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News / Nation & World

House Republicans ready contempt of Congress charges against Hunter Biden over a subpoena he defied

By FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press
Published: January 5, 2024, 8:45am

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan to move forward next week with holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress after the president’s son defied a congressional subpoena to appear for a private deposition last month.

The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees announced Friday that they will hold full committee votes on contempt charges against President Joe Biden’s son as the GOP moves into the final stages of its monthslong impeachment inquiry. If the charges pass the committees, they would then go to the House floor for a final vote.

“Hunter Biden’s willful refusal to comply with our subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution,” Rep. James Comer, chair of Oversight, and Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of Judiciary, said in a joint statement. “We will not provide him with special treatment because of his last name.”

Hunter Biden and his lawyers have repeatedly slammed the GOP-issued subpoena for the closed-door testimony, arguing that information from those interviews can be selectively leaked and manipulated. The younger Biden has insisted that he would only testify in public.

“Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say,” Biden said outside the Capitol in a rare public statement last month. “What are they afraid of? I am here.”

For months, Republicans have pursued an impeachment inquiry seeking to tie the Democratic president to his son’s business dealings. So far, GOP lawmakers have failed to uncover evidence directly implicating the elder Biden in any wrongdoing.

While Republicans say their inquiry is ultimately focused on the president, they have taken particular interest in Hunter Biden and his overseas business dealings, from which they accuse the president of personally benefiting. Republicans have also focused a large part of their investigation on whistleblower allegations of interference in the long-running Justice Department investigation into the younger Biden’s taxes and his gun use.

The hearings planned for Wednesday on contempt of Congress will come a day before Hunter Biden is scheduled to make his first court appearance on tax charges filed by a special counsel in Los Angeles. He is facing three felony and six misdemeanor counts, including filing a false return, tax evasion, failure to file and failure to pay.

In a fiery response, Biden defense attorney Abbe Lowell accused special counsel David Weiss of “bowing to Republican pressure” in the case.