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White House declines invite for Biden to testify in House Oversight impeachment inquiry

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) — The White House informed House Oversight Chair James Comer that President Joe Biden will not accept his invitation to testify in a committee impeachment inquiry hearing, according to a letter obtained first by CNN, further insulting the Republican-led effort.

“Your impeachment investigation is over,” Special Counsel to the President Richard Sauber wrote to Comer on Monday. “We decline your invitation for President Biden to testify.”

In the letter, Sauber said that the president “has done nothing wrong” and accused Comer of peddling “false and unsupported allegations.”

In a statement to CNN, Comer criticized Biden for declining to testify publicly and called on the president to answer questions that accompanied the hearing invitation. Comer’s statement did not address whether he plans to take any further steps now that Biden has declined.

“It is unfortunate President Biden is unwilling to answer questions before the American people and refuses to answer the very simple, straightforward questions we included in the invitation,” Comer said in the statement.

House Republicans have not uncovered evidence of wrongdoing by the president and currently do not have the votes in the House to impeach him given their narrow, divided majority. As a result, the impeachment inquiry appears stalled as Republicans lack consensus on how or when to end their investigation.

Comer had invited Biden to testify at a hearing this week but had not formally scheduled that hearing.

Comer has single-handedly spearheaded the effort to invite the president to testify before his committee, sources said. The invitation to appear before Comer’s committee was not co-signed by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan or House Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith, who are leading the inquiry with Comer and have signed onto several letters with him. Comer gave House Speaker Mike Johnson’s team a heads up he would be inviting Biden, but Johnson wasn’t involved in the decision, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

The invitation to the president was seen, even among some Republicans, as a last-ditch effort to restart momentum on an investigation that after dozens of witness interviews and hundreds of thousands of bank records, has failed to uncover evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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