Hunter Biden agrees to deposition, Congress strikes to contempt decision
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, is seen as he makes a surprise appearance at a House Oversight Committee markup and meeting to vote on whether to hold Biden in contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a request to testify to the House last month, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2024.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
An attorney for Hunter Biden said Friday that the president’s son will comply with congressional subpoenas for a deposition with Republican investigators if they issue a new one — a reversal of his prior demand that testimony be given at a public hearing.
The surprising move came two days after two GOP-led House committees passed resolutions urging that Hunter Biden be found in contempt of Congress for defying their previous subpoenas.
Hunter Biden showed up at the hearing of one of those panels before it voted, silently staring down Republicans who are pushing to depose him as part of an impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden.
A full House of Representatives vote on the contempt resolutions had been expected next week. But Hunter Biden’s new offer to be deposed could change that.
In his letter Friday, Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell told two House Republican committee chairmen that their prior subpoenas were legally invalid.
“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition,” Lowell wrote.
“We will accept such a subpoena on Mr. Biden’s behalf.”
Lowell’s offer came at the end of an eight-page letter criticizing House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for passing the contempt resolutions despite Biden’s insistence that he was willing to testify in public.
“You proceeded with a contempt process, erroneously claiming Mr. Biden was seeking ‘special treatment,’ despite Mr. Comer’s repeated and public statements about witnesses’ and Mr. Biden’s ability to testify at a deposition or hearing at their choice,” Lowell wrote.
The attorney told Comer and Jordan that he was writing the letter to “make you aware … that your subpoenas were and are legally invalid and cannot form a legal basis to proceed with your misdirected and impermissible contempt resolution.”