The Republican chairman behind the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden said Wednesday they will start contempt of Congress proceedings against Hunter Biden for not participating in his closed-door deposition on Wednesday, after he demanded to testify publicly.
“Hunter Biden today defied lawful subpoenas and we will now initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” said House Oversight Chair James Comer and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan in a joint statement. “We will not provide special treatment because his last name is Biden.”
In his first public statement since being criminally indicted twice, Hunter Biden, the president’s son, said earlier Wednesday that he has “made mistakes” but slammed House Republicans for trying to “dehumanize me all to embarrass and damage my father.”
“For six years, I have been the target of the unrelenting Trump attack machine shouting ‘Where’s Hunter?’ Well, here is my answer, I am here,” Hunter Biden told reporters outside the Capitol.
House Republicans had subpoenaed Hunter Biden to appear for closed-door deposition Wednesday morning to answer questions about his actions as part of search for whether the president committed an impeachable offense in connection to his family’s foreign business dealings.
Hunter Biden said he is willing testify publicly as part of the GOP-led investigation into the president, but declined to say whether he would appear for a closed-door deposition with House Republicans.
Holding an individual in criminal contempt of Congress for evading a subpoena requires a specific process. The Oversight and Judiciary panels will have to hold another meeting for committee members to vote on the contempt resolution. Then, the contempt report would head to the House floor for a vote.
If the full House votes to hold the president’s son in criminal contempt of Congress, a referral would be made to the Department of Justice, which would then have to decide whether to prosecute.
Hunter Biden defended his father, saying, “Let me state as clearly as I can, my father was not financially involved in my business, not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with the Chinese private businessman, not in my investments home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyers have told the House Republicans on the Oversight and Judiciary committees that he’s willing to testify by the December 13 deadline – but only if he can do so publicly. House Republicans are insisting they want to talk to him behind closed doors first.
CNN reported Tuesday that Hunter Biden was in Washington, DC, but it was unclear up until minutes before the scheduled deposition whether the president’s son would attend.
In his statement, Hunter said, “In the depths of my addiction, I was extremely irresponsible with my finances. But to suggest that is grounds for an impeachment inquiry is beyond the absurd. It’s shameless. There is no evidence to support the allegations that my father was financially involved in my business because it did not happen.”
Source : CNN