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Two top Republican leaders in the House have renewed their demand for first son Hunter Biden to provide their committees with closed-door testimony, adding they are not about to extend him “special privileges.”
The renewed push comes after a lawyer for Hunter said his client would appear before the panels but only in a public setting.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan want Hunter’s testimony to help determine whether the full House will consider articles of impeachment against his father, President Joe Biden, for allegedly selling access to him while he was serving as a U.S. senator and vice president, Fox News reported on Friday.
Comer issued a subpoena for Hunter last month. That deposition is currently scheduled for Dec. 13. But Hunter’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said his client has offered to provide only public testimony.
But in a letter to Lowell on Friday, Comer and Jordan said Hunter’s testimony “will occur initially in a deposition setting, as has been the consistent price of Committees of the majorities—as well as these Committees during this inquiry.”
“We also appreciate your confirmation that Mr. Biden is willing to testify at a public hearing,” they wrote. “We look forward to his testimony in a hearing at the appropriate time.”
Comer and Jordan are leading the impeachment inquiry against the president alongside Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.). In the letter, they explained that the panels require the first son’s testimony “to inform potential legislative reform relating to federal ethics and financial disclosure laws.”
“In addition, the Committees are investigating whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment against President Biden based on evidence received to date showing that President Biden was aware of at least some of his family’s business ventures and sought to influence potential business deals that financially benefited his family,” they wrote.
Both Comer and Jordan have also noted that the Biden attorney suggested that there is “no evidence to support a finding” that Hunter’s business deals “implicate the official actions of his father.”
“This is contrary to the facts already established through the investigation,” they wrote. “As we have detailed in the memorandum explaining the scope of the impeachment inquiry, witnesses have testified not only that Mr. Biden sold the Biden ‘brand.’ But also how Mr. Biden placed his father on speaker phone twenty times with business associates and how he introduced his father in-person during business meetings with foreign business partners.”
The two GOP leaders referenced an FBI FD-1023 form in which a confidential human source “detailed a bribery scheme in which President Biden allegedly participated with his son.”
“Despite your bluster, the evidence remains undisputed,” they wrote, accusing Lowell of attempting to “discredit the allegations against Mr. Biden, distort the truth, and attack the integrity of witnesses against Mr. Biden.”
“Your attempts to now bully and intimidate the committees will not stand,” the letter continued.
Regarding the request for a public hearing, the two lawmakers countered that Lowell wanted to create a situation where Hunter could “avoid sitting for a deposition,” arguing that “amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the committees.”
“Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation,” they wrote. “The subpoenas Mr. Biden has received compel him to appear before the Committees for a deposition; they are not mere suggestions open to Mr. Biden’s interpretation or preference.”
“Mr. Biden seems to believe that he should be treated differently than other witnesses before the committees,” they wrote. “Nonetheless, if it helps to alleviate your stated concerns, you should be aware that, consistent with House and Committee rules and practice, we intend to videotape the deposition and release the deposition transcript soon after its completion.”
The Republicans added: “The committees’ investigation will proceed apace without interference or obstruction.”
They gave Lowell until Dec. 4 to confirm Hunter’s Dec. 13 deposition.