Friday, 01 September 2023 12:16 PM EDT
President Joe Biden’s White House has comprised a war room of attorneys, legislative aides and communications staffers to combat a possible Republican impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged influence peddling, NBC News reported.
Talk of the House beginning an impeachment inquiry has picked up after committees’ investigations have discovered alleged misconduct by then-Vice President Biden in his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
The war room, which includes up to two dozen lawyers, has been taking shape for months in the White House counsel’s office, NBC News reported Friday.
The news outlet said that the president’s aides and allies are preparing to push back vigorously, calling an impeachment inquiry an evidence-free partisan sham.
“Comparing this to past impeachments isn’t apples to apples or even apples to oranges; it’s apples to elephants,” a White House aide told NBC News. “Never in modern history has an impeachment been based on no evidence whatsoever.”
White House aides have spent the August recess researching GOP statements, and fine-tuning a message and a response team, a source told NBC News.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested Sunday that an impeachment inquiry of Biden was becoming more likely, calling it “a natural step forward” as Congress soon ends its summer break and House Republicans seek to expand their investigative powers.
“If you look at all the information we have been able to gather so far, it is a natural step forward that you would have to go to an impeachment inquiry,” McCarthy told Fox News Channel.
“That provides Congress the apex of legal power to get all the information they need.”
Biden’s team, hoping to make Republicans pay a political price for overreaching, have researched the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton to get guidance on how to mount an effective defense.
Defense attorney Richard Sauber and Russ Anello, the former staff director of the House Oversight Committee, are members of the Biden White House’s war room, NBC News reported.
Communications operative and presidential campaign veteran Ian Sams and the pro-Biden group Building Back Together’s former communications director Sharon Yang will be the team’s “public face,” NBC News reported.
Incoming White House counsel Ed Siskel, who worked in the Obama-era White House counsel’s office, soon will be added.
Besides combatting the GOP, the war room’s aim also is to allow other administration officials to focus on governing without getting “bogged down in the minutia of ongoing investigations,” a White House aide told NBC News.