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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feb. 27, 2024

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House Republicans say it again: Hunter Biden must appear for deposition

President’s son has offered to testify publicly instead of behind closed doors; request rejected

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WASHINGTON — House Republicans demanded Friday that Hunter Biden appear this month for a closed-door deposition, rejecting his offer to testify publicly while pledging to release a transcript of the private interview for transparency.

House Oversight Committee chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan reiterated the parameters of the subpoena issued last month to Hunter Biden in a letter — obtained by The Associated Press — to his attorney. The president’s son had refused their request this week for closed-door testimony, saying it could be manipulated.

“The subpoenas Mr. Biden has received compel him to appear before the Committees for a deposition; they are not mere suggestions open to Mr. Biden’s interpretation or preference,” the Republican chairmen wrote in a letter to attorney Abbe Lowell.

Lowell this week called the nearly yearslong GOP investigation into his client a “fishing expedition” but offered for his client to appear publicly rather than behind closed doors, saying closed sessions can be selectively leaked and used to manipulate the facts.

His response to the committee was in line with the more forceful approach Hunter Biden’s legal team has taken in recent months as congressional Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry seeking to tie his father to his business dealings.

But Comer and Jordan reiterated their initial request, saying they are conforming with the approach Republican and Democratic majorities have historically taken when deposing witnesses.

“Mr. Biden seems to believe that he should be treated differently than other witnesses before the Committees,” the men wrote.

The early-November subpoenas to Hunter Biden and others were the inquiry’s most aggressive steps yet.

Republicans have so far failed to uncover evidence directly implicating President Joe Biden in any wrongdoing. But questions have arisen about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business, and lawmakers insist their evidence paints a picture of “influence peddling” in the family’s business dealings.

Republicans have also spoken with an attorney for the president’s brother, James Biden, to determine a date for his subpoenaed testimony, Jordan said this week.

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