Come on Back, Hunter: House GOP Will Re-Issue Subpoenas to the First Son

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AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

We’re moving on to the next chapter in the Hunter Biden congressional testimony saga. After defying the initial subpoenas to sit for a closed-door deposition before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees in December, opting instead to give an odd speech on the Capitol steps, then making a dramatic (maybe if the art gig doesn’t pan out, he can try his hand at acting?) whiz-bang appearance at the hearing regarding a resolution to hold him in contempt last Wednesday, Hunter’s now made it known that he will, in fact, sit for a deposition with the committees.

And they are now ready to oblige. 

On Sunday, Chairmen Jim Jordan and James Comer issued a joint letter to Hunter’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, inviting the First Scion to come back to Congress — this time fer realz. 

The full letter can be viewed below, but here are some choice excerpts:

On January 10, 2024, the Committees voted to recommend that the House hold Mr. Biden in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with the Committees’ duly authorized and issued subpoenas.2 Prior to the consideration of the contempt reports, in correspondence with you, the Committees explained in detail the bases for the subpoenas and rejected Mr. Biden’s request for special treatment with respect to the venue for his testimony. We informed Mr. Biden that his failure to comply with the legal obligations of the subpoenas would lead to the Committees initiating contempt of Congress proceedings.
Despite the Committees’ clear rejection of Mr. Biden’s demand for special treatment and the unambiguous notice to him that failure to comply would result in him being held in contempt, Mr. Biden chose to defy the subpoenas in a particularly brazen manner. On December 13, the date of his deposition, Mr. Biden did not appear at the time and place commanded and instead chose to appear on the grounds of the Capitol to read prepared remarks about the topics under inquiry. Then, on the day that the Committees met to consider the contempt resolutions, Mr. Biden chose to flaunt his defiance of the subpoenas in a choreographed stunt reportedly filmed for an upcoming documentary. At no time in either setting did you or Mr. Biden indicate that the Committees’ subpoenas were invalid; rather, you argued that Mr. Biden had “chosen” to testify only in public hearing—a “choice” the subpoena did not provide.

The letter goes on to lay out the legal bases for the subpoenas and their validity before concluding: 

For all these reasons, there is no legal basis on which Mr. Biden could lawfully disregard the Committee’s deposition subpoenas. His conduct toward the House has been contemptuous. His defiance of the subpoenas has been willful and flagrant. His demands to testify only in a public setting are, as we have explained, inconsistent with the practice of these Committees in this matter as well as the practice of congressional Committees in recent Congresses. 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.
The Committees welcome Mr. Biden’s newfound willingness to testify in a deposition setting 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. 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. Our willingness to issue these subpoenas is rooted entirely in our interest in obtaining Mr. Biden’s testimony as expeditiously as possible.

So, what will Hunter’s new date with the committees be, and what sort of antics will he employ at that encounter? We’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure. 

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