Hunter Biden makes surprise appearance at House contempt hearing

Hunter Biden made an unexpected appearance on Wednesday at a US House of Representatives hearing where Republican lawmakers were pushing for a vote to hold him in contempt of Congress for not testifying in their impeachment inquiry targeting his father, Democratic US President Joe Biden.

The younger Biden entered the hearing without speaking to reporters, and sat quietly in the gallery with his lawyer, causing pandemonium, with members of the House Oversight Committee arguing with each other and scolding him for the surprise.

“It does not matter who you are … who your father is or your last name. Yes, I’m looking at you, Hunter Biden. You are not above the law,” Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace said. “Hunter Biden, you are too afraid to show up for a deposition. And you still are, today.”

House Republicans allege that the president and his family improperly profited from policy actions in which Biden participated when he was vice-president from 2009-2017. The White House and Hunter Biden deny wrongdoing.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer puts his hand over his face during a meeting on Wednesday to vote on whether to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress. Photo: Reuters

Hunter Biden faces his own legal troubles. He is due to appear in a Los Angeles federal court on Thursday to face criminal charges of failing to pay US$1.4 million in taxes. He also been charged in Delaware with lying about his drug use while buying a handgun. He has pleaded not guilty to the Delaware charges.

Democratic congressman Jared Moskowitz asked why the committee would not take the 53-year-old Biden’s testimony then.

“The witness accepted the chairman’s invitation. It just so happens the witness is here,” Moskowitz said. “Let’s vote. Let’s take a vote. Who wants to hear from Hunter right now, today?”

The younger Biden left the hearing shortly after.

Hunter Biden indicted on US federal tax evasion charges

His lawyer Abbe Lowell made a brief statement to reporters afterward.

“We have offered to work with the House committees to see what and how relevant information to any legitimate inquiry could be provided,” Lowell said.

“Our first five offers were ignored. And then in November, they issued a subpoena for a behind-closed-doors deposition, a tactic that the Republicans have repeatedly misused in their political crusade to selectively leak and mischaracterise.”

House Republicans had issued a subpoena for Hunter Biden to appear for a closed-door deposition on December 13 as part of the inquiry.

Hunter Biden (centre), accompanied by his lawyer Abbe Lowell (left), leaves a House Oversight Committee hearing in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: AP

Hunter Biden said he would be willing to testify publicly, but lawmakers rebuffed that offer, saying he needed to submit to a private deposition in addition to any public testimony.

On the day the deposition was scheduled, Hunter Biden appeared outside the Capitol and made public remarks, but did not appear for the closed-door interview.

The full House generally holds a vote to direct the certification of contempt to a US attorney after a committee holds its vote, according to the Congressional Research Service. Enforcement of contempt statutes issued by Congress is generally done by the Justice Department.

According to the CRS, the House has held 10 people in contempt of Congress since 2008, but the Justice Department has sought the indictment of only two: Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, advisers to Republican former president Donald Trump.

Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon gets four months behind bars

Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison, though he appealed. Navarro was convicted in September 2023.

There is no record of a sitting president’s family member being held in contempt of Congress, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service that includes contempt resolutions dating back to 1980.

Contempt of Congress is punishable by a fine of up to US$100,000 and imprisonment for one to 12 months.

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)