In a surprising turn of events, Hunter Biden made an unexpected appearance on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, walking into a House committee hearing focused on deliberations regarding whether to hold him in contempt. This move has ignited anger among Republicans who had issued a congressional subpoena, demanding his participation in a closed-door deposition as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden, the son of the president, has been vocal about his refusal to testify in a closed-door setting, asserting his willingness to appear only in a public forum. He had previously dismissed the impeachment probe as “illegitimate.”
The arrival of Hunter Biden created chaos during the proceedings, with Republican Representative Nancy Mace expressing outrage, accusing him of epitomizing white privilege and defying a congressional subpoena. Mace went further, suggesting that Biden should be arrested and sent “straight to jail.”
A heated exchange unfolded between Mace and Democrat Jared Moskowitz, who called for an immediate vote to allow Hunter Biden to speak. Arizona Republican Representative Andy Biggs criticized the interruption, urging decorum and courtesy among committee members.
Hunter Biden, accompanied by his lawyer Abbe Lowell and confidant Kevin Morris, left the hearing shortly after sitting in the front row. Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene took the opportunity to address him, stating, “Excuse me, Hunter, apparently you’re afraid of my words.”
Abbe Lowell, speaking to the press outside the hearing room, emphasized Hunter Biden’s status as a private citizen and accused Republicans of using him to attack his father. Lowell asserted that Hunter Biden had offered to publicly answer all appropriate questions.
Prior to the hearing, the Oversight Committee released a 19-page report recommending holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress. The report criticized his “flagrant defiance” of deposition subpoenas and called for accountability for his “unlawful actions.” Chairman James Comer indicated confidence in having the votes to move the resolution out of committee, with a full House floor vote expected at a later date, possibly early next week.
Hunter Biden, initially subpoenaed for a closed-door interview on December 13, opted for a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, expressing a willingness to testify in a public hearing. Committee Republicans countered, stating openness to public testimony at a “future date” but rejecting special treatment demands from Hunter Biden.
In his opening statement, Chairman Comer labeled Hunter Biden’s refusal to comply with the subpoena as a “criminal act,” emphasizing the need for equal treatment under the law. The impeachment inquiry, centered on allegations regarding Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings, has yet to produce concrete evidence supporting GOP claims against President Biden. The Oversight Committee’s report contends that Hunter Biden’s testimony is crucial in determining the grounds for potential impeachment, with subpoenas extended to other members of the Biden family and associates.