House Republicans have criticized the Biden administration after the White House sent out a memo urging media outlets to increase scrutiny of GOP lawmakers following their launch of an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.
Ian Sams, a special assistant to the president and spokesman for the White House Counsel’s office, wrote the note, in which he stated, "It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies."
The directive came just one day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced that he had asked three House committees to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Biden focusing on corruption allegations.
Responding to the memo in a Sept. 14 press release, Mr. McCarthy noted corporate media has a "political bias" and called it a "true act of desperation" by the Biden administration.
"It’s a fact of life. Remember when they did everything they could to bury the Hunter Biden laptop story?" he said. "That’s exactly what happened yesterday when the White House Counsel’s Office delivered a message to news organizations demanding the media 'ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans.'"
"The takeaway was clear: do Biden’s bidding, or else. As George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley noted, 'The letter removes any pretense of separation between the Biden personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s office.'
Lawmakers Uncover 'Culture of Corruption'"Just think, if the Biden administration is that eager to order independent media organizations to paper over the facts, how much easier would it have been for them to signal to the Department of Justice how to handle Hunter Biden’s case?" Mr. McCarthy said.
House Republicans opened their formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden after allegedly uncovering what Mr. McCarthy said are "serious and credible allegations" into his conduct, which amount to a "culture of corruption."
The formal inquiry came after Congress said it obtained records related to the Biden family's business dealings, including documents regarding over $20 million in payments from foreign entities that were allegedly directed to the president's relatives, including his son Hunter Biden and their business partners, while President Biden served as vice president of the United States.
Notably, individuals from Romania, China, Russia, and Ukraine were among those making payments to the Biden family and their associates, according to the documents.
President Biden has insisted there was an "absolute wall" between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as vice president and that he never discussed business with his son.
Impeachment 'Grave, Rare, and Historic'In its memo to media outlets, the White House claimed that House Republicans, after nearly nine months of investigating the claims, "haven’t been able to turn up any evidence of the President doing anything wrong."
The memo went on to warn that impeachment is "grave, rare, and historic."
"For years, Republicans in Congress have tried to muddy the waters by attracting media coverage of their allegations, and as they choose to move forward with impeachment, it is the responsibility of the independent press to treat their claims with the appropriate scrutiny," the memo stated. "Covering impeachment as a process story — Republicans say X, but the White House says Y — is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable," it continued.
“And in the modern media environment, where everyday liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to Fox, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth."
The memo concluded that House Republicans should be "held accountable" for "lurching toward impeachment over allegations that are not only unfounded but, in virtually all cases, have been actively disproven, including by witnesses and documents in their own investigation."
Along with criticism from Mr. McCarthy, the White House memo faced backlash from Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), who called it "outrageous."
"Republicans will follow the facts wherever they will lead. And the media should report the facts without bias," she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Elsewhere, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) said on X, "If this doesn’t demonstrate the contempt the White House and Democrats have for transparency and an honest press, I don’t know what does."