In a significant move by the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has been formally requested to provide a deposition in the ongoing probe to ascertain whether impeachment proceedings against the president are warranted. Chairmen James Comer and Jim Jordan have made it clear that Hunter will be afforded no preferential treatment throughout this process.
Chairman Comer initially issued a subpoena to Hunter earlier this month for a deposition scheduled on December 13. In a twist, Hunter’s legal counsel, Abbe Lowell, suggested an open hearing in lieu of a private deposition, proposing that Hunter address the inquiries publicly.
Responding via a joint letter, Chairmen Comer and Jordan outlined that the customary practice of the committees mandates an initial deposition, post which a public hearing may be held. They expressed their anticipation for Hunter’s future testimony at such a hearing.
The committees, led by Chairmen Comer, Jordan, and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, underscored the deposition’s critical role in legislative reforms related to federal ethics and financial disclosure laws, as well as in determining President Biden’s potential impeachment based on any involvement in his family’s business dealings.
The chairmen refuted Lowell’s assertion that no evidence exists tying Hunter’s business activities to the president’s official actions, countering with details from their investigation. They mentioned instances of President Biden allegedly being included in discussions on business deals that benefited his family and pointed to an FBI report outlining a purported bribery scheme implicating the president.
Comer and Jordan rejected any insinuation of bias in their investigation, asserting that attempts to challenge the committees’ integrity would not be tolerated. They stressed that, unlike other witnesses cooperating with the inquiry, Hunter appears to seek differential treatment by preferring a public hearing over a deposition.
The letter emphasized that the deposition would be video recorded, with a transcript released afterward, assuring transparency in the investigative proceedings. The chairmen set a deadline for Lowell to confirm Hunter’s attendance at the deposition.
This move comes amidst Lowell’s critique of the Republicans’ investigation, advocating for open sessions to ensure factual accuracy and public awareness. Meanwhile, Democrats have criticized the refusal to accept a public hearing as indicative of a weak case against Hunter Biden.
Chairman Comer, in an interview, defended the committee’s approach, dismissing claims of a non-transparent investigation and emphasizing the need for a thorough and efficient questioning process during a deposition, as opposed to the limitations of a public hearing format.
The chairmen assert that the investigation will continue uninterrupted, and they await confirmation of Hunter Biden’s compliance with the deposition schedule.