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Raskin describes Comer’s anti-Biden crusade as ‘an epic flop’

As many Republicans eye a presidential impeachment inquiry, Jamie Raskin released a report characterizing James Comer's crusade as "an epic flop."


As the House of Representatives returns to work this week after an even-longer-than-expected summer break, it’s tough to envy House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. There’s a lengthy to-do list on his desk, and the California Republican doesn’t appear to have any idea how to check anything off.

As we recently discussed, at the top of the list is funding federal operations and preventing a government shutdown by the end of the month, and that won’t be easy. There are fewer than a dozen legislative days remaining before the deadline, and quite a few House GOP members have said they’re reluctant to go along with a bipartisan approach — preferring instead to push demands that will never be met.

There’s also work on a new farm bill, the need to reauthorize the FAA, funding for domestic disaster relief, and a new round of aid for our Ukrainian allies. Party leaders will work on all of this while McCarthy hopes some of his most radical members resist the urge to try to fire him.

But hanging overhead is a related Republican priority: Much of the party is determined to launch an impeachment inquiry against the incumbent president, despite the inconvenient fact that GOP investigators haven’t uncovered any credible evidence of wrongdoing.

It’s against this backdrop that Yahoo News highlighted an important new report:

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is dismissing Chairman James Comer’s probe into the Biden family as “a complete and total bust.” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., released a 14-page memo on Monday morning attacking House Republicans’ bid to investigate President Biden and his son Hunter. It comes just a day before representatives return to Capitol Hill after the August recess, and GOP leaders are expected to weigh whether to open a formal impeachment inquiry over allegations of impropriety stemming from Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

The full report is online, it’s a comprehensive review of Comer’s and his party’s failures, documenting not only the lack of evidence against the Republicans’ intended target, but also “baseless and sensationalistic claims” touted by the Oversight Committee chairman.

Raskin’s report went on to explain that “much of the Republicans’ investigation consists of regurgitating old and disproven information and misrepresenting it as new evidence,” adding that even many on the right have conceded that the GOP investigation has “failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and have called into question the credibility of Chairman Comer’s allegations and the integrity of pursuing an impeachment inquiry.”

Raskin concluded, “House Republicans constantly insist that they are investigating President Biden, and not his adult son. In that case, we can form an obvious judgment on their investigation: it has been a complete and total bust — an epic flop in the history of congressional investigations. The voluminous evidence they have gathered, including thousands of pages of bank records and suspicious activity reports and hours of testimony from witnesses, overwhelmingly demonstrates no wrongdoing by President Biden and further debunks Republicans’ conspiracy theories.”

Among the most striking aspects of the document from the Oversight Committee’s ranking member is how irrefutably accurate it is. Raskin has simply presented what Comer and his team have spent the year doing — and the review is devastating.

Indeed, the Kentucky congressman reminds me of a sports team that plays a season without any wins at all. As regular readers might recall, Comer got the ball rolling in the spring, scheduling a highly anticipated press conference at which he was supposed to unveil devastating information about Biden and the Democrat’s alleged corruption. It would be “judgment day” for the president, the committee chairman said, as GOP lawmakers unveiled evidence of a scandal that would make “Watergate look like jaywalking.”

A humiliating dud soon followed. After months of desperate searching and thorough investigating, Comer conceded that he still didn’t have any actual evidence against the incumbent president.

Soon after, Comer and his colleagues were equally excited about an interview with a Hunter Biden business associate. That was also a dud: Devon Archer actually ended up debunking all of the Republicans’ core allegations against the president. (Comer was caught soon after peddling brazenly false claims about Archer’s testimony while soliciting campaign contributions. The congressman also appears to have failed to tell the truth about being on the phone during the Archer Q&A.)

A month ago, Comer tried once more, releasing a report that pointed to foreign funds some of Biden’s relatives received, but again failing to show any connections to the president himself.

Stepping back, the point is not to scoff at the Republicans’ humiliating failure, though such a response is understandable given the circumstances. Rather, what’s perhaps most significant about this is the fact that much of the GOP intends to use Comer’s investigation as a launching pad for going after Biden in a more serious and formal way.

If Comer had compiled some credible evidence, such a course might make sense. But given the scope of Comer’s failures, trying to parlay the Oversight Committee’s year-long fiasco into a presidential impeachment inquiry is obviously ridiculous.

This post updates our related earlier coverage.