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House Republicans release contempt resolution against Hunter Biden

In World
January 09, 2024

Washington — House Republicans on Monday released a resolution recommending that the chamber find Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress, after the president’s son failed to comply with a subpoena for closed-door testimony.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, released the resolution and an accompanying report Monday. The panel will consider the resolution Wednesday morning.

“Mr. Biden’s flagrant defiance of the Committees’ deposition subpoenas — while choosing to appear nearby on the Capitol grounds to read a prepared statement on the same matters — is contemptuous, and he must be held accountable for his unlawful actions,” the House Republicans’ report said. “Accordingly, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability recommends that Congress find Robert Hunter Biden in contempt for his failure to comply with the committee subpoena issued to him.”

A majority of the GOP-controlled House must approve the resolution.

“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,” said Comer and House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan in a joint statement. “We will not provide him with special treatment because of his last name.”

The president’s son appeared on Capitol Hill on Dec. 13, the day he was called to testify before closed doors, and spoke to the media but did not appear for testimony. Hunter Biden said he would be willing to testify publicly, but Comer declined that offer, saying the president’s son must provide private testimony first.

“I’m here today to make sure the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence and lies, and I’m here today to acknowledge I have made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded,” Hunter Biden said. “For that, I am responsible. For that, I am accountable. And for that, I am making amends.”

For years, House Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings, and any connection to President Biden. They have been unable to establish criminal wrongdoing by the president. Republicans in the House voted last month to formalize their impeachment inquiry into the president.

“There is no precedent for the U.S. House of Representatives holding a private citizen in contempt of Congress who has offered to testify in public, under oath, and on a day of the committee’s choosing,” said Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the oversight committee. “Chairman Comer repeatedly urged Hunter Biden to appear at a committee hearing, and Hunter Biden agreed. Instead of taking yes for an answer, Chairman Comer has now obstructed his own hapless investigation by denying Hunter Biden the opportunity to answer all the committee’s questions in front of the American people and the world.”

When Republicans threatened Hunter Biden last week with a contempt of Congress vote, Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, said in a statement to CBS News that House Republicans “continue to play politics.”

“It’s clear the Republican chairmen aren’t interested in getting the facts or they would allow Hunter to testify publicly,” Lowell said. “Instead, House Republicans continue to play politics by seeking an unprecedented contempt motion against someone who has from the first request offered to answer all their proper questions,” he said. “What are they afraid of?”

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

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