White House to send letter urging news outlets to ‘ramp up scrutiny’ of Biden impeachment inquiry

By Melissa Koenig – New York Times

President Biden’s White House is planning to send a letter to some of the country’s most prominent news organizations — including CNN, the New York Times and Fox News — urging them to “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday ordered an impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged involvement in his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals.

“Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings,” the speaker charged, claiming that “these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”

In a draft letter to news executives obtained by CNN Tuesday, Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, said the inquiry has no supporting evidence, which “should set off alarm bells for news organizations.”

joe biden

“This is not OK,” journalist Matthew Keys tweeted. “The White House should not be encouraging, influencing or interfering in the editorial strategies of America’s newsrooms, including CNN and the New York Times.”

He continued, “Now, any time the media DOES try to hold Republican lawmakers to account, those lawmakers can simply counter by questioning whether it’s actual journalism or something encouraged by the Biden administration.

“All this demonstrates is that the Biden administration has lost confidence in the news media — which I guess mirrors public sentiment over the last few years, too.”

Sams is expected to send the letter to executives at CNN, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press and CBS News, a White House source told CNN.

“The problem is they’re trying to influence coverage,” Keys concluded. “The government should never do that. It is inappropriate.”

Here’s what the Biden family business scandal impeachment inquiry would look like

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry Tuesday into President Biden — turbocharging congressional power to acquire documents and testimony about Biden’s role in his family’s foreign business dealings while he was vice president.

House Republicans already have issued an array of demands to executive branch agencies relating to Joe Biden’s involvement with first son Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden’s international dealings — in many cases setting September deadlines that could soon escalate into litigation.

Hunter Biden claimed in his abandoned laptop that he has to give "half" of his income to his father.
Hunter Biden claimed in his abandoned laptop that he had to give “half” of his income to his father.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

The inquiry aims to answer a number of questions:

What’s in Joe Biden’s vice presidential emails?

While vice president, Joe Biden used the pseudonyms “Robert L. Peters” and “Robin Ware” to communicate with staff members — leaving a paper trail of nearly 5,400 written records.

The House Oversight Committee demanded those communications from the National Archives with an Aug. 31 deadline, but a source tells The Post the agency did not comply.

What do Hunter Biden’s bank records show?

Congressional Republicans are preparing to issue subpoenas to banks for accounts held by Hunter and James Biden — after previously subpoenaing some of the associates’ bank statements.

The records could show whether any money was transferred to Joe Biden from his relatives’ foreign income streams and also whether they covered a substantial portion of his expenses. It’s possible the House will later seek the president’s bank records too.

In the draft letter to news executives, Sams will ask the news executives to not fall prey to the notion of false equivalency.

“Covering impeachment as a process story — Republicans say X, but the White House says Y — is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.

“And in the modern media environment, where everyday liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to FOX, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds and obscure the truth.”

Sams had earlier tweeted on Tuesday: “Will anyone ask Speaker McCarthy *why* an impeachment inquiry is the ‘next logical step’?

Ian Sams is pictured in his official headshot.
Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, is expected to send prominent news organizations a letter urging them to “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.”
The White House

“The House GOP investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS. In fact, their own witnesses have testified to that, and their own documents have showed no link to POTUS,” he claimed.

“Opening impeachment despite zero evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS is simply red meat for the extreme rightwing so they can keep baselessly attacking him,” Sams said.

Biden has repeatedly claimed he never spoke with his son Hunter or brother James about their foreign ventures, and House Democrats also argue that the Republican investigation into the Biden family has failed to turn up any evidence that would warrant a formal impeachment.

In a statement on Monday, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, slammed the investigation as “a complete and total bust” and “an epic flop in the history of congressional investigations.”

However, in his announcement opening the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, McCarthy asserted: “Eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions. Dinners resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his sons and his son’s business partners.”

He cited bank records that show more than $20 million flowed from ChinaKazakhstanRomaniaRussia and Ukraine to the Biden family and its associates.

McCarthy also cited an unproven claim that Joe and Hunter Biden took $10 million in bribes from Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid Hunter up to $1 million per year beginning in 2014 as his dad led US policy toward Ukraine.

“Despite the serious allegations, it appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration,” McCarthy said —  referring to whistleblower allegations of a cover-up in the ongoing criminal investigation of Hunter for tax fraud and other alleged offenses.

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption,” the House speaker went on.

“They warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. That’s why today I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.”

President Joe Biden is pictured delivering remarks on 9/11.
McCarthy claimed eyewitnesses testified that the president was personally involved in phone calls and had multiple interactions with his son’s foreign business colleagues.

McCarthy added, “This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public. That’s exactly what we want to know, the answers. I believe the president would want to answer these questions and allegations as well.”

The speaker said Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) would lead the inquiry.

One thought on “White House to send letter urging news outlets to ‘ramp up scrutiny’ of Biden impeachment inquiry

  1. Sams just looks like a weasel. Just look at his face. It’s the face of a coward who got his butt kicked plenty of times during recess.

    Who the hell is he or anyone else to tell what the media or the people should say or print? The 1st Article says all, so he can take his empty threats and shove it up his ass, specifically during White House recess.

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