Feb 8, 2023
Trump Impeachment Veteran Debunks GOP Accusations Against Biden
(Bloomberg) -- A freshman New York Democrat used evidence he acquired as the lead attorney for Donald Trump’s first impeachment to publicly debunk accusations leveled by Republicans at President Joe Biden and his family at a Wednesday hearing.
In a highly unusual exchange, Daniel Goldman directly took on House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer regarding the overseas business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter.
Goldman, who studiously spent much of the hearing on his laptop like the congressional staffer he recently was, shot down the GOP claim that Biden, when he was vice president, got a Ukraine prosecutor fired because he was investigating Burisma. Hunter was at the time a member of the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company.
The episode has been depicted as influence-peddling by Republicans who have vowed to bring the matter and others to light now that they hold the majority of the House.
“Categorically false,” Goldman said. “One-hundred percent false.”
“Is the gentleman sure about that?” Comer responded.
Goldman reminded the committee that he’d investigated the Burisma affair as impeachment counsel. Testimony in that proceeding revealed that former President Donald Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless officials there agreed to open an investigation of the Bidens.
Joe Biden, as the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine, in 2016 pressed for the ouster of Viktor Shokin as prosecutor general. But US allies, the International Monetary Fund, and others, including many in Ukraine, wanted him gone on the grounds he was failing to pursue corruption cases.
“That’s been proven over and over,” Goldman said, suggesting that Comer might even talk to British authorities, because they’d been upset over the prosecutor’s inaction.
The specificity of Goldman’s knowledge seemed to catch the Republicans off-guard. But Goldman suggested this was all well-known, or should have been, from Trump’s first impeachment and trial.
Comer asked Goldman several follow-up questions but had no immediate counter-arguments. Instead the Kentucky Republican moved the hearing along and suggested a bathroom break.
Hunter Biden was named to the Burisma board in 2014 and 2020 and records suggest he earned at least $50,000 a month. Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have alleged that the elder Biden targeted the prosecutor to derail an investigation into Burisma.
In hindsight, Hunter Biden has said, serving on Burisma’s board may have been “poor judgment.”
Goldman told Comer he hoped his committee’s power was not being misused for “a fishing expedition into a civilian child of the president for political purposes.”
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