The White House has sent a memo to several major news organizations, urging them to increase their scrutiny of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
The memo is seen as an unusual move by the White House to directly lobby the media to set the narrative around the impeachment process. Mark J. Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, suggests that this indicates the seriousness with which the White House is taking the situation.
The memo, written by White House spokesperson Ian Sams, challenges the basis of the impeachment inquiry led by House Republicans, calling it a process “based on lies.” It particularly highlights quotes from Republicans who claim to see no evidence of corruption or personal gain in foreign business deals involving President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has countered these claims, arguing that evidence from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee shows millions of dollars flowing into Biden family bank accounts. He alleges that President Biden served as a “brand” that Hunter Biden used to secure lucrative deals with businesses in various countries, including China, Ukraine, and Russia.
In response to the White House’s memo, McCarthy expressed concern about the White House telling the press what to say, and emphasized the need to investigate allegations against President Biden. Democrats, however, argue that President Biden has done nothing wrong and accuse McCarthy of catering to the right flank of his party to maintain his speakership.
The White House’s memo to the media includes an appendix that refutes key Republican talking points. Among other things, it argues that allegations of a bribery scheme involving President Biden and Ukrainian company Burisma lack evidence, and that payments to “shell companies” mainly went to Hunter Biden’s business partners, not the president.