Hunter Biden has offered to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee as part of an impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden — but Chairman James Comer (R-KY) isn’t having it.
In a statement on Tuesday, Comer declared that the terms outlined by the younger Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell did not comply with a subpoena demanding a closed-door deposition.
“Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else. That won’t stand with House Republicans,” Comer said.
“Our lawfully issued subpoena to Hunter Biden requires him to appear for a deposition on December 13,” Comer added. “We expect full cooperation with our subpoena for a deposition but also agree that Hunter Biden should have the opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.”
Comer, who is leading the corruption-focused impeachment inquiry, issued subpoenas for testimony from Hunter Biden, the president’s brother James Biden, and Rob Walker, a former Biden family business associate earlier this month.
Lowell responded to Comer in a letter on Tuesday, stating that his client would accept the chairman’s “offer” — yet only if the deposition is conducted in a forum that the world can see.
“Accordingly, our client will get right to it by agreeing to answer any pertinent and relevant question you or your colleagues might have, but — rather than subscribing to your cloaked, one-sided process — he will appear at a public Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing,” Lowell said, adding later, “A public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits, or one-sided press statements.”
For months, the GOP-led House has been investigating whether the business practices of Biden’s family members fostered corruption in government — spurred by a money trail showing millions of dollars from foreign countries. Congressional investigators have also looked into how the Department of Justice handled the criminal probe into Hunter Biden.
President Biden and his allies insist he committed no wrongdoing and claim the investigative efforts by House Republicans are tainted by politics. Planned depositions stretch over the next several weeks but could go longer if there is a legal fight, which could dash hopes to have a possible vote on articles of impeachment early next year.
White House special counsel Dick Sauber wrote a letter to GOP leaders calling on them to withdraw their subpoenas and interview requests to Biden family members and others, saying, “you have misrepresented the facts” and “ignored the overwhelming evidence disproving your claims.”