Five Key House Republican Investigations

Republicans say a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden that surfaced in late 2020 contains evidence of corrupt business dealings and influence peddling.

Criticized for targeting the president’s son, Republicans are casting a wider net.

Let me be clear: We’re not investigating Hunter Biden. We’re investigating Joe Biden,” James Comer, the incoming chairperson of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The Justice Department has been investigating Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings since 2018 but has not charged him with any crime.

The younger Biden has denied any wrongdoing, and President Biden has said he never discussed business dealings with his son.

The tumultuous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 is another widely expected target of Republican investigations.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will lead the investigation along with other panels, with Comer already sending letters to the Department of Defense and other agencies requesting information about the exit.

The withdrawal led to the Taliban’s return to power after a 20-year insurgency that took the lives of tens of thousands of Afghan civilians.

Thirteen American servicemen and at least 170 Afghan civilians died Aug. 26, 2021, when an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up outside Kabul Airport.

The Biden administration has faced criticism from Republicans and some Democrats for failing to adequately prepare for the withdrawal.

Republicans want to investigate the decision-making process that led to the withdrawal, faulty intelligence that prompted Biden to declare in early 2021 that the fall of Kabul was not inevitable, and the decision to leave behind billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment.

Biden has repeatedly defended the withdrawal, saying getting out of Afghanistan was always going to be difficult.

China and COVID-19 Origins
Republicans plan to keep an existing House Select Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic but intend to focus on the origins of the virus and the impact of lockdowns.

In a report in October, Republican staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions contended that the virus most likely resulted from a “research-related incident” in China.

The U.S. intelligence community has failed to reach that conclusion, and China said the pandemic originated outside its borders.

But Comer said the public deserves “answers to what really happened in that Wuhan lab in China.”

As part of their upcoming investigation, House Republicans last month released a list of 40 White House and health officials whom they plan to call to testify, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who retired last month as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Border Crisis
Republicans say the Biden administration’s “open border” policy has led to a huge influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, with agents apprehending record numbers of people over the past year.

Among other things, Republicans say they’ll investigate the administration’s failure to “protect the border,” allegations that agents whipped immigrants in Texas, a purported decline in border enforcement actions and deportations.

The Biden administration late last week announced it will limit asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border and expand the use of the COVID-19 ban known as Title 42, while increasing the legal paths for some migrants to apply for asylum. They announced Thursday that up to 30,000 Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants would be allowed into the United States per month and allowed to work legally for up to two years if they apply from abroad, pass a background check and prove they have a financial supporter in the U.S.

Biden officials said those who fail to apply for the program and cross into the U.S. without authorization will be removed to Mexico under Title 42.

Some hard-right Republicans have called for the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of lying to Congress when he declared the border is secure.

Mayorkas said he has no plans to resign. “I’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Masood Farivar covers the Justice Department and the FBI for Voice of America. This article is published courtesy of the Voice of America (VOA).