Rep. Ken Buck called out House leadership for diverting attention to an impeachment inquiry into President Biden instead focusing on averting a looming government shutdown in an op-ed.
Mr. Buck, Colorado Republican, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and fellow House Republicans “flimsy excuse” of an impeachment inquiry was based on the narrative Mr. Biden benefitted from presidential son Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings.
“What’s missing, despite years of investigation, is the smoking gun that connects Joe Biden to his ne’er-do-well son’s corruption,” Mr. Buck said.
Meanwhile, Congress has struggled to advance spending measures in order to prevent a government shutdown. Members of Mr. Buck’s House Freedom Caucus have been at the center of the grinding halt in the lower chamber because of their demands to lower spending even further than agreed-upon spending caps in the debt-ceiling deal.
Moving spending bills ahead of the deadline is unlikely, but allies of Mr. McCarthy and members of the House Freedom Caucus are in talks to produce a short-term spending resolution to keep the government open.
Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, launched the impeachment inquiry earlier this week, saying the move was necessary to get records from Mr. Biden and give Congress greater investigative power.
House Republicans have generally thrown support behind the move, while Mr. McCarthy has balked at reports that lawmakers don’t have the evidence to move forward with the inquiry.
He placed the task of investigating the president on the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees.
Mr. Buck is a judiciary committee member and has been outspoken against a move to impeach Mr. Biden. Mr. Buck is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, whose lawmakers have been demanding an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden for months.
He said the impeachment inquiry “rests heavily on a fictitious version” of former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin’s career.
The House-led impeachment inquiry is zeroed in on Mr. Biden’s efforts to oust Mr. Shokin when he was vice president and whether he did so to end a corruption investigation led by Mr. Shokin into Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which paid Hunter Biden an annual salary of $1 million.
Mr. Buck said that “right-wing media” has painted Mr. Shokin as an “anti-corruption zealot” engaged in an active investigation of Burisma. He said that, in reality, Mr. Shokin was “deeply enmeshed in Ukraine’s culture of corruption” and contended that there was no evidence that Mr. Shokin was investigating the energy company.
“Republicans in the House who are itching for an impeachment are relying on an imagined history,” Mr. Buck said.
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