Say It Ain’t So, Joe: The House Formally Invites President Biden to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry

by | Mar 30, 2024

House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer has sent a seven-page letter (below) to invite President Joe Biden to testify in the Republican impeachment inquiry. The letter is the latest, and best, reduction of the glaring contradictions in the President’s past statements on his family’s well-documented influence peddling operation. President Biden is not expected to testify. However, the media should be interested in his answering the questions presented by the Committee. It is now clear that the President lied during his campaign and during his presidency on his lack of knowledge of his son’s business activities as well as his denial of any money gained from China. Yet, the White House responded, again, with mockery — a sense of impunity that only exists due to an enabling media.

Chairman Comer reduces the past testimony and evidence acquired by the Committee in the corruption scandal. In the last hearing, Democratic members simply refused to acknowledge that evidence. There was a bizarre disconnect as members mocked the witnesses for not supplying evidence of the President’s knowledge or involvement. They then did so and the members declared that there was no evidence.

Various members also misrepresented my earlier testimony during the hearing on the basis for the impeachment inquiry. Members like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) stated that I joined other witnesses in stating there was nothing that could remotely be impeachable in these allegations. That is demonstrably untrue. My testimony stated the opposite. I refused to pre-judge the evidence, but stated that there was ample basis for the inquiry and laid out various impeachable offenses that could be brought if ultimately supported by evidence. I also discussed those potential offenses in columns. The purpose of the hearing was not to declare an impeachment on the first day of the inquiry. Unlike the two prior impeachments by many of these same Democratic members, this impeachment inquiry sought to create a record of evidence and testimony to support any action that the House might take.

Now, the Committee has laid out the considerable evidence showing that the President had lied, knowingly and repeatedly.

Interspersed with specific evidentiary findings, the Committee presents ten questions that the President should be able to answer directly and unequivocally:

  1. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Jonathan Li of Bohai Industrial Fund and/or Bohai Harvest Rosemont?
  2. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Ye Jianming of CEFC?
  3. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Henry Zhao of the Harvest Fund?
  4. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Vadym Pozharskyi of Burisma Holdings?
  5. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Mykola Zlochevsky of Burisma Holdings?
  6. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Kenes Rakishev of Novatus Holding?
  7. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Yelena Baturina?
  8. Have you met, spoken to, or otherwise interacted with Yuriy Luzhkov?
  9. Did you ever ask your brother James Biden about the source of the funds he used to pay or repay you?
  10. Did Eric Schwerin have insight into all your bank accounts until December 2017?

In response, the White House Counsel’s office again responded with mockery and taunting. I have previously discussed (including in my testimony in the Biden hearing) how the role of the White House staff in these denials can raise serious questions under the impeachment inquiry.

That has not deterred White House Counsel spokesperson Ian Sams, who has been previously accused of misrepresenting facts and engaging in heavy-handed treatment of the media. Sams responded to the letter:

“LOL. 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. Call it a day, pal.”

The involvement of a member of the White House Counsel’s staff issuing such a disrespectful and taunting message would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Yet, the media has enabled such denial and deflection by showing no interest in the answers to any of these questions. It is part of the genius of the Biden management of this scandal. The White House quickly got reporters to buy into the illusion, making any later recognition impossible for these reporters. It is Houdini’s disappearing elephant trick applied to politics.

Even if most of the media refuses to demand answers, the public has a right to hear directly from the President on these specific questions. President Biden can still deny all of this countervailing evidence and “say it ain’t so,” but he should say something.

Here is the letter: 2024-03-28-CJC-letter-to-JRB

Reprinted with permission from


  • Jonathan Turley

    Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools.

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