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Hunter Biden tells Congress he’d testify publicly, setting up a potential high-stakes face-off
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden offered Tuesday to testify publicly before Congress, striking a defiant note in response to a subpoena from Republicans and setting up a potential high-stakes face-off even as a separate special counsel probe unfolds and his father, President Joe Biden, campaigns for reelection.
The Democratic president’s son slammed the subpoena’s request for closed-door testimony, saying it can be manipulated. But Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, stood firm, saying Republicans expect “full cooperation” with their original demand for a deposition.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer called the inquiry a “fishing expedition,” a response in line with the more forceful legal approach he’s taken in recent months as congressional Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry seeking to tie his father to his business dealings.
The early-November subpoenas to Hunter Biden and others from Comer were the inquiry’s most aggressive step yet, testing the reach of congressional oversight powers.
Republicans have so far failed to uncover evidence directly implicating President Biden in any wrongdoing. But questions have arisen about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business, and lawmakers insist their evidence paints a troubling picture of “influence peddling” in their business dealings, particularly with clients overseas.
Comer said Tuesday that the president’s son could testify publicly in the future, but he expects him to sit for a deposition on Dec. 13 as outlined in the subpoena.
“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,” he said. Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, also pressed the deposition date followed by a public hearing — a timetable that would take any hearing closer to the 2024 election and heighten the political stakes for President Biden.