The US president’s son insists that his father was not involved in his business, but refuses to testify
US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has refused to comply with a subpoena ordering him to testify before a Republican-led committee investigating his father’s involvement in his business dealings. House Republicans are expected to formalize impeachment proceedings against President Biden later on Wednesday.
The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to Hunter Biden last month, ordering the president’s son to testify at a closed-door hearing on Wednesday. Along with the House Judiciary Committee, the Oversight Committee is leading an impeachment probe against President Biden and has released evidence suggesting that Hunter took tens of millions of dollars from foreign clients in exchange for access to his father while the latter was vice president of the US.
Speaking at a press conference outside the US Capitol, Hunter Biden denounced the impeachment inquiry as “illegitimate” and said that he would only testify at a public hearing. Classified information usually cannot be discussed in such a public session.
“Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not involved in my business. There is no evidence to support the allegations my father was involved in my business, because it did not happen,” he told reporters.
However, Joe Biden has been photographed with several of his son’s clients, and Hunter’s former business partner – Devon Archer – told the Oversight Committee in July that Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, was given to him solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy. Archer also alleged that Joe Biden dined multiple times with Hunter’s clients, and that Hunter received money transfers immediately after at least two of these meetings.
According to files retrieved from Hunter’s laptop and published by the GOP, the Biden family received around $24 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees.
Hunter Biden’s decision to skip the closed-door deposition was expected. In a letter to Oversight Committee Chair James Comer last month, Hunter’s lawyer stated that he would only testify in public, for fear that the GOP would use his private sworn testimony to “distort the facts and misinform the public.”
Earlier this month, Comer and Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan warned Hunter’s lawyer that they would “initiate contempt of Congress proceedings” if the president’s son failed to comply with the subpoena.
“We expect to depose the president’s son, and then we will be more than happy to have a public hearing,” Comer told reporters on Wednesday.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday morning, House Speaker Mike Johnson said that he would hold a vote later that day to formalize the ongoing impeachment inquiry. With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives, the measure is expected to pass.
December 13, 2023 at 10:31PM