House Republicans on Wednesday issued subpoenas to Hunter and James Biden — President Joe Biden’s son and brother, respectively — as well as a Biden family associate, Rob Walker, in an escalation of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into the president.
Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., issued the subpoenas, which focus on the Biden family’s business dealings.
The subpoenas request that Hunter Biden, James Biden and Walker appear for depositions. In addition, the committee requests transcribed interviews with several other members of the Biden family and their associates: Sara Biden (James’ wife); Hallie Biden (widow of the president’s other son Beau); Elizabeth Secundy (Hallie’s sister); Melissa Cohen (Hunter’s wife); and Tony Bobulinski.
Comer’s office said he plans to send additional subpoenas and transcribed interview requests later this week.
A representative and attorney for Hunter Biden and James Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The subpoenas and interview requests come a day after the special counsel overseeing the probe into Hunter Biden testified before the House Judiciary Committee behind closed doors.
“The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Comer said in a statement. “Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence.”
The House Oversight Committee said it obtained financial records that it alleges show members of the Biden family set up more than 20 shell companies, most of which were created during Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president. The committee alleges that the companies were part of an effort to hide payments from foreign adversaries. The panel further alleges that the Biden family, their business associates and their companies received more than $24 million from foreign nations over approximately five years.
Comer has accused the Biden family of engaging in “shady business practices,” but has yet to demonstrate how the transactions specifically show any concrete evidence of wrongdoing or influence peddling by Biden himself.
“These records reveal how the Bidens sold Joe Biden around to the world to benefit the Biden family, including Joe Biden himself, to the detriment of U.S. interests,” Comer said in the statement. “The House Oversight Committee, along with the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, will continue to follow the facts and deliver the transparency and accountability that the American people demand and deserve.”
House Republicans are investigating whether the Justice Department granted the president’s son favorable treatment because of his father, alleging that Hunter Biden, who is facing federal gun charges, should’ve been charged for some of his business dealings as well.
Hunter Biden last month pleaded not guilty to three charges related to his possession of a firearm while using illegal drugs. He indicated he will seek to have the federal indictment against him dismissed.
The three federal gun charges in the September indictment include two counts alleging that he falsely indicated he was not using illegal drugs on a form to buy a gun in 2018 and a third count alleging he owned a firearm while using a narcotic.
The subpoenas to the Bidens were issued a day after special counsel David Weiss, who is overseeing the probe into Hunter Biden, told the House Judiciary Committee that he was not blocked from bringing charges against the president’s son. Weiss’ testimony marked the first time a special counsel has answered questions from congressional investigators amid an active investigation.
“At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice,” Weiss said in his closed-door testimony, according to prepared remarks obtained by NBC News.
Weiss also said he does not make decisions in the case in a “vacuum” and that he is required to abide by federal laws, the principles of federal prosecution and Justice Department guidelines.
“As a result, there are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions,” he told the committee. “These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority.”
Weiss’ testimony came after a plea deal Hunter Biden reached with the government fell apart when the judge in the case questioned the terms of the agreement. Weiss, who was appointed by Trump but kept his position after the 2020 election to oversee the case, is spearheading an indictment of the president’s son on gun charges. Weiss had requested and was granted special counsel status after the plea deal came apart.
Weiss had voluntarily agreed to testify before Congress to clear up inconsistencies between his public statements on the probe and the public testimony of two IRS investigators, who claimed Weiss was prohibited from bringing charges against Hunter Biden.
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee — such as Reps. Daniel Goldman of New York, Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania and Ted Lieu of California — decried Republicans’ questioning of Weiss as misleading and repetitive.
Scanlon criticized the proceeding as “a farce” and “an absolute waste of time” before leaving the building.
Meanwhile, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, told reporters that Weiss “was here incarnate, but not particularly in spirit,” adding that the questioners got “almost nothing” from him.
The committee chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters a key takeaway was that Weiss said he requested “special attorney status” in the spring of 2022 and was not granted it. Jordan said Weiss said the Justice Department told him to “follow the process.”