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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Jarrell Dillard

How House Republicans will investigate Biden after Democrats probed Trump

WASHINGTON — The new Republican majority in the U.S. House is readying a fusillade of investigations into President Joe Biden, his family and his administration, upholding a key promise of the midterm election campaigns following Democratic-led inquiries of former President Donald Trump.

The GOP probes will be spread among several existing House committees as well as newly created panels, including one focused on the Justice Department and intelligence agencies that conservatives accuse of targeting them. In the runup to the 2024 presidential race, Biden and his allies will be forced to counter attacks broadcast during numerous televised hearings.

Hunter Biden

The House Oversight Committee, led by Kentucky Republican James Comer, is examining the Biden family’s domestic and international business dealings to determine if they pose a threat to national security. Biden’s son Hunter Biden is at the center of the investigation. The committee will begin to request interviews within the next 30 days, Comer said Tuesday.

Justice Department

House Republicans voted Tuesday to establish a subcommittee to scrutinize what they call the “weaponization” of the federal government. The panel, led by Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio, will examine Justice Department investigations, potentially including the current one into Trump.

Republicans have criticized the department following the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last August, in which the FBI retrieved classified material on national interests.

Jordan said the panel will also look into whether government officials pressured social media companies to censor or limit conservative viewpoints.

Afghanistan withdrawal

The House Oversight Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, is expected to continue probes into the August 2021 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The Biden administration drew criticism for the move that resulted in turmoil. U.S. citizens and Afghans struggled to flee the country as the Taliban swept back into power, and a suicide bombing killed 13 U.S. service members.

Republican lawmakers have pressed the State and Treasury Departments to preserve and produce documents relating to the withdrawal. A lawyer for Biden told them last month that the administration wouldn’t respond to letters seeking information during the last session of Congress, when Republicans were in the minority in the House, and that those requests would have to be resubmitted.

Comer said Tuesday he’s coordinating with other committees on the topic, and it’s a priority to determine “what all was left behind in the Afghanistan withdrawal.”

U.S.-Mexico border

Republicans have blamed the Biden administration’s border policies for the increasing number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and have singled out Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier threatened an investigation into Mayorkas to determine whether an impeachment inquiry should be opened once Republicans took the House. Indeed, Representative Pat Fallon, a Texas Republican, on Monday filed articles of impeachment against him.

The House Oversight Committee will coordinate with other panels on the investigation of the administration’s border policies.

Internal Revenue Service

House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith has repeatedly pledged to investigate the Internal Revenue Service, including how the nonprofit news organization ProPublica gained access to the tax information of some of the wealthiest Americans. He has also vowed to probe accusations that the agency targeted conservatives.

Republicans have also suggested that they could use the same tax code authority that Democrats used while they were in the majority to obtain Trump’s tax returns to uncover the tax records of Democrats and their allies.

Coronavirus origins

Republicans are directing a special committee on the COVID-19 pandemic on longstanding complaints about the nation’s response, including vaccine requirements, mask mandates and school closings. This 12-member panel will issue a final report no later than Jan. 2, 2025.

Additional panels may probe other aspects, such as how the virus mutated and where it originated. Two peer-reviewed studies in the journal Science published last year have detailed evidence that a Chinese market is where the coronavirus crossed into the human population from wild animals.

Republicans have also pledged to investigate Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has clashed with them. Fauci has said he would cooperate with any oversight hearings.


(With assistance from Laura Davison.)

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