EXCLUSIVE: The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee has been informally meeting with Republicans behind closed doors in an effort to persuade them to abandon the impeachment effort against President Biden, as GOP lawmakers prepare to vote to formalize the inquiry, Fox News Digital has learned.
Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., has been quietly discussing impeachment with House Republicans with whom he has close relationships, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the conversations told Fox News Digital.
Sources said Raskin has been meeting with ‘right-wing to more moderate members’ in an effort to counter GOP arguments, investigative steps, and evidence collected throughout the investigation.
Those sources told Fox News Digital that some Republicans, in recent days, have been ‘especially receptive to seeing the Administration’s record of cooperation with investigators.’
Meanwhile, Fox News Digital has obtained ‘fact sheets’ House Oversight Democrats plan to share with both Democrats and Republicans to support their efforts to quash the impeachment inquiry.
‘These fact sheets are a hat in hand, fact-based appeal to House Republicans,’ a senior House Democratic aide told Fox News Digital. ‘Republicans may not be getting all of the facts from Mr. Comer, so we are making sure that they have the full picture as they decide whether to endorse this impeachment effort.’
One memo, obtained by Fox News Digital, is focused on obstruction in an effort to defend the Biden administration, as well as banks and private citizens, for providing ‘extraordinary cooperation’ with the committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings and whether President Biden, himself, was involved.
Another memo defends the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Joe Biden, as vice president, boasted that he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin. The then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
Shokin, at the time, was investigating Burisma Holdings — a Ukrainian natural gas firm where Hunter Biden sat on the board and collected highly-lucrative monthly payments.
But Democrats on the committee echoed past statements from the White House and the president, that Shokin’s firing was actually the ‘culmination of a years-long effort by a bipartisan, international coalition to address and root out corruption in Ukraine.’
Republicans, as part of the impeachment inquiry, have been investigating an FBI-generated FD-1023 form, which alleged a bribery scheme between Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky.
That FD-1023 — a confidential human source (CHS) reporting document — reflects the FBI’s interview with a ‘highly credible’ confidential source who detailed multiple meetings and conversations he or she had with a top executive of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings over the course of several years starting in 2015.
The document includes allegations from Zlochevsky that he was ‘coerced’ into paying Joe Biden and Hunter Biden millions of dollars to get Shokin fired.
That document has been passed to Special Counsel David Weiss, who has been investigating Hunter Biden since 2018. When tapped as special counsel in August, Attorney General Merrick Garland expanded Weiss’s scope to include any other issues that have come up, or may come up, related to that investigation.
But House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., told Fox News Digital it is ‘ironic Democrats continue to say there is no evidence and then at every turn seek to prevent the Oversight Committee from gathering evidence.’
‘Despite Democrats’ best efforts, the House Oversight Committee has produced evidence revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family cashing in on the Biden last name,’ Comer told Fox News Digital. ‘We will continue to follow the facts and hold this president accountable for his corruption.’
Meanwhile, the Democrats also prepared a memo focused on the funds Joe Biden received from his brother, James Biden, in 2017 and 2018. Both checks, one for $200,000 and one for $40,000, were both labeled as a ‘loan repayment’ in the memo section.
Democrats stress that Joe Biden, as a private citizen, did, in fact, make ‘short-term, interest-free loans to his brother, James, who later repaid him.’
But House Oversight Republicans are demanding documentation from the White House to prove that there were, in fact, loans, to be repaid.
Republicans have also pointed to the timing of those payments to Biden—specifically the 2018 $40,000 check—as it came just days after James Biden was wired funds from Hunter Biden, after he received a $5 million wire from a Chinese energy company. Republicans say this is an example of how Joe Biden benefited from his family’s foreign business dealings.
Hunter Biden received a $5 million wire from the Chinese company in August 2018 to his bank account, Hudson West III.
Hunter Biden then transferred $400,000 to his Owasco PC account. Funds were then transferred to a business account belonging to James Biden and later transferred to a personal account belonging to James Biden and Sara Biden.
Comer claims they used those funds to then cut a check to Joe Biden for $40,000. That check was labeled as a ‘loan repayment.’
President Biden has maintained that he was never in business with his son, and never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings.
Fox News Digital first reported last week metadata revealing that Biden communicated with his son and his son’s business partner Eric Schwerin hundreds of times using an email alias while serving as vice president. Schwerin, though, at the time, served as Biden’s bookkeeper.
Biden, last week, from the White House, said: ‘I did not, they’re lies. It’s a bunch of lies.’
Raskin’s efforts come ahead of a House Rules Committee meeting Tuesday, where lawmakers will consider a resolution to formalize the impeachment inquiry framework against President Biden.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky.; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., are leading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden.
The chairmen are investigating any foreign money received by the Biden family, whether President Biden was involved in his family’s foreign business dealings, and steps allegedly taken by the Biden administration to ‘slow, hamper, or otherwise impede the criminal investigation into the President’s son, Hunter Biden, which involves funds received by the Biden family from foreign sources.’