m saying."

"It was about doing our investigation into the allegations of public corruption by the Biden family. We have now proven that yes, there was public corruption going on… The question now becomes, does all the evidence we have take us to high crimes and misdemeanors? But you have to have an impeachment inquiry in order to assess and gain all that information," he said. "Unlike the Democrats, we didn't walk in just promising impeachment on day one."

House Speaker Johnson says White House doesn’t ‘call the shots’ on when impeachment is over

House Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News on Friday that the White House does not get to "call the shots" on when the President Biden impeachment inquiry ends after he received a letter this morning from a White House lawyer arguing that it’s "over." 

White House Counsel Ed Siskel, in his message to the Louisiana Republican, said "it’s obviously time to move on, Mr. Speaker." 

"This impeachment is over," Siskel declared. "There is too much important work to be done for the American people to continue wasting time on this charade." 

But Johnson told Fox News’ Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill Friday that "They don’t call the shots on it" and "we’ll deliberate over that when the investigation is complete." 

HUNTER BIDEN’S FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER TONY BOBULINSKI SLAMS HIM FOR ‘RUNNING AWAY’ FROM HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE 

"We’re allowing the process to play out as the Constitution anticipates. Our committees of jurisdiction have done their duty," Johnson added. "They’ve done an extraordinary job. They’ve revealed some alarming information." 

In his letter, Siskel said "The House Majority ought to work with the President on our economy, national security, and other important priorities on behalf of the American people, not continue to waste time on political stunts like this." 

HUNTER BIDEN REFUSES TO ATTEND HOUSE HEARING WITH FORMER BUSINESS ASSOCIATES 

"The House Majority has reportedly collected more than 100,000 pages of records, interviewed dozens of witnesses, and held multiple public hearings—but none of the evidence has demonstrated that the President did anything wrong," Siskel also said, noting that "Hunter Biden testified that he never involved his father in his business dealings" and "Several witnesses have testified debunking claims related to President Biden’s handling of classified documents." 

"Instead of admitting the truth that the President did nothing wrong, the Majority is wasting even more time on abusive steps like trying to re-interview witnesses who already testified -- perhaps hoping the facts will be different the second time around," Siskel continued. "This is just the latest abusive tactic in this investigation. It has targeted the President’s children, grandchildren, siblings, and in-laws for no reason. It has intruded into private citizens’ personal records on everything from medical visits to birthday presents. Enough is enough." 

Siskel sent the letter two days after Hunter Biden’s lawyer said his client would not attend a House Oversight Committee hearing next week regarding alleged influence peddling and the Biden family’s business dealings, calling it a "carnival side show." 

Fox News’ Patrick Ward contributed to this report. 

GOP lawmaker reveals ‘perverse implication’ of Robert Hur’s argument on Trump ‘deterrent effect’

A House GOP lawmaker targeted former Special Counsel Robert Hur over what he called a "perverse implication" that the current prosecution of former President Donald Trump at least partially factored into Hur’s decision not to recommend charges for President Biden.

Hur testified before House lawmakers on Tuesday in a lengthy and, at times, heated hearing on his report — the product of a monthslong investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents

Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., took issue with a part of Hur’s report that downplayed the "deterrent effect" of charging Biden, both because of "little risk he will reoffend" and that "future presidents and vice presidents are already likely to be deterred by the multiple recent criminal investigations, and one prosecution, of current and former presidents and vice presidents for mishandling classified documents."

HUR TESTIFIES BIDEN 'WILLFULLY RETAINED CLASSIFIED MATERIALS,' BUT PROSECUTORS 'HAD TO CONSIDER' MENTAL STATE

Kiley argued during the hearing, "The perverse implication here is that the administration, by the very terms of your analysis, actually made it less likely that the president would face charges by [Special Counsel Jack Smith] bringing an indictment [against Trump]."

"I’ll stand by the way and the specific terms in which I characterize my assessment of deterrence value of a case under the principles of federal prosecution," Hur told him just minutes earlier.

Kiley stood by his argument in a brief interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday afternoon, explaining, "It's the implication that is perverse, because it means that Biden sort of lowered his chances of facing charges when the administration brought charges against former President Trump."

Trump has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges stemming from Smith’s federal investigation into alleged election interference. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review whether Trump has presidential immunity from prosecution in the case.

BIDEN RETAINED RECORDS RELATED TO UKRAINE, CHINA; COMER DEMANDS 'UNFETTERED ACCESS' AMID IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

"I think there's a lot here that's fairly troubling," Kiley said. "That’s why I wanted to sort of bring it to light. I didn't know, maybe, even if Mr. Hur had really thought that through, that particular implication."

"I think that really, broadly, the report was well done. I think that particular factor was not thought through as carefully as it should be."

Meanwhile, Fox News contributor and Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley argued that the section of the report suggesting Biden himself was at "little risk" of reoffending is not an accurate conclusion on deterrence. 

SPECIAL COUNSEL CALLS BIDEN 'SYMPATHETIC, WELL-MEANING, ELDERLY MAN WITH A POOR MEMORY,' BRINGS NO CHARGES

"The finding seems inherently in conflict with the acknowledgment that Joe Biden continued to remove classified material over 40 years since he was a senator," Turley said. "There was no evidence of deterrence despite repeated warnings given to him by counsel and staff. If anything, that record shows a certain habitual violation of well-known rules on the handling of classified material."

Hur found that Biden did willfully mishandle classified materials but did not recommend charges, citing, in part, that he came off "as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory," and that "it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."

Fox News Digital reached out to the Justice Department but did not immediately hear back.