Republicans demand Biden family business associate appear for questioning in impeachment probe

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WASHINGTON — House Republicans are seeking testimony from Biden family business associate Michael Lewitt as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

In a letter Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan cited Lewitt’s ties to James Biden, the president’s younger brother and a former business associate of Lewitt.

“The Committees have identified you as possessing information relevant to the impeachment inquiry and seek your testimony regarding related topics,” said the letter from Comer, R-Ky., and Jordan, R-Ohio.

Specifically, the GOP chairmen referred to a $200,000 loan the president made to his brother in 2018. NBC News has reported that James Biden repaid the loan a few months later, and Comer has noted that bank records obtained by his committee show that James Biden paid his brother $200,000 the same day he received $200,000 from Americore Health, a company that at the time was embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings.

“Given the above, the Committees are interested in your involvement with Americore and your relationship with James Biden,” Comer and Jordan said in the letter. “In particular, the Committees seek information you possess regarding your business dealings with both Americore and James Biden, including, but not limited to, the ‘loans’ that James Biden received from the financially struggling company.”

An attorney for James Biden has also previously described the House Oversight Committee’s characterization of the $200,000 check as “highly selective and misleading.”

The White House and a lawyer for James Biden did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Attempts to reach Lewitt for comment were unsuccessful.

Comer and Jordan want Lewitt to voluntarily appear for a transcribed interview. The GOP-led panel reserves the right to subpoena him if he does not cooperate. They asked that Lewitt contact their staff by Jan. 11 to schedule an interview.

Lewitt was sued in October by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged that Lewitt and his group Third Friday Management misled investors and took part in “fraudulent conduct and gross breaches of fiduciary duties.” Comer and Jordan referred to the lawsuit in their letter as one of the reasons they wanted to interview him. James Biden is not accused of wrongdoing in the SEC lawsuit.

House Republicans voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry into the president this month. Comer has said that Biden family members have been involved in “shady business practices” but that none of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry have provided evidence of wrongdoing or influence-peddling by the president.

Biden slammed the inquiry as a “baseless House Republican impeachment stunt” in a statement this month.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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