House Republicans Issue Contempt Warning To Hunter Biden Over Subpoena

The fight over a congressional subpoena is poised to escalate, with House Republicans warning Hunter Biden on Wednesday about the prospect of contempt of Congress proceedings if he does not appear for a deposition this month.

Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a short response to Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, who reaffirmed in another letter earlier in the day that his client was not willing to appear for a closed-door session.

“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,” they wrote. “If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings.”

House Republicans aim to have Biden testify as part of the corruption-focused impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden. Other subpoenas and interview requests have been sent out in recent weeks, including to the president’s brother, James Biden.

Lowell, in his letter to Comer on Thursday, repeated an earlier offer to House Republicans that Hunter Biden would be willing to show up for an open hearing rather than a closed deposition

He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it used 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 said.

While President Biden and his allies insist he committed no wrongdoing and claim the impeachment inquiry is tainted by politics, House Democrats have condemned their GOP counterparts for resisting the open hearing offer from Lowell.

The top Democrat on the oversight panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), issued a statement that said: “Chairman Comer has now apparently decided to avoid all Committee hearings where the public can actually see for itself the logical, rhetorical and factual contortions they have tied themselves up in.”

During a Fox News interview over the weekend, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) emphasized the importance of “precedent” as he dismissed Lowell’s pitch for a hearing. On Tuesday, Johnson announced the House would hold a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, in a bid to combat alleged “stonewalling” by the White House.

“The House has no choice, if it’s going to follow its constitutional responsibility, to formally adopt an impeachment inquiry on the floor so that when the subpoenas are challenged in court we’ll be at the apex of our constitutional authority,” Johnson said.

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