Hunter Biden Offers To Testify Before House GOP, but Only in Public, as First Son Goes on Offensive

Biden is refusing to cooperate, though, with the Oversight Committee’s request that he submit to a closed-door questioning session, which his attorney refers to as a ‘cloaked, one-sided process.’

AP/Matt Rourke
Hunter Biden arrives for a court appearance at Wilmington, Delaware, October 3, 2023. AP/Matt Rourke

The president’s embattled son, Hunter Biden, has offered to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee next month after receiving a subpoena from the panel. The committee had asked that Mr. Biden sit for an hours-long, closed-door deposition conducted by lawyers, but he’s refusing to submit to such a session.

Mr. Biden’s appearance before the committee was confirmed by his attorney, Abbe Lowell, in a letter sent Tuesday to the Oversight Committee chairman, Congressman James Comer. 

“Mr. Chairman, we take you up on your offer,” Mr. Lowell writes. “Accordingly, our client will get right to it by agreeing to answer any pertinent and relevant question you or your colleagues might have, but rather than subscribing to your cloaked, one-sided process he will appear at a public Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing.”

Mr. Lowell says his client hopes to “provide relevant information” for the committee’s investigation and “expedite its conclusion.” He also accuses congressional Republicans of waging “an ‘impeachment first, justification later’ crusade” against President Biden so that the GOP will have a greater chance of winning the White House in 2024. 

The prospect of a public hearing raises the possibility that Mr. Comer will receive no substantive answers from the first son, given the structure of such appearances. During public hearings, each member of the panel receives just five minutes to question the witness, and members often use that time to give speeches rather than interrogate their subjects in a lawyerly fashion. Democrats will also likely use the hearing to mount a strong public defense for Mr. Biden and accuse congressional Republicans of hypocrisy. 

The Oversight Committee says Mr. Biden must sit for a closed-door deposition before a public hearing. In a statement released Tuesday morning, the committee said, “Our lawfully issued subpoena to Hunter Biden requires him to appear for a deposition on December 13. We expect full cooperation with our subpoena for a deposition but also agree that Hunter Biden should have the opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.”

In early November, Mr. Comer issued several subpoenas to members of the Biden family and their inner circle, including the president’s brother, James; the first son’s former business partner who worked with the Biden family overseas, Rob Walker; a family associate, Eric Schwerin; a wealthy Biden campaign fundraiser who purchased Mr. Biden’s art, Elizabeth Naftali; and the first son’s gallerist, George Bergès. 

Mr. Comer also sent letters to members of the Biden family and their associates asking them to sit for voluntary interviews with the committee. Recipients of such letters include the first son’s current wife, Melissa Cohen Biden; his former sister-in-law and girlfriend, Hallie Biden; Hallie’s sister, Elizabeth Secundy; and James Biden’s wife, Sara Biden. 

Just before the Thanksgiving recess, Mr. Comer blew up at two Democratic colleagues on the Oversight Committee who accused him of improperly loaning his brother $200,000 — which is the same charge the chairman has levied against the president and used as evidence of the Biden family of engaging in influence-peddling and money laundering. 

Mr. Comer directed his rage at a freshman congressman, Jared Moskowitz, who said facetiously that Mr. Comer should sit for a deposition. Mr. Comer also made a derisive reference to another chief defender of Mr. Biden on the committee, Congressman Dan Goldman, who is a freshman and an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune. “You and Goldman — who is Mr. Trust Fund — continue to try to discredit me,” the chairman said to Mr. Moskowitz. 

When Mr. Moskowitz, who was wearing a blue sportcoat, tried to reclaim his microphone and continue his line of questioning, Mr. Comer yelled, “No, I’m not going to give you your time back. Stop the clock. … You look like a smurf here, just going around and all this stuff.”

In his letter to Mr. Comer, Mr. Lowell states that the committee should instead be looking into President Trump and his adult children regarding the money they made overseas, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who worked in the White House and received two billion dollars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for an investment fund soon after his government work ended. 

“Unlike members of the Trump family, Hunter is a private person who has never worked in any family business nor ever served in the White House or in any public office,” Mr. Lowell writes. “Notwithstanding this stark difference, you have manipulated Hunter’s legitimate business dealings and his times of terrible addiction into a politically motivated basis for hearings to accuse his father of some wrongdoing.”

Mr. Biden’s offer to appear publicly is part of an aggressive legal and public relations strategy by the first son, who is facing three felony charges for lying about his drug use to buy a gun. He is also the subject of an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel David Weiss, who already charged him with the gun offenses and is believed to be investigating Mr. Biden’s overseas business affairs for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In recent months, Mr. Biden has gone on an aggressive public relations campaign, publishing a sympathy-seeking op-ed in USA Today about his drug addiction. He is also suing some of his enemies, including a laptop repairman, John Mac Isaac, who gave his now notorious laptop to Mr. Trump’s attorney at the time, Rudolph Giuliani, and a young former White House operative, Garrett Ziegler, who is maintaining a public database of the laptop’s content that includes obscene photos of Mr. Biden and various women believed to be escorts.

Mr. Biden has also filed an ethics complaint with the House against Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who displayed the obscene photos of Mr. Biden at a public congressional hearing.

The House GOP’s investigation of the Bidens centers on Hunter and James Biden’s aggressive business ventures over the years that leveraged the Biden name to bring in millions of dollars from foreign interests in Ukraine, Communist China, and other countries. The committee has been seeking to prove, so far with little success, that the elder Mr. Biden abused his office as vice president to benefit his family and that he himself received a cut of the money. Mr. Comer has referred to the Biden family as “organized crime.”

The New York Sun

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