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‘What are you afraid of?’ Republican asks Hunter Biden at hearing on contempt vote

By Jake Beardslee · January 10, 2024

In brief…

  • Hunter Biden made a surprise appearance at a House hearing before a contempt vote, sparking criticism from GOP lawmakers.
  • His lawyer accused Republicans of using him to attack his father and distorting leaked testimony.
  • The committees are probing alleged Biden family influence peddling abroad.
  • Biden has only offered public testimony while Republicans want closed-door depositions first.
Hunter Biden unexpectedly showed up at a House hearing on holding him in contempt in the GOP probe of alleged Biden family influence peddling abroad, sparking criticism from Republican lawmakers.  Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Wikimedia

Hunter Biden made a surprise appearance at a House Oversight Committee markup Wednesday, just before the panel was set to approve a resolution holding him in contempt for defying a subpoena last month. Some Republican lawmakers sharply criticized Biden’s presence, with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) asking “What are you afraid of? Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) suggested the committee vote on hearing from Biden immediately, but only Democrats raised their hands in support, The Hill reported.

Biden and his lawyer Abbe Lowell left minutes later as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called him a “coward.” Lowell then told reporters Republicans were using Biden as a “surrogate to attack his father,” President Biden. He said the GOP leaders ignored Biden’s offer to testify publicly and accused them of distorting testimony selectively leaked from closed-door depositions. Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) defended the committee’s methods.

The Oversight and Judiciary committees aim to hold Biden in contempt for skipping a deposition in their probe of alleged Biden family “influence peddling.” Republicans want closed-door testimony first, while Biden has only offered public testimony.