Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has agreed to comply with a deposition subpoena. The decision comes after a contentious period of legal and political disputes between Biden’s legal team and Republican leaders of the House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and the Judiciary.
The agreement was confirmed in a letter on Friday by Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell. Addressed to Representatives James Comer and Jim Jordan, chairmen of their respective committees, the letter outlined the reasons behind Biden’s decision and critiqued the legal basis of the previous subpoenas issued in November 2023.
Hunter had previously been accused of contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas “duly issued” to him in November last year. Despite his offers to respond to pertinent questions at a public hearing, the committees led by Comer and Jordan proceeded with contempt proceedings, accusing Hunter Biden of seeking “special treatment.”
Lowell’s letter argued that the November subpoenas were legally invalid, as they were issued before an impeachment resolution. Lowell drew a parallel to actions taken by Democrats in 2019 during the impeachment inquiry of former President Trump, which were then criticized by Republicans.
The letter noted that Hunter has agreed to comply with a new subpoena for a hearing or deposition. This comes after a proposed hybrid process suggested during the Judiciary Committee markup, a format involving a public deposition/hearing with alternating rounds of questions for Republicans and Democrats.
This marks a significant moment in the ongoing investigations surrounding President Joe Biden and his family. The background of the investigation involving Hunter has revolved primarily around various business dealings and activities that have drawn scrutiny for potential ethical conflicts and legal violations.
Hunter’s involvement with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and his business activities in China have been at the center of the controversy. His role on the board of Burisma while his father was Vice President of the United States raised questions about potential conflicts of interest and ethical concerns. Similarly, his business dealings in China have been scrutinized for possible influence-peddling.
The investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities gained significant momentum and public attention during the 2020 U.S. Presidential campaign. Former President Donald Trump and his allies frequently raised the issue, suggesting that Joe Biden, while serving as Vice President under President Barack Obama, had used his position to benefit his son’s business interests, particularly in relation to Ukraine.
Congressional committees, particularly those controlled by Republicans, have pursued investigations into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. This has involved issuing subpoenas for documents and testimony related to his activities. The aim of these investigations is to determine whether there was any wrongdoing, such as leveraging political influence for personal gain.
Central to the investigation are questions about legal breaches or ethical violations. This includes examining whether Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma, or his business arrangements in China, involved conflicts of interest or other legal issues and whether any influence was exerted by or on his father in his official capacity as Vice President.
The investigation has been a subject of significant political debate and media coverage, with differing perspectives largely falling along partisan lines. The ongoing investigations and discussions surrounding Hunter have created a challenging backdrop for the Biden administration, bringing scrutiny around Biden’s 2024 campaign.