White House warns of upcoming conspiracy theory-based investigations from House GOP

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House Republicans have a history of promoting conspiracy theories against Democratic presidents.

The White House said on Thursday that President Joe Biden will not be distracted by politicized investigations initiated by the incoming Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republicans won enough seats in the 2022 midterm elections to secure a small majority in the House of Representatives next year, and they have immediately said that they will initiate a series of investigations into Biden based on conspiracy theories.

In a statement to CNN published on Thursday, Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House counsel's office, said, "President Biden is not going to let these political attacks distract him from focusing on Americans' priorities, and we hope congressional Republicans will join us in tackling them instead of wasting time and resources on political revenge."

Following the news on Wednesday that Republicans had won a majority, Biden issued a statement promising to work with Republicans on areas of bipartisan agreement, but noted that he would remain committed to important progressive issues.

"In this election, voters spoke clearly about their concerns: the need to lower costs, protect the right to choose, and preserve our democracy. As I said last week, the future is too promising to be trapped in political warfare," Biden said. "The American people want us to get things done for them. They want us to focus on the issues that matter to them and on making their lives better. And I will work with anyone – Republican or Democrat – willing to work with me to deliver results for them."

Instead of committing to work with the president, House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a Thursday appearance on Fox News' "Hannity" that Republicans will launch investigations targeting Hunter Biden and into the origins of the COVID-19 virus, among other topics that have been fodder for conspiracy theorists on the right for several years.

House Republicans held a press conference on Thursday expressing their intention to investigate a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, which they claim contains details of corruption and malfeasance on the part of the Biden family. The announcement follows months of pressure from Fox News to conduct an investigation into the president's son.

In a fact check, Politifact noted that while the laptop contained salacious information about Hunter Biden's personal life, "Nothing from the laptop has revealed illegal or unethical behavior by Joe Biden as vice president with regard to his son's tenure as a director for Burisma, a Ukraine-based natural gas company."

This isn't the first time House Republicans will use their majority to pursue conspiracy theories.

In the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton was in office, House Republicans made unfounded allegations surrounding the death of White House aide Vince Foster, who died by suicide. Republicans made wild allegations that Foster had been murdered in connection with real estate investments made by Bill and Hillary Clinton. An investigation by special counsel Robert Fiske reaffirmed in 1994 that Foster died from suicide.

Under President Barack Obama, Republicans initiated multiple investigations into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, attempting to prove conspiracy theories that the Obama administration undermined the security of the outpost. Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state at the time of the attack, and McCarthy celebrated in 2015 that the investigation hurt Clinton's ratings ahead of her presidential campaign.

Voters rejected Republican election conspiracy theorists at both the state and federal level in the 2022 midterms, elections Republicans were projected to sweep.

A year ago, McCarthy predicted that Republicans would take more than 60 seats away from the Democratic majority in the House. But now the party is projected to only hold a single-digit majority, and NBC News has projected a net gain of 15 seats. Democrats will remain in control of the Senate.

The election results were the best performance by a sitting president's party in a midterm in 20 years, since the 2002 midterm election under former President George W. Bush.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.