White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre got defensive at Wednesday’s press briefing after a reporter interrupted her mid-sentence.
New York Post White House correspondent Steven Nelson confronted the press secretary as she called the impeachment inquiry “baseless” and confidently said there is no evidence that Biden did any wrongdoing in connection to his son, Hunter’s, business dealings. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the launching of the impeachment inquiry Tuesday “to gather all the facts and answers” for the American people.
“But what you see Republicans in Congress, right, they have spent all year investigating the president. That’s what they have spent all year doing and have turned up with no evidence, none, that he did anything wrong. That’s what we have heard over and over again from their almost year-long investigation and that’s because the president didn’t do anything wrong—”
“Is lying to the public not wrong?” Nelson asked.
“Even House Republicans have said, have said, the evidence does not exist. House Republicans have said that. To my friend in the back who just yelled that which is incredibly inappropriate. House Republicans have said—” (RELATED: White House Sends Marching Orders To Media Execs On How They Should Cover Biden Impeachment Inquiry)
“Do you dispute that he lied?” Nelson interrupted.
“It doesn’t, it doesn’t exist,” Jean-Pierre continued. “Their own investigation actually debunked their own ridiculous attacks and the only reason Speaker McCarthy is doing this, is doing this political stunt and we have seen it, you have all reported, is because Marjorie Taylor Greene has said she threatened to shut down the government. Can you imagine shutting down the government over a political stunt, and we’re talking about vital programs that American families need, and she said that because she wanted him to actually do this, and if he didn’t, she would shut down the government.”
“And Matt Gaetz as well, threatened to oust him as speaker if he didn’t do it,” she continued. “So, he didn’t even put up for a vote, as you all know, because he knows that even his own members weren’t going to support this. So, you know, that’s why we call it baseless, that’s why I called it baseless, because they have said themselves that there is no evidence. The evidence does not exist, and this is a political stunt.”
House Republicans received evidence from government agencies that Biden had knowledge and interactions with his son about his foreign business dealings in Ukraine, China and Romania. The president denied having ever discussed Hunter’s business dealings prior to and after the 2020 presidential election, back when Hunter’s laptop was falsely branded as Russian disinformation.
An FD-1023 form handed to Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley alleged that the owner of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter served on the board, bribed Biden and his son $5 million to fire Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin who investigated the energy company for corruption.
Hunter’s business associate Devon Archer testified that Hunter called his father on speaker phone while surrounded by his foreign business associates on over twenty occasions in the span of ten years during a July 31 House Oversight Committee hearing. Biden would have served as vice president during the time of some of these calls.
Archer also told House Oversight that the Biden family “brand” protected Burisma from scrutiny while the firm was paying Hunter Biden more than $80,000 per month to sit on its board, according to records.
A WhatsApp message from July 2017 showed Hunter threatening a Chinese business official by threatening that his father was in the room. Joseph Ziegler, a whistleblower with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), told Congress they were unable to access the message during their investigation into alleged Hunter’s tax and gun crimes.
McCarthy received pressure from fellow members of his party, particularly Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, to launch the impeachment inquiry. Gaetz threatened to vacate McCarthy’s position even after the speaker launched the inquiry.