CNN fact-checked the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Wednesday just hours after the White House asked news executives to up the scrutiny on Republicans. CNN’s fact-checking team admitted most of the claims were true but downplayed each allegation.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced Tuesday Republicans would move forward with an impeachment inquiry, saying he believes there is enough evidence stemming from both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees to move forward.
The White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson Ian Sam sent a letter to news executives Wednesday saying “it’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.” The letter reportedly said the inquiry should “set off alarm bells for news organizations.”
Apparently it worked at CNN, because they issued an entire report fact-checking the inquiry in which they state most of the claims are true before trying to downplay them.
— Jarvis (@jarvis_best) September 13, 2023
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made several unproven claims Tuesday while announcing the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden,” CNN wrote before breaking down the claims made by McCarthy.
The first claim CNN tries to fact-check is “bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates through various shell companies.”
CNN then admits it’s true before throwing in a caveat. (RELATED: ‘Political Stunt’: KJP Calls Impeachment Inquiry Into Biden ‘Baseless’)
“This is true about Joe Biden’s family and associates, but there is no public evidence to date that the president personally received any money,” CNN writes, saying the bank records that were subpoenaed did not show Biden himself was “directly” involved.
The article then fact-checks the claim from McCarthy that “even a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family.”
“It’s true that an informant gave a tip of this nature to the FBI in 2020, and that the bureau had viewed him as a credible informant,” CNN writes. “But the underlying allegation that the Biden family was given a bribe is totally unproven; the informant was merely reporting something he said he had been told by a Ukrainian businessman.”
Republicans also allege Biden was involved in “multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions” with Hunter’s business partners.
CNN argues “McCarthy’s claim omits key context about what was — and wasn’t — reportedly discussed in the calls and dinners.”
“A Hunter Biden associate testified that even though Joe Biden was on these calls and at these dinners, he didn’t discuss business,” CNN says as their fact-check.
CNN also addressed the claim that the Treasury Department flagged more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family and associates as suspicious activity. CNN doesn’t fact check the claim, but rather jumps straight to denial of any wrongdoing.
“The existence of these suspicious activity reports don’t prove wrongdoing on their own,” CNN writes.
McCarthy also alleges that Biden, as Vice President, “used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners.”
CNN, however, ignores that the claim says Biden “used” his office to coordinate official business and instead fact checks the non-existent claim that Biden “abused” his office to do so.
“There is no public evidence that Joe Biden abused his government powers to help his family,” CNN writes.
The final claim that CNN fact checked is McCarthy saying Biden lied to the American people when he said he had no knowledge or involvement in his son’s business dealings.
“Joe Biden’s unequivocal denials of any business-related contact with his son have been undercut over time,” CNN writes, “But so far there is no public evidence that his occasional interactions with Hunter Biden’s business partners led to him getting substantively involved in his son’s financial arrangements.”
CNN goes on to acknowledge “there is evidence that Joe Biden has at least some surface-level interactions that overlapped with his son’s business activities.”