In a recent impeachment inquiry hearing initiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) into President Biden, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took a strong stance against what she labeled as a “fabricated image” presented by Republicans. The impeachment probe, centered around allegations that President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, profited from foreign business dealings, reached its first hearing at the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
During the proceedings, Ocasio-Cortez was prominently positioned next to a computer screen displaying a countdown clock marking the seconds until the federal funding deadline. The controversy emerged when she highlighted a particular screenshot of a text message, introduced by Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), as the “fabricated image” in question.
Addressing the committee, Ocasio-Cortez expressed her concerns, stating, “Earlier today, one of our colleagues, the gentleman from Florida, presented up on the screen something that appeared to be a screenshot of a text message containing or insinuating an explosive allegation.” She went on to clarify that the displayed text message was not a direct screenshot from the phone in question and deemed it a “fabricated image.”
While recognizing the right of committee members to submit fabricated images under the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the act as a waste of time. She deemed the hearing as an “embarrassment,” emphasizing that the presented image lacked “critical context that changed the underlying meaning and allegation.”
Despite the protections afforded by the Constitution, Ocasio-Cortez urged the committee to uphold the integrity of their duties. She expressed her disappointment, asserting, “This is an embarrassment to the time and people of this country, and I would ask that the chair and I would ask that this Committee elevate to the promise of our duties here and comport ourselves with the consistency and practice that is required of our seats and our duty and … our oath to our responsibilities here.”
Notably, all three witnesses testifying before the panel reportedly concurred with Ocasio-Cortez, stating that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the impeachment of President Biden. The hearing, marked by controversy over the alleged use of a fabricated image, underscores the deep political divisions and debates surrounding the impeachment inquiry.