Oversight Republicans’ Impeachment Hearing Was a ‘Spectacular Failure’

Mar 21, 2024
Press Release
Committee Democrats Embarrassed Republicans’ Failed Impeachment Inquiry and Further Exposed the Lies, Disinformation, and Propaganda at the Heart of this Inquiry

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2024)—Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, led Democrats in countering disproven allegations and conspiracy theories that have fueled Republicans’ sham inquiry.  More than 80 hours of testimony from nearly 20 witnesses and well over 100,000 pages of documents have not only debunked Republicans’ allegations but exonerated President Biden of any wrongdoing.  Without any evidence of wrongdoing, Republicans have resorted to promoting and amplifying lies, disinformation, and propaganda—from Russian and Chinese agents, indicted liars, disgruntled former want-to-be business partners, and serial fraudsters and con artists—in their desperate effort to smear Joe Biden.

 

“The good Chairman and his ace MAGA detectives have finally jumped the shark. The Comedy of Errors comes crashing to an end, as House Republicans in more than a dozen Biden districts beg for mercy and the Committee throws a flabby Hail Mary pass weeks after the Super Bowl is over.  So today, we revisit the fruitless testimony of two more fading star witnesses who have failed to testify to any presidential wrongdoing, much less evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Ranking Member Raskin in his opening statement.

 

The hearing included testimony from Tony Bobulinski, a disgruntled want-to-be business partner of Hunter Biden who is aligned with the Trump campaign, and Jason Galanis, a “serial fraudster” and convicted “con man” who desperately wanted to be in business with Hunter Biden, but never was.  Committee Republicans waived their own ban on virtual witness appearances for Mr. Galanis to testify virtually from federal prison, where he is currently serving a nearly 16-year prison sentence for fraud and other charges.  The Minority witness was Lev Parnas, the former right-hand man to Rudy Giuliani in Donald Trump’s mission to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine in 2018 and 2019. 


Committee Democrats underscored that Republicans’ inquiry has failed because the mountain of evidence they collected proves Joe Biden has committed no wrongdoing, let alone an impeachable offense.

 

  • Rep. Summer Lee explained, “Republicans of this Committee [...] keep saying ‘look at the documents,’ so let’s look.  This purported investigation has received over 100,000 pages of documents and not a single one shows any evidence of wrongdoing, much less an impeachable offense.”

 

  • Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost underscored how “[t]he claims against the President of the United States have been so completely proven to be lies that even House Republicans now are admitting that it’s time to close this case.”

 

  • Chairman James Comer, Rep. Gary Palmer, and Rep. Glenn Grothman elicited Tony Bobulinski’s account of his only two meetings with Joe Biden—both of which occurred in 2017 when Joe Biden was not in office.  Just as in his transcribed interview, Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony made clear, each time, that he did not discuss business with Joe Biden during either interaction, but rather the two discussed his “family’s military background” and “tragedies” that the Biden family has endured.

 

  • Rep. Dan Goldman scrutinized text messages and emails provided by Tony Bobulinski to expose that it was “[Bobulinski] and James Gilliar [who] wanted Joe Biden involved, and that is why Hunter Biden dumped [Bobulinski].”  Rep. Goldman also highlighted that the agreement for the venture with Mr. Bobulinski did not include Joe Biden, that Joe Biden was allocated no equity in the venture, and that none of the evidence shows Jim or Hunter Biden ever tried to involve Joe Biden in their venture.

 

  • In his opening statement and in response to multiple questions including from Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Andy Biggs, Jason Galanis claimed that he was present for a purported phone call between Hunter Biden and his father.  However, Mr. Galanis’s account of this alleged call made clear that he never discussed business with Joe Biden and instead merely overheard Joe Biden exchange “some pleasantries.”  Republicans falsely claimed that this call led to a “bribe” from Elena Baturina, despite unequivocal testimony from Devon Archer in his transcribed interview that Hunter Biden had no involvement in Archer’s business dealings with Ms. Baturina, which Mr. Archer said were “completely out of [Hunter’s] portfolio.”

 

Committee Democrats demonstrated that the Ukraine-Burisma lie at the heart of Republicans’ inquiry has for years been promoted by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, indicted liar Alexander Smirnov, and Russian agents sanctioned by the Trump Administration—all with the same aim of hurting Joe Biden and helping Donald Trump.

 

  • Rep. Stephen Lynch asked Mr. Parnas to explain “the coordination between yourself and Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani.”  Mr. Parnas testified, “So, basically [. . .] it was a shadow diplomacy run by Trump and Giuliani where Giuliani was the shadow diplomacy secretary of state.  I was his right hand and basically the point person in Ukraine to not only dig up, validate, search, whatever needed to be done, to try to find up some corruption against Joe or Hunter Biden to be able to present.”

 

  • Ranking Member Jamie Raskin asked Mr. Parnas, “After turning over every stone and going down every rabbit hole including interviewing Viktor Shokin, and [Mykola] Zlochevsky the owner of Burisma, did you ever find the smoking gun or any evidence that Donald Trump was looking for to paste on Joe Biden?”  Mr. Parnas testified, “On the contrary [. . .] not only did we keep hitting dead walls and not finding the smoking gun but we kept running into sources of the information was coming out of Russia [sic].”

 

  • Noting that Rudy Giuliani “tasked” Mr. Parnas with “a mission to travel the globe to find dirt to damage the Bidens’ reputation in the 2018-2019 time frame,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi asked whether the mission was trying to “secure Trump’s reelection as President in 2020.”  Mr. Parnas responded, “correct.”

 

  • Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost explained that “Chairman Comer and Chairman Jordan have centered this entire sham impeachment hearing on an FBI tipsheet,” before he asked Mr. Parnas: “Is the allegation in the FBI tipsheet based on the same fabricated claims that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani flew you to Ukraine to dig up?”  Mr. Parnas said, “Yes.”  Rep. Stephen Lynch asked Mr. Parnas whether Republicans “should have known” that the allegation in the FBI tipsheet—which was reported by Alexander Smirnov, a confidential human source with ties to Russian intelligence who has since been arrested for lying to the FBI—was “fabricated.”  Mr. Parnas explained that it’s “not that they should have known, they did know”  They knew exactly what was going on.  They knew that the evidence was not vetted. This information was just coming in—from anywhere from left, right field—and it was being pushed straight to the halls of Congress without zero [. . .] verification of it.”

 

Committee Democrats exposed Republicans’ impeachment for being fueled by lies peddled by sources devoid of any credibility including a serial fraudster and con artist and a disgruntled former want-to-be business partner, both recruited and promoted by Donald Trump and his allies.

 

  • In response to questions from Rep. Robert Garcia regarding his close ties to Donald Trump, Tony Bobulinski testified, “Of course I was a guest of Donald Trump at the debate [in 2020].  That was obvious to everyone in the world at that point.”

 

  • In describing the fundamental issues with Tony Bobulinski’s credibility, Rep. Jasmine Crockett noted, “When we were behind closed doors, you called a number of people liars.  You called The Wall Street Journal liars.  You called Cassidy Hutchinson a liar.  You called the FBI a liar.  You called Rob Walker a liar.  You called James Gilliar a liar.  You called Hunter Biden a liar.  You called Jim Biden a liar […] According to you, the only person telling the truth is you and everyone else is lying.”

 

  • Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton highlighted Jason Galanis’s utter lack of credibility as a convicted “con artist” according to two federal judges.  Mr. Galanis participated in the hearing by video from the federal prison where he is currently serving his nearly 16-year sentence for defrauding “one of the poorest Native American tribes in the country, as well as pension funds held for the benefit of transit workers, longshoremen, housing authority workers, and city employees, hard-working people, everyday people, among others.”

 

  • Rep. Melanie Stansbury pointed out that the attorney representing Jason Galanis, Mark Paoletta, is a former senior Trump Administration lawyer who “was at the center” of Donald Trump’s 2019 effort to withhold aid from Ukraine in order to “extort the Ukrainian government into investigating Joe Biden to support Donald Trump’s campaign,” for which Mr. Trump was impeached; that Mr. Paoletta represented Ginni Thomas in the congressional investigation into the January 6 insurrection; and that Mr. Paoletta instructed Mr. Galanis during his transcribed interview not to answer “simple questions” about how he had been introduced to Mr. Paoletta or who was paying his legal fees.

 

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118th Congress