House Republicans on Thursday held the first public hearing of their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Republicans say their House Oversight Committee inquiry is focused on whether Biden was involved in or benefitted from his family's foreign business dealings, among other issues. But so far, they have yet to release evidence that Biden profited from his son Hunter's business deals or was improperly influenced by them.
The White House has blasted the impeachment inquiry as "extreme politics at its worst."
Comer says he will subpoena bank records 'today' in closing
In closing remarks, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said he will subpoena bank records "today" while arguing that further investigation is needed into President Joe Biden's role in his family's business dealings.
"One of those steps is gaining insight into where the Biden's foreign money ended up, for what purposes," Comer said. "Today, I will subpoena the bank records of Hunter Biden, James Biden and their affiliated companies."
Raskin decries 'impeachment hearing about nothing' in closing
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., in his closing statement, claimed that everyone was making fun of what he called "this Seinfeld impeachment."
"An impeachment hearing about nothing, apparently, two days before the government is about to shut down," he said.
Raskin thanked the four witnesses for their time and testimony but criticized Republicans for refusing to call Rudolph Giuliani and his associate Lev Parnas to testify.
The congressman reiterated that there has been no direct evidence that would give weight to an impeachment.
"You don't impeach a president based on hypotheticals and obsolete conspiracy theories," he said.
Legal expert for Republicans says there is a basis for inquiry to go forward
While being questioned by Rep. Lauren Boebert R-Colo., law professor Jonathan Turley, a witness called by Republicans, responded when asked what is impeachable.
Turley said lawmakers can look at criminal codes that deal with bribery. At the same time, he reiterated that the laws are complex and there needs to be more investigating.
"I think that there's certainly a basis for this inquiry to go forward," he said. "My position is simply that this is early in an inquiry in terms of linking these which are still just allegations to the president."
Comer struggles at times to manage contentious hearing
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has clearly struggled at times to control the flow and direction of his committee's unruly first impeachment inquiry hearing.
Republicans appeared unprepared for Democrats' procedural tricks. Comer has repeatedly sniped at Democrats during their testimony -- which is unusual for a committee chair.
"Can you read a bank statement?" Comer could be heard saying when Rep. Summer Lee, D-Penn., mocked Republicans and claimed they hadn't found a "smoking gun."
After Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., requested to add six excerpts from Hunter Biden's former business partner Devon Archer's transcribed interview into the record, Comer replied, "It's been entered twice. If you want to enter it again, go ahead."
Some of his own members have shouted over him and contributed to the raucous nature of this hearing.
"Democrats are the party of shutdowns. You love shutdowns," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., called out when Lee was listing off the number of federal workers in each Republican members' district who would feel the impact of a shutdown.
The day has been reminiscent of some of the early Trump impeachment hearings in 2019, when former Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., struggled to spar with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and some of his members privately complained about his performance.
--ABC News' Benjamin Siegel
Witness for Democrats says 'fishing expedition' not legitimate purpose for impeachment inquiry
University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt, a witness called by Democrats, told the committee the Constitution's founders designed an impeachment inquiry to have several safeguards -- and expressed concern that they are not be adhered to in this case.
The first safeguard, he said, is credible evidence of the commission of treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.
"There is not, at least not that I've yet heard, such credible evidence," Gerhardt said.
"Let me give you an example of what I fear is similar to the current proceedings: Hunter Biden is arrested for speeding in a car owned by his father, and the police go after the father. I don't think that's how the law should work. I don't think that's how impeachment should work."
He also stressed the importance of judicial review, telling the panel the U.S. Supreme Court previously decided that the House Oversight Committee has to conduct an investigation for a legitimate purpose.
"A fishing expedition is not a legitimate purpose," he said.