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Could Joe Biden Be Impeached for Bribery?

In this bribery allegation, the whistleblower is the only one tying this Biden family influence-peddling operation directly to Joe Biden.

Joe Biden. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention hosted by the AFL-CIO at the Prairie Meadows Hotel in Altoona, Iowa.

During the 2020 campaign, Republicans called the Democratic presidential nominee “Hidin’ Biden” for his basement campaign.

Now Joe Biden is president, and Americans should be asking: What is Biden hiding?

Does Joe Biden Have a Bribery Problem? 

On May 10, the FBI officially missed its deadline for a subpoena from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee regarding a whistleblower’s report. The whistleblower says the bureau has a document with someone alleging Biden–while serving as vice president–took money from a foreign national in exchange for changing a policy.

A simple word for that is bribery.

The committee issued the subpoena on May 3, with a May 10 deadline.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has said he knows what country the alleged bribery came from and what the policy changed. He didn’t know the amount of money that allegedly changed hands.

The charge itself is vague, with the who, what, when, and where left blank–and the promise of an elusive document to answer all that.

Republicans ought to recall they didn’t appreciate the vague Russia collusion silliness hurled at Donald Trump that toppled when the Robert Mueller report was released.

Maybe there is a similar “you’ll see” element to both. There is a big difference, though.

With Russia collusion, the promise about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow would prove Trump was a Russian agent, and he’d be charged with treason. It was not specific, just a blank canvas that anti-Trumpers could draw their own smoking gun on and fantasize about how it would be found.

The Biden allegation involves a specific document held by the FBI. It’s also a specific allegation–not vague or open-ended. So, it’s either true or it’s not. The contents of the documents could be false. But the FBI isn’t releasing the information to Congress, so the veracity is difficult to investigate.

During a press conference, Comer noted a difference in the approach of his committee with that of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who routinely spread misinformation about Trump in the empty Russia investigation.

“As has been my practice, we will report to you only facts that are verified and indisputable,” Comer said. “This committee will not pursue witch hunts or string the American people along for years with false promises of evidence that is beyond circumstantial evidence, as Rep. Adam Schiff and the Democrats did for years.”

But let’s put Comer or anyone on the House Oversight Committee aside. And let’s be clear; this didn’t originate with bomb throwing by Reps. Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene repeating rumors they read on Twitter.

The whistleblower, who now has protected status, went to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office. The Iowa Republican is widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his work with government whistleblowers.

Grassley, being in the Senate minority that lacks subpoena power, then provided the information to Comer, since the information was consistent with the investigation into the alleged influence peddling by the Biden family.

What’s also significant about this Biden bribery allegation is the whistleblower is the only one tying this whole Biden family influence-peddling operation directly to Joe Biden. We’ve heard for years about the wayward son Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden trying to cash in. But this appears “the big guy” was in on something.

Christopher Dunham, the FBI acting assistant director for congressional affairs, said in a letter to Comer responding to the committee’s subpoena that the FBI is willing to “coordinate with your staff to discuss whether and how we can accommodate your request without violating our law enforcement and national security obligations.”

It goes on to say Justice Department policy “strictly limits when and how confidential human source information can be provided outside of the FBI.”

This means the FBI is doing a typical dance to stonewall Congress.

But why?

The president could ask for the release of this himself, just to get it out there, answer every question and clear his name. Wouldn’t most people be outraged to be accused of bribery? Shouldn’t the president of the United States be outraged?

One White House spokesman, John Kirby, when asked about it during a White House press briefing, referred the matter to the Justice Department, then said, “I’m getting the hook.”

The White House didn’t come across much better in a written statement by spokesman Ian Sams, who said. “For going on five years now, Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically motivated attacks against the president and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests.”

Missing in all that was a denial that Biden ever accepted anything. Distilled, Sams said, “All those things you’re saying are unproven.” And?

A better reassurance from the White House would be more comforting.

If proven–or for the House of Representatives, if there is a preponderance of evidence–this would be clearly impeachable.

“It doesn’t have to be a high crime or misdemeanor because the Constitution specifies that impeachment lies for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas said on Fox News. “Bribery is explicitly noted in the Constitution.”

One doesn’t have to like Cruz, or be a Harvard Law-educated constitutional scholar who has argued before the Supreme Court like him to acknowledge this basic point.

Maybe legally, there is a question whether Biden could be impeached for something he did before he was president, in this case while he was vice president under Barack Obama. Also, what did Obama know about this conduct?

There’s also the question of whether such a narrow Republican House majority could bring an impeachment since history tells us presidential impeachments are notoriously partisan.

But keep in mind, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were all impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors–a malleable standard for a House majority.

We’ve never dealt with the prospect of an impeachment over bribery. But if there is a smoking gun for bribery, Democrats could have a tough time explaining why they are taking the partisan corners.

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Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.

Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.