House GOP to Hunter Biden: We'll Hold You in Contempt

They demand closed-door testimony in impeachment inquiry; Biden wants public hearing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2023 7:53 AM CST
House GOP Threatens to Hold Hunter Biden in Contempt
President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in Wilmington, Del.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

House Republicans are threatening to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress if he doesn't sit for a closed-door deposition next week. For a second time Wednesday, Republicans rebuffed Biden's offer to publicly testify before the House Oversight Committee leading the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, per Axios. Hunter Biden's lawyer said he was willing to appear publicly "because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public." House Oversight Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan responded that "the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings" if he doesn't appear for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 13, per the Hill.

Biden offered to testify publicly last week as well. "If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let the light shine on these proceedings," wrote his lawyer Abbe Lowell, per the AP. Comer objected, saying Biden could testify publicly at a later date but that he was compelled to appear for the deposition behind closed doors as part of a subpoena issued in November. "Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else," he said. "That won't stand with House Republicans." He and Jordan reiterated that message Wednesday. "There is no 'choice' for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13," they wrote, per the Hill.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, accused Jordan of hypocrisy, noting he refused to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 Select Committee. The committee didn't charge Jordan with contempt, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, but referred him to the Ethics Committee for investigation, per the New York Times. Unlike Biden, Jordan didn't offer to testify publicly. Lowell referenced an interview Comer gave in October, outlining a plan to "bring these people in for depositions or committee hearings, whichever they choose." More recently, Republicans have argued methodical questioning with legal counsel is required as they investigate ties between the president and his son's foreign business dealings. (More Hunter Biden stories.)

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