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Hunter Biden could face contempt of Congress if no-show at Committee interview

By Jake Beardslee · December 13, 2023

In brief…

  • Hunter Biden arrived in Washington ahead of scheduled testimony with House Oversight Committee
  • GOP chairmen threatened contempt charges if he skips closed-door deposition
  • Hunter's lawyer demands public testimony instead of private interview
  • Dispute centers on whether testimony will be public or behind closed doors
  • Unclear if Hunter will actually appear before committee on Wednesday
Hunter Biden faces contempt of Congress threat from House Republicans if he refuses to testify privately before Oversight Committee investigating his business dealings.  Prime Minister's Office (GODL-India), GODL-India/United States Congress/Wikimedia

Hunter Biden arrived in Washington D.C. on Tuesday ahead of a scheduled closed-door deposition with the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. However, it remains unclear if the president’s son will actually appear before the Republican-led committee as demanded.

Last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) threatened to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress if he does not comply with a subpoena requiring him to testify as part of the committee’s investigation into President Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings.

“If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” Comer and Jordan wrote in a letter to Hunter Biden’s attorney last Thursday.

Hunter Biden’s legal team, led by attorney Abbe Lowell, has pushed back against the closed-door interview format demanded by the GOP chairmen. Lowell sent a letter last week saying Hunter would only agree to testify publicly, not behind closed doors.

“Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023 date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter,” Lowell wrote.

He justified the demand for public testimony by accusing the committee of using “closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts.”

Comer and Jordan have pledged to release the full transcript of any closed-door deposition with Hunter Biden that may occur. But they reiterated in their letter last week that Hunter must comply with the subpoena requiring his appearance or face being held in contempt.