Washington, Sep 29 (IANS): US House Republicans have opened the first impeachment inquiry hearing against President Joe Biden, weeks after Speaker Kevin McCarthy made the call.
Republicans have accused Biden of trading on the power of his office when he was Vice President to help his son Hunter Biden secure lucrative foreign business deals, and of benefiting personally from the "corruption". McCarthy on September 12 requested to open an impeachment inquiry into the President.
At the hearing led by the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Thursday, James Comer, the committee chair, said that Biden has "lied about family members' business dealings", Xinhua news agency reported.
"The American people demand accountability for this culture of corruption," Comer said.
Democrats said there was no evidence that Biden had received any of those payments, or had been involved in his son's business ventures.
Democrat Representative Jamie Raskin slammed that his Republican colleagues presented 12,000 pages of bank records which didn't include a "single dime" going to the President.
One of the panel's expert witnesses, law professor Jonathan Turley, also acknowledged that the evidence Republicans had gathered so far doesn't prove their case.
The White House has repeatedly rejected the House GOP's assertion that Biden abused the power of his office to enrich his family. On the eve of Thursday's hearing, the White House released a 15-page memo refuting GOP allegations.
Ian Sams, the White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, said in a statement Tuesday that Republicans were simply trying to distract from the looming government shutdown that could begin this weekend if Congress failed to pass a spending bill.