Comer: Criminal referrals in Biden probe could come ‘within weeks’

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that criminal referrals stemming from his investigation into President Biden could come “within weeks” even as he cautioned “impeachment is still on the table.”

Comer told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo that criminal referrals may be swiftly considered now that President Biden and his son Hunter Biden both declined to appear before the committee.

“I think that what we had to do was give both Bidens an opportunity to come set the record straight,” Comer said, adding he does not believe there have ever been criminal referrals “for an immediate president of the United States and their family.”

The consideration of criminal referrals as a way to wrap up the investigation dovetailed with growing skepticism in the GOP that there would be sufficient votes to back an impeachment effort.

Numerous GOP colleagues have said they have not seen enough evidence to support impeaching the president, while Democrats have pushed Comer to name a crime he believes President Biden has committed.

That division led to a fiery moment between Comer and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) during a Wednesday morning hearing.

“You have not identified a single crime,” Raskin said while visibly annoyed and raising his voice.

“What is the crime you want to impeach Joe Biden for and keep this nonsense going? Why? What is the crime? Tell America right now. What is the crime?”

Comer responded, “You’re about to find out.”

The suggestion that such referrals could come within weeks is a more expedited timeline than Comer has previously suggested, and the chair told Bartiromo, “I think you’re gonna see this thing start to wrap up very soon.”

Criminal referrals, which typically must also be voted on by the full House, largely serve as a recommendation from Congress to the Justice Department that it should take up an investigation.

But the Justice Department is already pursuing tax and gun charges against Hunter Biden in two states after a multiyear investigation. Hunter Biden’s business partner was also previously indicted by the Justice Department.

The move could also be in some ways a more difficult pathway for Comer. It would force GOP impeachment investigators to offer a detailed breakdown of what crimes they believe were committed, as well as their evidence — only to turn those materials over to what would likely be a more skeptical audience than in Congress. The Justice Department is loath to take up cases where it does not believe it has a reasonable chance at scoring a conviction.

Still, Comer stressed he might still seek to introduce articles of impeachment for President Biden.

“It’s very clear that Joe Biden committed impeachable offenses,” he said, adding that he believes the president was “selling access” to foreign adversaries.

Comer’s investigation has yet to detail any actions President Biden took as vice president to benefit foreign countries in order to aid his family.

A one-time FBI informant who told the bureau that President Biden took a bribe as vice president was arrested on charges related to fabricating the claim.

Updated: 1:31 p.m.

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