US House Republicans ask Justice Department to prosecute Biden's son, brother

By Makini Brice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. House of Representatives Republicans leading an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked the Justice Department to prosecute his brother James and his son Hunter for allegedly lying to their probe.

More than eight months have passed since House Republicans launched their probe into the Democratic president, alleging that members of Biden’s family profited by actions he took as vice president from 2009-2017. They have produced no evidence proving wrongdoing on Biden’s part and have not brought impeachment articles up for a vote.

The Justice Department is not expected to take up the requests to charge Hunter Biden, 54, or James Biden, 75, with making false statements during the inquiry, and to also charge Hunter Biden with perjury.

“Hunter Biden and James Biden provided false testimony to the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee, in what appears to be a conscious, calculated effort to insulate Joe Biden from the duly authorized impeachment inquiry,” Representatives James Comer, Jim Jordan and Jason Smith, the chairmen of the three committees leading the impeachment probe, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Special Counsel David Weiss.

Representatives for Hunter Biden and James Biden did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Separately, Hunter Biden went on trial this week on charges that he illegally bought a gun while addicted to crack cocaine. The president’s son is charged with tax crimes in another case slated to go to trial in September. He has pleaded not guilty in both of those cases, which were brought by Weiss.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s allies in Congress, including the three committee chairmen, have accused President Biden, without providing evidence, of orchestrating the four criminal prosecutions of the Republican former president.

A Manhattan jury convicted Trump last Thursday of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star, making him the first former or sitting U.S. president to be convicted of a felony.

Trump also faces charges stemming from efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory, in federal court and in Georgia, as well as federal charges he unlawfully kept classified documents and misled officials seeking to recover them. None of those remaining three cases is expected to go to trial before the Nov. 5 election.

Trump has pledged to install loyalists at the Justice Department who will do his bidding if he is reelected. Traditionally, the department’s decision-making on criminal investigations are independent and the White House has no say in such matters.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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