Messaging Roundup: September 15, 2023

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Speaker McCarthy Caves to Far Right, Launches Baseless Partisan Impeachment

  • President Biden is an honorable man. After a nine month “investigation,” extreme MAGA Republicans haven’t found a shred of evidence he has done anything wrong. But Speaker McCarthy has launched an extreme MAGA impeachment anyway.
  • Speaker McCarthy is doing the bidding of former President Donald Trump and his allies like Marjorie Taylor Greene as petty, partisan revenge for Trump’s indictment by grand juries in four different jurisdictions.
  • Because many Republicans have acknowledged they have no evidence to launch an impeachment, Speaker McCarthy won’t let Members vote on whether to launch an inquiry – even though he previously said blocking such a vote is “an abuse of power.”
  • Extreme MAGA Republicans have done nothing to make life better or more affordable for everyday Americans. Their impeachment sham is an attempt to distract the American people from this track record of failure.
  • Everyday Americans deserve better than these political games. House Democrats continue to extend the hand of partnership to work together to lower costs, grow the middle class, and protect our fundamental freedoms.

Debunking the Lies

Lie #1: President Biden Was Involved In Hunter Biden’s Foreign Business Dealings

        Claim: Comer claimed House Republicans now have evidence, via testimony from Devon Archer, that then-Vice President Biden knew of Hunter Biden’s business deals and suggested that he met and/or             spoke with foreign nationals involved with his son.

Yesterday, McCarthy claimed, “eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined [in] on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions, dinners, resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his son’s and his son’s business partners.”

The Facts: Archer did NOT testify that President Biden was directly involved in business discussions – only that he held casual conversations about “the weather” and “fishing.” Witness testimony referred to approximately 20 instances over the span of a decade in which Hunter indicated Joe Biden was merely present. 

As ABC reported: “Archer testified that Joe Biden’s interactions with Hunter Biden’s associates were ‘not related to commercial business,’ that Joe Biden had no involvement with Burisma, the Ukrainian oil conglomerate on whose board both Archer and Hunter Biden served; that the elder Biden never took any actions to benefit Burisma or Hunter Biden; and that Hunter Biden never asked his father to take any actions that would help his clients, according to the fully transcribed interview with the committee.”

Lie #2: “The Bidens” Received $20 Million From Our Adversaries

Claim: Comer claimed “the Bidens received over $20 million” from China, Romania, and other foreign entities.

Yesterday, McCarthy alleged, “we know that bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates.”

The Facts: According to the Washington Post, “A close reading of the memos, however, finds that only about $7 million can be directly attributed to Biden family members, mostly Hunter, while the rest went to ‘associates,’ according to the memos. […] No money has been traced to Joe Biden.

Lie #3: President Biden Laundered Money Through Illegitimate Shell Companies

Claim: Comer claimed “we found [the Bidens have] 20 shell companies…they are not legitimate companies.” He also claimed the president’s granddaughter “received a wire that had been laundered to the shell companies from Romania days after the President left Romania when he was Vice President.”

The Facts: In May, House Republicans released a report about several of the companies in question – but their own report found no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden. Independent fact-checkers further concluded: “that claim is undercut by the list of 21 companies that appear in the second staff memo. Virtually all of the companies (many of which now are defunct) had legitimate business interests. Others had clearly identified business investments. Digging through the records, we find only three whose business purpose remains vague; one (Rosemont Seneca Global Risk Services, LLC) may not even be related to Hunter Biden, according to an email found in Hunter Biden’s laptop. The memos do not list any payments that flowed through these three companies.”

Lie #4: Suspicious Activity Reports Are Evidence Of Criminality

Claim: Comer alleged, “we found 170 major bank violations…from six major banks…alleging that the Bidens were money laundering and receiving suspicious wires from state-owned entities.”

According to McCarthy, “the Treasury Department alone has more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family and other business associates that were flagged as suspicious activity by U.S. banks.”

The Facts: Suspicious activity reports (SARs) alone do not indicate that a crime was committed. Washington Post fact-checkers debunked these claims as far back as October 2022, citing top financial analysts who described SARs as “well short of, ‘I think a crime has been committed,’” and merely “a tip” with a low threshold for filing just to be on the safe side: “‘Since banks are subject to enforcement action if they fail to file a SAR when they should have, but suffer no sanction if they file a useless SAR, the general presumption is to file the SAR,’ the group says.”

Lie #5: President Biden Received Bribes

Claim: Comer claimed, “we also found an FBI form 1023 alleging Joe Biden took a bribe…the FBI never investigated this allegation…in the FBI 1023 [form] it said that investigators would take 10 years to figure out where these bribes went because of the various bank accounts that they wired the money through. That was written years before anyone knew the Bidens had shell companies and the Bidesn were laundering money.”

Yesterday, McCarthy alleged, “even a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family. Biden used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners about Hunter’s role in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.” 

The Facts: Republicans have failed to produce evidence of bribery despite subpoenaing the FBI and risking the safety of confidential sources. As our new report found: 

“In early-May, Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) published an open letter to the FBI announcing subpoenas for an unclassified document supposedly describing an alleged ‘criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.’ Comer was immediately called out for pushing unsubstantiated allegations in the letter. The Associated Press noted, ‘the lawmakers used the word ‘alleged’ three times in the opening paragraph of the letter and offered no evidence of the veracity of the accusations.’ HuffPost reporters concurred: ‘[Republicans] acknowledged they don’t know if the allegation will pan out. […] backing the allegation despite the scarcity of details.’

When Comer and Grassley obtained the document, form FD-1023, and publicly released a redacted version in July – against the advice of intelligence officials who feared it would ‘unnecessarily risks the safety of a confidential source’ – it ended up being an uncorroborated FBI tip. Worse still, the owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, had already rebutted the uncorroborated bribery allegations back in 2019: ‘As part of the impeachment inquiry against then-President Trump, Congress learned that Mr. Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian oligarch and the owner of Burisma, whom Republican Committee Members appear to have identified as the source of the allegations memorialized in the Form FD-1023, squarely rebutted these allegations in 2019.’”

Lie #6: President Biden Fired A Ukrainian Prosecutor To Benefit Hunter Biden 

Claim: Comer suggested that then-Vice President Biden worked to fire a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings: “We also just recently discovered an email from…the Obama State Department to Victor Shokin, the prosecutor who Joe Biden fired in Ukraine in exchange for the billion dollars, praising him for the great work that he did. But there was this narrative that Joe Biden created that Shokin was corrupt and that he needed to go over there and be fired.”

The Facts: Comer has long pushed a false narrative that a Ukrainian prosecutor was removed at then-Vice President Biden’s behest as a favor to Hunter Biden – but numerous fact checkers have rejected this claim over the years: 

  • CNN found that the prosecutor was not actually prosecuting or actively investigating Burisma at the time: “While there had been an investigation of the company, Shokin’s former deputy, Vitaliy Kasko, has said that it was dormant at the time of Joe Biden’s intervention. (The former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, testified in Trump’s impeachment inquiry that Shokin was corrupt; the US and its allies had made a coordinated effort to oust him.)” 
  • As USAToday reported, “Based on our research, the claim that Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine to save his son’s job is FALSE. The then-vice president leveraged aid dollars to persuade the country to oust its top prosecutor as part of anti-corruption efforts endorsed by other international players that were unrelated to his son, Hunter Biden.” 
  • Likewise, the New York Times pointed to a mismatched timeline, concluding, ““[T]here is no evidence he did so to benefit Hunter Biden or the oligarch who owns Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky.”

Lie #7: President Biden’s Use Of Pseudonyms Was Uncommon Or Illegal

Claim: Comer stated, “Joe Biden has used at least three pseudonyms on over 5,000 emails. We know [in] one of these, his son was copied in a pseudonym that pertained to Ukraine.”

The Facts: “As for the use of a pseudonym, it’s no surprise Biden would have had one, as it was disclosed during the Obama presidency that senior officials had such accounts. […] Comer has a tendency to mess up details or lose nuance when he shows up on television, but he really shoots himself in the foot here. He claims that Biden was sending a secret message to his son about how he was going to tell the Ukrainian president to fire the prosecutor — but the email was sent two months after the firing. Skeptics may doubt whether Hunter Biden was copied on the email for family matters, but it’s certainly not because of the nefarious purpose suggested by Comer.” [Washington Post, 9/6/23]

Lie #8: Then-Vice President Biden’s Office Colluded With Hunter Biden’s Business Partners 

Claim: Yesterday, McCarthy claimed that then-Vice President Biden used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners about Hunter’s role in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.

The Facts: Contrary to claims that the Office of the Vice President colluded with Hunter Biden’s business partner on media responses, the key email touted by House Republicans included a statement explicitly stating that the Vice President “does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”

Lie #9: President Biden’s Family Received Special Treatment From His Administration

Claim: Yesterday, McCarthy claimed that “the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration,” protecting Hunter Biden by appointing special counsel David Weiss.

The Facts: David Weiss was originally appointed to serve as US Attorney for Delaware by Donald Trump. Oversight Chair James Comer was vocal in his support for Weiss remaining US Attorney after the 2020 election. Republicans have claimed Weiss slow-walked the investigation to protect Hunter Biden, but his office’s investigation into Hunter Biden began in 2018, during the Trump administration, and any decisions about delays leading up to the 2020 election were made by Trump administration officials who were aligned with the widely reported priorities of Trump’s Attorney General at the time. After months of calling for David Weiss to be appointed Special Counsel, the very Republicans who were calling for it criticized the move once it was made. 


Extreme MAGA Republicans Threatening Government Shutdown

  • The Republican majority is an extreme group that has done nothing this Congress to improve the lives of the American people. Now they are threatening a government shutdown that would hurt working families and endanger our national security.
  • Extreme MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives are on an island by themselves seeking to force harsh cuts to investments that families are counting on like health care, child care, education, food assistance and much more.
  • Extreme MAGA Republicans are making outrageous new demands like a ban on medication abortion – and marching toward shutting down the government unless they can force through their right-wing agenda.
  • An extreme MAGA Republican shutdown is the height of irresponsibility and will have devastating consequences: interrupting critical government services, hurting small businesses, and even forcing our troops to serve without pay.
  • House Democrats are going to continue to focus on delivering for everyday Americans and making a difference in their lives. We are committed to extending government funding and addressing urgent needs across the country, including responding to natural disasters and protecting our national security.

MAGA Republicans are trying to cut spending on programs for working families in order to pay for their $1.9 trillion Trump-GOP Tax Scam giveaway that mostly benefits the wealthy and corporations.

While MAGA Republicans complain about “spending” on programs for working families, they’re the ones trying to extend the Trump-GOP Tax Scam, which could cost up to $4 trillion.

MAGA Republicans are pushing the same tired trickle-down economics that’s failed America’s working families for the past forty years.

Extreme MAGA Republicans Attack Environmental Protections, American Workers


  • Instead of funding critical government services, House Republicans are spending this week on legislation that increases pollution and kills American jobs.
  • House Democrats are working for clean air and clean water for our kids. Meanwhile, extreme MAGA Republicans are weakening environmental protections and slowing the fight against climate change.
  • This extreme MAGA Republican bill creates confusion and chaos, stops innovation, and ultimately hurts union workers in America’s auto industry.

Democrats Put People Over Politics 

  • While extreme MAGA Republicans play political games and threaten to shut down our government, Democrats are putting People Over Politics to grow the middle class.
  • Democrats are lowering costs for working families. For the first time ever, we are forcing Big Pharma to negotiate lower drug prices. We capped the price of insulin for seniors at $35 and reduced what families pay for health insurance. And we continue to fight special interests to stop big corporations from ripping off everyday Americans.
  • Democrats are growing the middle class. We have invested in America by bringing supply chains back home, fixing our roads and bridges, and delivering clean water and high-speed internet to more communities. We’ve also made the largest investment ever in clean, secure American energy. Democratic policies have created more than 13.5 million jobs since President Biden took office.
  • Democrats are working to make our communities safer and defend our freedoms. We are committed to building on the gun safety legislation we passed last year to protect America’s kids. And we continue to fight for reproductive freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.

Supporting UAW Workers And Their Right to Strike


Unions are a critical part of the middle class, and President Biden is one of the most pro-labor presidents we’ve seen in generations. UAW workers – not large corporations and executives who have seen their pay skyrocket in the past decade – should get the wages they deserve. The Big Three need to negotiate a deal to end the strike. 

Talking points on the strike:

  • The failure of the Big Three – General Motors, Stellantis and Ford – to prevent a strike by putting forward contracts that do NOT do right by their workers and support a just transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is shameful and immoral.
  • The auto industry and the Big Three – owe a great deal to the UAW. Their members kept these companies running for decades, and aren’t being paid enough to afford the very cars that they’ve built. UAW workers are the people who build engines, install your car’s amazing sound system, and and double check that the anti-lock brakes work.
  • For generations the UAW has fought to make sure good-paying auto jobs are a vehicle to America’s middle class–we can’t lose that.
  • When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the Obama administration stepped in to keep the auto industry afloat and worked on a rescue package with the UAW and the Big Three that pumped significant federal investments into these companies to keep them afloat. As part of those negotiations, the UAW also agreed to major concessions, including creating a two-tier system that allowed for many new workers to be paid considerably less than others.
  • Those days are in the rear view mirror, but auto workers are continuing to be punished with concessionary business practices that were agreed to under the threat of bankruptcy.
  • American automakers made hundreds of billions in profits over the past decade. And they are now benefiting from federal support again, this time to help the transition to electric vehicles. 
  • During that period of time, CEO pay has gone up 40%. Stellanis’ CEO – who has threatened the job security of his employees over these strikes – made $25 million in 2022 when his company reported $12 billion in profit in the first half of 2022. Meanwhile, automakers are charging more and more for their cars, and paying their workers less and less.
  • This is corporate greed at its worst. The Big Three are kicking dirt in the face of American workers and undermining the transition to clean vehicles while enriching shareholders and executives, and it needs to stop.  
  • We should also be clear – to anyone who suggests that now isn’t the time to raise wages because of inflation, there is no evidence of wages driving up prices in the economy. Inflation is coming down and it’s critical that workers – not corporate CEOs who have seen their pay skyrocket the past few years – finally get the pay they deserve. 
  • An American-made car should mean something more than the miles a person puts on it. It should mean good, middle class jobs and stable communities for the people who make the parts and assemble the vehicle. Generations of American families have enjoyed the benefits of a middle-class life thanks to those family-sustaining jobs secured by the UAW. The Big Three have a responsibility to maintain this promise. 
  • As President Joe Biden said recently, now is the time for the Big Three to work with the UAW, step up for hardworking Americans, support our country’s competitive standing in the world – and help fight the climate crisis.

Talking points on the Biden administration, UAW negotiations and the economy: 

  • As President Biden has repeatedly said, he is the most pro-union president our nation has seen in generations. UAW workers are a huge part of the middle class, and the Big Three have a responsibility to negotiate a deal to end this strike, provide workers the wages they deserve, and put the American auto industry on the map for decades to come.
  • President Biden’s strong labor market has given workers more power to negotiate for better wages and working conditions, and we’ve seen a number of tremendous success stories this year. Just look at the recent contracts giving pay raises to UPS workers, airline pilots, and more.
  • It’s clear that the Biden administration knows that when the middle class does well, everyone does better. That’s why the administration is laser focused on cutting the cost of living, making things more affordable and cracking down on corporate greed. And it’s having an impact: 
  • Since August of last year, over 190 clean energy projects have been created, creating over 142,000 new jobs. Experts predict it could create over 1 million new good paying jobs. 
  • Inflation is less than half of what it was last year.
  • More than 13.5 million jobs have been created since President Biden took office, and the unemployment rate remains near historic lows.
  • Among leading economies, the United States has had the fastest economic recovery and currently has the lowest level of inflation.
  • It’s why survey after survey shows consumer confidence is on the rise and the risk of recession is down.
  • The Biden administration is also working to help protect good-paying and union jobs in America, investing in the American people and ensuring the wealthy and large corporations finally pay their fair share. 
  • This stands in stark contrast with MAGA Republicans. 
  • MAGA Republicans want to overturn the Inflation Reduction Act and other economic policies passed under the Biden administration that are lowering costs for the middle class. They want to double down on policies like the $1.9 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations that they passed under the Trump administration. It’s been reported former President Trump’s advisors are discussing a new proposal to give even more giveaways to big corporations and implement a new 10 percent tariff on all imports that would drive up prices. 
  • And they’re threatening a government shutdown that would have devastating consequences for our economy unless the House impeaches Joe Biden for no reason. 
  • It’s clear MAGA Republicans can’t be trusted with the economy. It’s imperative we make that clear to the public and show that Biden administration policies are working. 


  • Investing in the American people and protecting unions
  • Lowering costs by cracking down on corporate greed
  • Protecting and strengthening retirement security
  • Making corporations and the wealthy pay what they owe


  • Gutting investments families depend on
  • Protecting corporations that rip-off families 
  • Cutting Social Security and Medicare 
  • Giving corporations and the wealthy special tax breaks


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