House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) have issued a stern warning to Hunter Biden, threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress. This comes after Hunter Biden’s legal team rejected the subpoena for a closed-door deposition, insisting instead on a public hearing.
The subpoena, issued by Comer, demanded Hunter Biden’s appearance for a deposition on December 13 behind closed doors. However, Hunter’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said that Hunter would only testify in a public setting. Lowell’s rationale for the reason is to ensure transparency and prevent the manipulation or distortion of facts, which he alleges could occur in a closed-door session.
“Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023, date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter,” stated Lowell in a letter to Comer on Wednesday.
“He [Hunter] is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and time again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public—a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings,” he remarked.
Lowell concluded with an openness to coordinate the specifics, saying, “We look forward to working out the schedule.”
Comer and Jordan have been adamant in their stance, stating that Hunter Biden would not receive special treatment and must comply with the subpoena as issued. They have also promised to release the transcript of his testimony shortly after it takes place and to schedule a public hearing at a later date. Despite this, Lowell’s recent letter reiterates Biden’s willingness to testify only in a public hearing, either on the initially scheduled date or another date in December.
This situation has heightened the strain between House Republicans and the Biden family as Republican Reps are rapidly advancing towards the concluding phases of a comprehensive impeachment investigation targeting Joe Biden.
The investigation is centered on Hunter’s international business ventures and claims that President Joe Biden inappropriately leveraged government policy to the advantage of these ventures or wrongly benefited from them. Both Hunter Biden and the White House have consistently refuted any misconduct.
“I’m not going to comment on it… I did not. It was just a bunch of lies,” Biden stated on Wednesday, shutting down further questions on the matter. An Associated Press poll showed that a significant 70% of Americans, including 40% of Democrats, harbor concerns about the legality and ethics of the Biden family’s business interests.
The Oversight Committee’s investigations have brought to light that these were not mere personal transactions from Hunter Biden’s account, but payments from a corporate entity that has been receiving funds from various sources, including China. This is particularly concerning given the ongoing Department of Justice investigation into Hunter Biden for allegations of tax evasion and other serious offenses.
Nonetheless, Republicans maintain that a private setting is essential for detailed and systematic questioning. As the deadline for the deposition approaches, the possibility of initiating contempt of Congress proceedings looms if Hunter Biden fails to comply.