Republican-led House committee subpoenas White House aides over Biden’s health

Republican-led House committee subpoenas White House aides over Biden’s health

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Chairman James Comer (R-KY) gestures as he speaks during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee impeachment inquiry hearing into U.S. President Joe Biden, focused on his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 28, 2023.

Jim Bourg | Reuters

The GOP-led House Oversight Committee issued subpoenas Wednesday for three White House aides, requesting depositions to discuss President Joe Biden’s cognitive state.

The subpoenas, first reported by Axios, are for first lady Jill Biden’s senior adviser Anthony Bernal, White House deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini and White House senior adviser Ashley Williams.

The letters accompanying the subpoenas alleged that the aides have “firsthand knowledge of the extent to which President Biden is personally carrying out the duties of his office and whether he is capable of doing so.”

“The Committee seeks this information to explore whether the time has come for Congress to revisit potential legislation to address the oversight of presidents’ fitness to serve pursuant to its authority under Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment,” the letters said.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the committee chair, said the panel is concerned these aides “may be running interference on behalf of the President and perhaps doing some of the President’s job for him.”

“President Biden is clearly unfit for office, yet his staff are trying to hide the truth from the American people,” he added.

When reached for comment, White House spokesperson Ian Sams criticized Comer and called the subpoenas a “baseless political stunt intended for him to get media attention instead of engage in legitimate oversight.”

“His partisan attacks on the President have been discredited, and now he continues to debase the House by weaponizing subpoenas to get headlines instead of seeking information through the proper constitutional process,” Sams said in a statement.

Comer, a frequent Biden critic, was central to a Republican-led impeachment inquiry into the president. Republicans have not produced evidence that Biden was engaged in criminal activities.

The three aides were previously asked to appear before the committee as part of the Biden classified documents investigation, but the committee says the White House blocked their appearances.

The committee asked that the aides respond by July 17 to discuss a deposition.

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