House GOP chairmen threaten to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress

WASHINGTON — The Republican chairmen of two of the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden are threatening to hold the president’s son Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress if he fails to appear for a closed-door deposition at the Capitol on Dec. 13.

In a letter to Hunter Biden’s lawyer Wednesday, Oversight Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said that they issued subpoenas to the president’s son for a deposition on Dec. 13. They again rejected Hunter Biden’s offer to publicly testify instead.

“Contrary to the assertions in your letter, there is no ‘choice’ for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13. If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” they wrote in a letter to Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

The Oversight and Judiciary panels are two of three committees leading the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into the president. So far, they haven’t uncovered any evidence of wrongdoing, which the White House has repeatedly asserted. Republicans have not formally authorized the inquiry but are expected to do so as early as next week. They have said that formalizing the inquiry would help strengthen the enforcement of subpoenas.

The threat came in response to a letter Lowell sent to the two committee chairmen earlier Wednesday in which he reiterated that Hunter Biden is only open to appearing at a public hearing.

Lowell wrote, “Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023, date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter stated in your November 8, 2023, letter.”

“He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public — a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings,” Lowell added.

Last week, Comer and Jordan accused Hunter Biden of seeking special treatment in requesting a public hearing instead of appearing for a closed-door deposition. They said that they intend to videotape the deposition and release the transcript of the deposition after it’s completed.

Lowell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, denounced Comer’s threat in a post on X.

“What a joke,” he said, and, alluding to Jordan’s refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, “Jim Jordan blew off HIS subpoena.”

“Comer doesn’t want the truth—and can’t handle it,” he added.