Thursday 29 February 2024

Comer Eyes Public Hearing With Hunter Biden To Address ‘Discrepancies’

 House Republicans intend to hold a public hearing with Hunter Biden as the next phase of the corruption-focused impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden, a top GOP lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), who is leading the impeachment probe, made the announcement as a several-hour deposition between Hunter Biden and congressional investigators came to a close.

“I think this was a great deposition for us. It proved several bits of our evidence that we’ve been conducting throughout this investigation,” Comer told reporters.

“But there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review. So this impeachment inquiry will now go to the next phase which will be a public hearing,” he continued.

Comer added in a post to X that lawmakers “look forward to inviting Hunter Biden to a public hearing to get to the truth for the American people.”

Hunter Biden and his attorneys had demanded a public hearing and even showed up on Capitol Hill on a couple of occasions over the past few months to push for such an arrangement, but ultimately they agreed to a deposition as the First Son was on the verge of being held in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas issued last year. Comer previously said he’d be open to a public hearing, but only after a deposition.

Throughout the day on Wednesday, members of Congress shared their views on the closed-door deposition taking place on Capitol Hill. Democrats contended the interview was a “waste of time” and insisted the impeachment inquiry was falling apart. Republicans said Hunter Biden was being responsive to questions, but offering testimony that was “defiant” and “dishonest.”

In an opening statement obtained by the press, Hunter Biden declared, “I am here today to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business.”

Some former Biden family associates, including Tony Bobulinski and Devon Archer, have indicated to impeachment investigators that the Biden “brand” was key to the business ventures of members in the president’s family and claim there were some instances in which Joe Biden did at least meet or talk with Hunter Biden’s business partners.

Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, told reporters at the conclusion of the deposition on Wednesday that Republicans had “produced no evidence” of financial transactions between his client and President Joe Biden. Instead, he added, they were overly focused on Hunter Biden’s struggles with drug addiction. He did not answer a reporter’s question about whether Hunter Biden will appear for a public hearing.

Comer said he hopes a public hearing will “clear up some discrepancies between some of the statements that were made between some of the associates and what we heard today.” The chairman added that he looks forward to releasing the transcript of the deposition within the next couple days if both parties can come to an agreement.

In addition to the impeachment inquiry, Hunter Biden faces a bevy of federal gun and tax charges. He has pleaded not guilty to the counts. As President Joe Biden runs for re-election amid the impeachment probe, Hunter Biden recently suggested that his fight to remain sober is intertwined with the 2024 election and keeping former President Donald Trump out of the White House.

“Maybe it’s the ultimate test for a recovering addict — I don’t know,” Biden said, according to Axios. “I have always been in awe of people who have stayed clean and sober through tragedies and obstacles few people ever face. They are my heroes, my inspiration.” He also said, “I have something much bigger than even myself at stake. We are in the middle of a fight for the future of democracy.”

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