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Impeachment Live Updates: Judiciary Committee Finishes Debate and Recesses for Vote Friday Morning

Michael D. Shear

The House Judiciary Committee...

The House Judiciary Committee debate on articles of impeachment turned bitterly personal on Thursday after Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, offered a proposal meant to justify President Trump’s conduct and cast aspersions on Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Gaetz sought to remove the reference to the elder Mr. Biden, and the description of him as “a political opponent,” from the article charging Mr. Trump with abuse of power for pressing Ukraine for investigations. Instead, the Florida Republican proposed inserting the words, “a well-known corrupt company, Burisma, and its corrupt hiring of Hunter Biden.”

The proposal was an attempt to argue that Mr. Trump was acting out of a concern for corruption, not political self-interest, when he asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The president and his Republican allies have maintained that it was inappropriate for Hunter Biden, who had no experience on energy issues, to serve on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and accused the former vice president of trying to protect his son and the company from being investigated for corruption.

In arguing in favor of his proposal, Mr. Gaetz read into the Congressional Record a graphic news article describing the younger Mr. Biden’s substance abuse, including cocaine.

“I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues,” Mr. Gaetz said, adding that “it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”

Democrats quickly, if obliquely, cried hypocrisy, making veiled references to Mr. Gaetz’s own past arrest[1] for driving under the influence.

References

  1. ^ Mr. Gaetz’s own past arrest (www.tampabay.com)

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