Transcript of Hunter Biden's Deposition Is Out

Things got contentious between Biden, congressional Republicans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 1, 2024 1:00 AM CST
3 Moments From Hunter Biden's Deposition
Hunter Biden departs after a closed door private deposition with House committees leading the President Biden impeachment inquiry, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden was released late Thursday, providing a full view of the contentious testimony that took place behind closed doors Wednesday as Republicans aggressively questioned the central figure in their impeachment inquiry, the AP reports. The nearly 230 pages of questioning laid bare the deep-seated hostility between the president's son and the GOP lawmakers who have been investigating his family for the past several years. Arguments were frequent and tempers short, providing a preview of what is sure to come when Republicans hold a public hearing with Biden in the next several weeks. Takeaways from the nearly seven-hour deposition:

  • "You always pick up the phone." Asked why he put his father on speakerphone while in the company of business partners, the younger Biden replied, "I'm surprised my dad hasn't called me right now, and if he did, I would put him on speakerphone to say hi to you and to Congressman Raskin and everybody else in the room," Biden replied. "It is nothing nefarious literally." He said that after the tragedies his family has suffered—including the death of his mother and two siblings—calls in his family are always answered, no matter what. "You always pick up the phone. It's something that we always do. And you can ask anybody that I know," Biden added.
  • "Darkest days." Large portions of the testimony Wednesday diverged into Biden's well-documented battle with drug and alcohol addiction. In one particularly harsh exchange, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, questioned whether the president's son's business dealings, particularly with the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, were legitimate. Gaetz asked, "Were you on drugs when you were on the Burisma board?" Hunter responded: "Mr. Gaetz, look me in the eye. You really think that's appropriate to ask me?" "Absolutely," Gaetz said. Biden went on to ask Gaetz what the question had to do with a possible impeachment of his father.
  • The "Biden brand." Another point of interest for House Republicans' investigation is what they describe as Biden and associates selling the Biden "brand" to clients overseas. Asked about the value he brought to Burisma, Biden reflected, "Primarily, the name 'Biden' is my dad's legacy. And he passed it down to me and, when my brother was alive, my brother, my sister, now to my children. It's our responsibility to not screw that up. If other people saw the brand as something that they could market, it's not—it was not with my—without going through me first. And if they did so, they didn't go through me first."
See the AP for more from the transcript. (More Hunter Biden stories.)

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