Democrats tried to twist the impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden into another opportunity to attack Donald Trump as Republicans gaveled in their first hearing on Thursday.
As expected, Democrats strained to ignore mounting evidence of Biden’s corruption and dismissed the hearing as a political sham. Democrats spent much of the hearing shrieking about Trump and attacking Republicans over a possible government shutdown this weekend.
The breathless tone was set by House Oversight ranking member Jamie Raskin (Md.), who whined that Republicans were trying to set up a false “moral equivalence” between an “honorable public servant,” Biden, and the “twice impeached” Trump. Raskin also mentioned Trump’s multiple bogus indictments.
"It's scandalous to use impeachment to establish a counterfeit moral equivalence between President Biden, an honorable public servant who has never been indicted or convicted of anything in his career of more than 50 years in public life," Raskin continued. "And Donald Trump, a twice impeached president who's recently been found in court to have sexually abused and defamed a woman and fraudulently inflated the value of his real estate properties, while facing 91 criminal charges in four separate indictments on everything from conspiring to overthrow an election and defraud the American people to making criminal hush money payoffs, to stealing classified government documents and hiding them while obstructing justice."
Raskin even compared Republicans to a “foreign enemy” and displayed a clock with the time remaining until a government shut down, for theatrical effect.
“We're 62 hours away from shutting down the government of the United States of America and Republicans are launching an impeachment drive based on a long debunked and discredited lie," Raskin said.
Democrats accused Republicans of doing Trump’s bidding by rehashing “debunked” allegations that Biden accepted a bribe to secure the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor. They did not specify who or what “debunked” the allegations.
“All they can do is return the thoroughly demolished lie that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump launched five years ago,” Raskin said.
Raskin even attempted to dredge up Trump’s first impeachment by moving to subpoena Rudy Giuliani, but Republicans blocked it. Trump was impeached in 2019 for working with Giuliani to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine.
The constant references to Trump prompted some commentary from one amused Republican.
"I'm amazed at, and I love the fact that Trump lives free in the Democrats’ heads every day," Republican Lisa McClain (Mi.) said. "That is a beautiful thing. Even though we're here talking about the impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden."
Republicans released a new text on Thursday in which Hunter said he was broke and would need his father’s help to pay his alimony, just the latest evidence that Joe Biden’s finances were entangled with his son and his business.
Chairman James Comer (Ky.) noted in his opening statement that Joe Biden had already been caught lying when he claimed that he never had any discussion about business with his son. But the White House and Biden’s bulldogs in the media and Congress have since moved the goalposts to exonerate Biden.
When Democrat Summer Lee (Pa.) said there was no “smoking gun,” Comer balked, “can you read a bank statement?”
Days before the hearing, Republicans said they had obtained bank records showing a $260,000 check from China to Hunter Biden with his father’s home listed as the address.
Democrats had given a taste of their circus act after the damning testimony of Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden who confirmed that Joe Biden was “the brand” his son was peddling overseas. Democrat Dan Goldman (Ny.) falsely claimed to the media that Archer used the words “illusion of access” to characterize Biden’s role. Goldman even suggested that Joe Biden just wanted to talk about the weather when he spoke to his son’s business partners on the phone.
Goldman reprised the role of Biden sycophant at the hearing, where he pressed to insert excerpts of Archer’s testimony into the record, apparently convinced that it somehow clears Biden.
“It's been entered twice. If you want to enter it again, go ahead,” Comer said.
Comer concluded the hearing by warning that Republicans would subpoena more bank records from Hunter Biden and Joe’s brother James Biden.
No matter how much evidence comes to light, Democrats will continue doubling down on their strategy of “deflect and deny.” Republicans will just have to keep pressing through the thicket of lies and tell the American people the truth.