House Republicans said on Sunday they are willing to accommodate Hunter Biden by agreeing to subpoena him again for the impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden, after he refused to comply with the last round.
Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote to Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, welcoming the first son’s “newfound willingness” to testify before Congress in a deposition under subpoena.
“Although the Committee’s subpoenas are lawful and remain legally enforceable, as an accommodation to Mr. Biden and at your request, we are prepared to issue subpoenas compelling Mr. Biden’s appearance at a deposition on a new date in the coming weeks,” they wrote.
Lowell wrote a letter to the chairmen on Friday after the oversight and judiciary panels approved resolutions to hold his client in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas issued in November.
The lawyer said Hunter Biden would appear for a deposition or hearing in compliance with a “proper subpoena” since the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry last month.
Hunter Biden showed up on Capitol Hill twice, once on the day of his scheduled deposition and a second time as lawmakers considered the contempt resolutions, demanding he be allowed to appear in an open setting such as a public hearing to answer “legitimate” questions while depriving members the opportunity to distort his testimony.
House Republicans indicated they were willing to have Hunter Biden testify in a public hearing — but only after a deposition — and have insisted throughout the standoff that their subpoenas were valid.
“To be clear, the issuance of these subpoenas does not in any way suggest or imply that the Committees believe the assertions in your January 12 letter to have any merit,” Comer and Jordan wrote in the Sunday letter. “Our willingness to issue these subpoenas is rooted entirely in our interest in obtaining Mr. Biden’s testimony as expeditiously as possible.”
Their response came as the House was expected to move forward with a floor vote this week. The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), had encouraged the GOP majority to call off the plan following Lowell’s letter.
“Hunter Biden is giving Republicans exactly what they have been demanding this week,” Raskin said on Friday, adding that the first son “has offered to appear for a ‘hearing or deposition.’ It is time for Chairs Comer and Jordan to call off this truly absurd and wasteful contempt proceeding and finally take yes for an answer, which Chair Jordan already said he would ‘certainly’ do.”
In their letter on Sunday, Comer and Jordan rejected a suggestion by Lowell in a footnote of there being a “hybrid process” that would entail a public hearing or deposition with similar rules that govern private depositions.
“While we welcome Mr. Biden’s public testimony at the appropriate time, he must appear for a deposition that conforms to the House Rules and the rules and practices of the Committees, just like every other witness before the Committees,” they wrote.