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House Republicans move to hold Hunter Biden in contempt over testimony standoff

By Jake Beardslee · January 8, 2024

In brief…

  • House Oversight Committee released contempt resolution against Hunter Biden for defying subpoena
  • Hunter Biden offered public testimony but GOP insists on private first
  • Resolution alleges Biden's defiance is "contemptuous" and he must be held accountable
  • House Republicans investigating Biden business dealings as part of impeachment inquiry into president
  • Biden's lawyer accuses committee of playing politics by not allowing public hearing
The House Oversight Committee released a contempt of Congress resolution against Hunter Biden after he failed to comply with a subpoena requiring closed-door testimony related to an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.  BILL CLARK/CQ-ROLL CALL, INC./Wikimedia

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee, chaired by Rep. James Comer (R-KY), released a contempt of Congress resolution against Hunter Biden on Monday after the president’s son failed to comply with a subpoena requiring closed-door testimony. The committee will consider the resolution on Wednesday.

The contempt report states that “Mr. Biden’s flagrant defiance of the Committees’ deposition subpoenas—while choosing to appear nearby on the Capitol grounds to read a prepared statement on the same matters—is contemptuous, and he must be held accountable for his unlawful actions.” It recommends that Congress find Hunter Biden in contempt for not cooperating with the subpoena.

On December 13, the date he was called to testify privately, Hunter Biden appeared outside the Capitol and spoke to reporters but did not go before the committee. He offered to testify publicly instead, but Rep. Comer declined, insisting on private testimony first.

In his statement to the media, Hunter Biden said “I’m here today to make sure the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence and lies, and I’m here today to acknowledge I have made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell accused the committee of “continu[ing] to play politics” by pursuing contempt charges instead of allowing public testimony, in a statement to ABC News. Reps. Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) stated that “Hunter Biden’s willful refusal to comply with our subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution.