White House rejects long-shot House Republican effort to get President Joe Biden to testify

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Monday rejected a long-shot effort from House Republicans to get President Joe Biden to testify before lawmakers in the GOP’s stalled impeachment inquiry.

In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, the White House dismissed the invitation sent to Biden last month, calling it a “partisan charade” in an impeachment probe that has unearthed no evidence implicating the president in any wrongdoing while in public office. House Republicans had been seeking information related to the Biden family’s business dealings in what the GOP characterized as an alleged influence-peddling scheme.

“Your Committee’s purported ‘impeachment inquiry’ has succeeded only in turning up abundant evidence that, in fact, the President has done nothing wrong,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, wrote in the letter sent to Comer on Monday.

Sauber added, “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.”

Sauber himself is leaving the White House early next month, another sign from the administration’s perspective that the House Republicans’ push to impeach Biden is largely over. The lawyer was brought on in 2022 to oversee the White House’s response to congressional investigations as Democrats braced to lose their majorities on Capitol Hill later that November.

To replace Sauber, the White House is elevating his deputy, Rachel Cotton. Sauber is returning to the private sector.

In his request to the White House, Comer had asked Biden to “explain, under oath,” what involvement he had in the Biden family businesses.

The committee has asserted for the past year that the Bidens traded on the family name, by trying to link a handful of phone calls or dinner meetings between Joe Biden, when he was vice president or out of office, and Hunter Biden and his business associates.

But despite dedicating countless resources and interviewing dozens of witnesses, including the president’s son Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden, Republicans have not produced any evidence that shows Joe Biden was directly involved or benefited from his family’s businesses while in public office.

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Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

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