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US House panel subpoenas some Biden aides over his mental fitness



US House panel subpoenas some Biden aides over his mental fitness

WASHINGTON – The Republican-led US House of Representatives Oversight Committee subpoenaed three senior White House aides on July 10 demanding they sit for depositions regarding Democratic President Joe Biden’s health, the panel said in a statement.

It subpoenaed first lady Jill Biden’s top aide Anthony Bernal, deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini, and senior adviser Ashley Williams. The development was reported earlier by Axios.

Why it’s important

Mr Biden has faced doubts about his reelection chances after a weak and faltering performance in a debate against Republican former President Donald Trump late last month.

Since then, some Democratic members of Congress and high- profile donors have publicly asked him to step aside as the party’s candidate for the Nov 5 election. Mr Biden has said he will stay in the race.

Key quotes

“Key White House staff must come before our committee so we can provide the transparency and accountability that Americans deserve,” Republican US Representative James Comer, the panel’s chair, said. Mr Comer called Mr Biden “unfit” for office and alleged his staff were not being transparent.

“According to one former Biden aide, these three employees – Annie Tomasini, Anthony Bernal, and Ashley Williams – have created ‘a protective bubble around’ President Biden,” the panel added.

White House spokesperson Ian Sams said the subpoenas were “a baseless political stunt” and that Mr Comer was “weaponising subpoenas to get headlines instead of seeking information through the proper constitutional process”.

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