EXCLUSIVE: The White House is accusing Republicans on the House Oversight Committee of staging a “bizarre political stunt” as they get ready for the panel’s first hearing out of its investigation of Hunter Biden and Big Tech’s censorship of stories related to the Biden family’s business dealings.
The hearing titled “Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter’s Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story,” is set to begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST.
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The hearing will feature testimony from former Twitter executives Yoel Roth, Vijaya Gadde and James Baker. Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., invited them to participate in the hearing to investigate their “role in suppressing Americans’ access to information about the Biden family on Twitter shortly before the 2020 election.”
However, the White House is pushing back, drawing a contrast between the economic priorities President Biden laid out in his State of the Union address Tuesday night and the priorities of House Republicans.
HOUSE OVERSIGHT SETS HEARING WITH FORMER TWITTER EXECS AFTER HUNTER BIDEN’S BOMBSHELL LAPTOP ADMISSION
“The morning after President Biden delivered a State of the Union Address emphasizing the significant progress we’ve made as a nation to generate historic job and economic growth and the work still to be done to address Americans’ top priorities like tackling inflation, raising wages, and investing in manufacturing and infrastructure jobs, House Republicans are making it their top priority to stage a bizarre political stunt,” White House spokesman for oversight Ian Sams told Fox News Digital.
Sams called the hearing “the latest effort by the House Republican majority’s most extreme MAGA members to question and relitigate the outcome of the 2020 election.”
“This is not what the American people want their leaders to work on,” Sams said. “As the President has said and made his focus, the American people expect their leaders to work together in a bipartisan way on the issues that most impact their lives and their families, not attack his family with long-debunked conspiracy theories.”
Sams said House Republicans should instead join Biden in focusing on the work “both parties can do together to create more jobs, lower costs, and strengthen the quality of life for all Americans.”
“That is what the President will continue to prioritize, and House Republicans would be wise to do the same,” Sams said.
Comer has said the panel’s “top priority” is continuing its investigation into Hunter Biden and the family’s business dealings.
RATCLIFFE: HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP WAS A PARTISAN DOMESTIC ‘DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN’
“Americans deserve answers about this attack on the First Amendment and why Big Tech and the Swamp colluded to censor this information about the Biden family selling access for profit. Accountability is coming,” Comer said in a statement to Fox News Digital last week.
An administration official told Fox News Digital that House Republicans “seem to be making allegations that the federal government inappropriately played a role in Twitter’s decisions around the Hunter Biden laptop story.”
“In case they forgot, Donald Trump was president at the time,” the official told Fox News Digital.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers are demanding federal and state prosecutors across the United States open criminal investigations into the dissemination of information from that laptop, seemingly admitting that the laptop did belong to Hunter and did contain legitimate personal, private and business information.
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The laptop’s contents were first reported in October 2020, but those reports were quickly panned by the Biden campaign, Democratic lawmakers and dozens of former national security officials as part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Twitter blocked the circulation of the original New York Post story on the laptop.
Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, wrote letters to the Justice Department and the Delaware attorney general calling for investigations into Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon and John Mac Isaac, who owns the computer repair shop where Biden is said to have left his laptop. Biden’s lawyers also sent cease and desist letters to others who obtained and disseminated the laptop’s contents.
Those letters seemed to be an admission, after all these years, that the laptop did belong to Hunter, but his attorneys have denied that their words confirm anything about the contents and the laptop.
Lowell argued that Wednesday’s letters do not constitute an admission of the laptop’s validity. Biden’s legal team says the versions of the laptop released to the public may have been tampered with.
“These letters do not confirm Mac Isaac’s or others’ versions of a so-called laptop,” Lowell told Fox News Digital. “They address their conduct of seeking, manipulating and disseminating what they allege to be Mr. Biden’s personal data, wherever they claim to have gotten it.”
Last month, Comer followed up with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to demand details about questionable business dealings involving Hunter Biden, his associates and other Biden family members who have been flagged and reported by U.S. banks.
Comer told Fox News Digital that the investigation into how the Biden family “peddled influence and access around the world for profit” is the “top priority” for the new GOP House majority.
President Biden and his son Hunter have made history as the first president-son duo to be simultaneously – but separately – under federal investigation.
BIDEN, HUNTER MAKE PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY AS FIRST FATHER-SON DUO UNDER SEPARATE INVESTIGATIONS
Attorney General Merrick Garland last month appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate the president’s possible unauthorized removal and improper retention of classified documents and records discovered at the Penn Biden Center in Washington D.C., and in his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware.
Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation for his “tax affairs” since 2018 – an investigation that was predicated, in part, by suspicious activity reports (SARs) regarding some foreign transactions. Those SARs, according to sources familiar with the investigation, involved funds from “China and other foreign nations.”
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.