House Republicans have announced plans to meet next week as they mull bringing contempt of Congress charges against Hunter Biden for defying a lawful subpoena last month to testify about his family’s business dealings and potential involvement by President Joe Biden.
The House Oversight Committee has scheduled a markup meeting on Wednesday, January 10th where members will deliberate whether Hunter’s stonewalling deserves the criminal charge, which carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and jail time between one and 12 months. Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) has for the past year led the charge on allegations that Hunter flexed his relationship with his father to pressure overseas companies to complete lucrative business dealings with him and various partners like Devon Archer.
In advance of his planned testimony, Hunter’s lawyer sent a letter to the committee demanding that the hearing be open to the public, a qualification that GOP members agreed to at a later date though insisted the initial testimony be given behind closed doors. The day of the expected testimony was scrambled as Hunter appeared before a podium outside Congress where he accused Comer and other leading Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon of publicizing naked pictures of him and tarnishing his reputation with their repeated calls for a full investigation.
BREAKING: GOP moves to hold Hunter Biden in contempthttps://t.co/8tSd5PR8na
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If he is charged, Hunter would be subjected to his third criminal proceeding following two cases brought by Biden Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, who has charged him with roughly a dozen counts of tax evasion as well as one felony count of lying about his drug use when purchasing a firearm.
President Biden has categorically denied his involvement in Hunter’s business dealings, including “shake-down” messages his son sent to a Chinese businessman where he referenced the “big man” in what Rep. Comer and others have characterized as a pressure campaign that leaned on his father’s prominence as vice president. The White House has issued a memo to mainstream media outlets encouraging them to report on Republicans’ “lies” about the Biden family.
White House insiders say Hunter’s legal sagas have “consumed” the president, who frequently lashes out at aides who suggest he distance himself from his son. Axios has previously reported that the growing pressure has caused Biden to fall into “fits of rage” and expressed remorse for running for a second term. Other members of his family, including his brother James Biden and his wife Sara, have been subpoenaed to explain why they received payments from Hunter that were passed through various shell companies to disguise their origin from overseas corporations with ties to the Chinese government and foreign oligarchs.