Hunter Biden agrees to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee

Hunter Biden is open to testifying publicly before the Republican-led House Oversight Committee on Dec. 13, his lawyer said in a letter sent to the panel Tuesday.

The president’s son was subpoenaed by House Republicans in early November and summoned to appear for a closed-door transcribed interview as part of an escalation of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into the president.

“We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door,” his lawyer Abbe Lowell said in a Tuesday letter to Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky.

Comer pushed back at Lowell’s letter in a Tuesday morning statement posted to X: “Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else. That won’t stand with House Republicans.”

“Our lawfully issued subpoena to Hunter Biden requires him to appear for a deposition on December 13,” he said. “We expect full cooperation with our subpoena for a deposition but also agree that Hunter Biden should have [an] opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., ranking member of the Oversight Committee, issued a scathing statement in response to Comer, saying the chairman’s statement shows that “what the Republicans fear most is sunlight and truth.”

“Let me get this straight. After wailing and moaning for ten months about Hunter Biden and alluding to some vast unproven family conspiracy, after sending Hunter Biden a subpoena to appear and testify, Chairman Comer and the Oversight Republicans now reject his offer to appear before the full Committee and the eyes of the world and to answer any questions that they pose?” Raskin said.

Raskin decried the panel’s first hearing in the GOP’s impeachment inquiry in September as a “miserable failure” and criticized Comer for dismissing Hunter Biden’s offer to testify publicly.

“Chairman Comer has now apparently decided to avoid all Committee hearings where the public can actually see for itself the logical, rhetorical and factual contortions they have tied themselves up in,” he said. “The evidence has shown time and again President Biden has committed no wrongdoing, much less an impeachable offense. Chairman Comer’s insistence that Hunter Biden’s interview should happen behind closed doors proves it once again.”

Comer is spearheading the impeachment inquiry into Biden in conjunction with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo.

In his letter, Lowell rebuked Republicans for their subpoenas focusing on the Biden family’s business dealings, which were issued after Comer requested thousands of bank records connected to Hunter and the president’s brother James Biden, as well as other members of their family, and several business associates.

“Your Committee has been working for almost a year—without success—to tie our client’s business activities to his father. You state that one of your purposes is to review how a President’s family’s business activities raise ethics and disclosure concerns to inform the basis for a legislative solution,” Lowell wrote. “But all your focus has been on this President’s family while turning a blind eye toward former President Trump and his family’s businesses, some of which the family maintained while serving in office—an area ripe to inform your purported legislative pursuits.”

Lowell noted that the president’s son is a private citizen who never served in any public office nor worked in any family business, unlike members of the Trump family, before accusing Republicans of having “manipulated” Hunter Biden’s “legitimate business dealings” and his battles with substance abuse addiction “into a politically motivated basis for hearings to accuse his father of some wrongdoing.”

Lowell said Hunter Biden’s legal team had offered to meet or speak with the committee to understand the basis of its inquiry and provide relevant information but had never responded to their offer. Instead, Lowell said, Republicans issued subpoenas to Hunter Biden and other Biden family members and their associates “in what appears to be a Hail Mary pass with your team behind in the score and time running out.”

“Your fishing expedition has become Captain Ahab chasing the great white whale,” he wrote.

The letter from Hunter Biden’s legal team comes as legal representatives for the president’s brother James have been in communication with the committee, two sources familiar with the committee’s work told NBC News. The committee has asked James Biden to appear for an interview with the panel on Dec. 6.

House Republicans have said they are probing whether the president unlawfully aided his son or profited off of his business dealings and have baselessly alleged that Biden engaged in a bribery scheme and has been involved in his son’s business ventures.

The White House this month demanded House Republicans to withdraw their subpoenas targeting Biden family members and administration officials. In a letter addressed to Comer and Jordan, White House counsel Richard Sauber called the requests for information and interviews “unjustified,” and slammed the overall impeachment inquiry as “illegitimate”

Comer has issued a long list of subpoenas and requests for interviews and documents to several Biden family members and their associates. Sauber decried the requests for information from the Biden family members as an example of weaponizing congressional authority to attack a political foe.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have said the panel obtained financial records that it claims show members of the Biden family set up more than 20 shell companies, most of which were created during Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president, as part of an effort to hide payments from foreign adversaries. The panel also alleged that the Biden family, their business associates, and their companies received more than $24 million from foreign nations over approximately five years.

Comer has accused the Biden family of engaging in “shady business practices,” but has not demonstrated how the transactions show evidence of wrongdoing by the president.

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