McCarthy blasts White House memo to news outlets urging ‘scrutiny’ of impeachment inquiry
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday slammed the White House for 'telling the press what to say' with a memo that urged stricter 'scrutiny' of House Republicans' impeachment inquiry.
White House spokesperson Ian Sams wrote a letter to major news organizations Tuesday calling for the media 'to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.' The letter came a day after McCarthy directed House Republicans to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden.
'It’s really concerning to me that the president, the White House is telling the press what to say. I think the press should be wanting to know the answers to, ‘Did the president know when he went to dinner with his son that he would get a Porsche?’' McCarthy told reporters Wednesday.
'Did he know when the son was selling the brand?' he continued. 'That when he was talking and using an email address? That wasn’t his own name? So people couldn’t find it?
'Did he know when he was talking about the president of Ukraine, was that in referring to his son serving on the Burisma board with the prosecutor coming after them?'
McCarthy referenced several findings from the GOP-led investigations into the Biden family, including that Kazakhstani oligarch Kenes Rakishev wired $142,000 to Hunter Biden in April 2014 so he could buy a sports car. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., who is leading the impeachment inquiry, has alleged that payments the Bidens received through various foreign connections and shell companies were given for no services other than 'access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself.'
The White House has denied any wrongdoing. Sams' letter to news outlets insisted Republicans have provided no evidence that the president has committed a crime.
'It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,' he wrote. 'When even House Republicans are admitting that there is simply no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong, much less impeachable, that should set off alarm bells for news organizations.'
The letter continued: 'For years, Republicans in Congress have tried to muddy the waters by attracting media coverage of their allegations, and as they choose to move forward with impeachment, it is the responsibility of the independent press to treat their claims with the appropriate scrutiny. Covering impeachment as a process story — Republicans say X, but the White House says Y — is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.'
'House Republican leaders should be held accountable for the fact that they are lurching toward impeachment over allegations that are not only unfounded but, in virtually all cases, have been actively disproven — including by witnesses and documents in their own investigations, as well as years-old congressional probes and even the former President’s first impeachment inquiry,' Sams added, and included a 14-page appendix he said addressed seven 'key lies' the impeachment effort was based upon.
The letter was sent to some of the country's largest media organizations, including Fox News, CNN, The New York Times and others.
McCarthy on Tuesday said Republican congressional probes have uncovered allegations of 'abuse of power, obstruction and corruption' against Biden that need further investigation.
'Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family's foreign business dealings. Eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions, dinners resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his sons and his son's business partners,' McCarthy said.
'We know that bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates through various shell companies. The Treasury Department alone has more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family,' he continued. 'Another business associates that were flagged as suspicious activity by U.S. banks. Even a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family. Biden used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden's business partners about Hunter's role in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.'
House Oversight Chairman Comer said Wednesday the first impeachment inquiry hearing taking up these matters will happen later this month.
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.
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