House GOP to Go Ahead With Hunter Biden Contempt Vote Next Week

Hunter Biden Contempt Resolution Set for Full House Vote Next Week: Comer

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‘The American people will not tolerate, and the House will not provide, special treatment for the Biden family,’ Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan said Friday.

House Republicans will go ahead with holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with two subpoenas to testify about his business dealings despite an eleventh-hour proposal by his legal team for a closed-door deposition.

In a joint statement on Friday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said that Mr. Biden had “already defied two valid, lawful subpoenas,” adding that “the American people will not tolerate, and the House will not provide, special treatment for the Biden family.”

“For now, the House of Representatives will move forward with holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress until such time that Hunter Biden confirms a date to appear for a private deposition in accordance with his legal obligation,” Mr. Comer’s and Mr. Jordan’s statement reads.

The top House Republicans said they will work to schedule a deposition date, but warned, “we will not tolerate any additional stunts or delay from Hunter Biden.”

Mr. Biden rankled Republicans last month when he gave a public statement, without taking questions and just as the deposition was scheduled to begin, in front of the U.S. Capitol instead of complying with a subpoena for a closed-door deposition before lawmakers on Dec. 13, 2023.

Earlier this week, he “pulled another stunt” by appearing at the Oversight Committee’s markup of his contempt resolution “as he continued to defy duly issued subpoenas,” according to Mr. Comer and Mr. Jordan.

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In an apparent about-face to Mr. Biden’s previous resistance, Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for the president’s son, sent a letter to Mr. Comer and Mr. Jordan on Friday, indicating that his client would now be willing to agree to a “proper subpoena.”

Mr. Lowell wrote that the president’s son would comply only if a new subpoena was issued, arguing that the previous subpoenas were “legally invalid.”

According to a 2020 Department of Justice legal opinion, the committee lacks authority to issue subpoenas before the House formalizes an impeachment inquiry.

“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition,” Mr. Lowell added.

The vote is significant because it would mark the first time Republicans, who have been investigating alleged Biden family corruption, would hold a committee witness in contempt since gaining the majority in Congress last year.

The House will vote on the contempt resolution on Jan. 18, according to a schedule released on Friday by the office of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“The House is slated to vote next week on holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for consistently ignoring subpoenas,” Mr. Scalise wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s time to put an end to his repeated maneuvers; he cannot operate under a separate set of rules and is not exempt from the law.”

This week, two House panels voted to send reports and resolutions recommending that Mr. Biden be held in contempt to the full House. The resolutions state that Mr. Biden is in contempt of Congress for not complying with a congressional subpoena.

Should the House endorse the contempt, it could result in a prison term of up to one year if the DOJ decides to prosecute the referral.

The two powerful House committees have sought Mr. Biden’s testimony as Republicans probe alleged Biden family corruption and gather evidence in an impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden.

Hunter Biden (2nd R), son of President Joe Biden, and his lawyer Abbe Lowell attend a House Oversight Committee meeting in Washington on Jan. 10, 2024. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Hunter Biden (2nd R), son of President Joe Biden, and his lawyer Abbe Lowell attend a House Oversight Committee meeting in Washington on Jan. 10, 2024. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Per a letter attached to one of the subpoenas, the committees believe Mr. Biden can provide “personal knowledge of whether and how President Biden has been involved in his family’s business dealings.”

The panels say they’ve examined records that indicate that Mr. Biden and his family members earned millions of dollars, leveraging the Biden brand and his father’s positions of trust, especially during President Biden’s vice presidency.

The letter also alleges that there is evidence suggesting President Biden was at least aware of some family business ventures and actively sought to influence deals benefiting them. This assertion is based on the testimony of Mr. Biden’s former business partner, who claimed that President Biden was involved in phone conversations with his son during certain business meetings.

Mr. Biden has maintained that his father, President Biden, had no financial involvement in his business affairs, which included collaborations with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings and various Chinese firms.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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