House Republicans are prepared to escalate the fight over a congressional subpoena for Hunter Biden, warning him of potential contempt of Congress proceedings if he does not comply with their request to appear for a deposition on December 13. This move comes after Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, reaffirmed that his client would not be willing to participate in a closed-door session.
In a letter sent to Lowell, Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) made it clear that they believe there is no choice for Biden but to comply with the subpoena. They warned that failure to appear for the deposition could result in contempt of Congress proceedings being initiated.
The House Republicans are seeking to have Hunter Biden testify as part of the impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden. They have also issued subpoenas and interview requests to other individuals, including the president's brother, James Biden.
BREAKING NOW: Hunter Biden ORDERED TO APPEAR before congress on December 13, 2023..
Proceedings for CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS will be immediately initiated if Hunter does not appear. pic.twitter.com/vibLCRCfJ4
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) December 6, 2023
In his response to Comer, Lowell reiterated his offer for Hunter Biden to testify in an open hearing rather than a closed-door session. He stated that this choice was made in light of the fact that House committees have used closed-door sessions to manipulate and distort facts, making an open hearing the more transparent option.
Despite the insistence of President Biden and his allies that he has done nothing wrong, House Democrats have criticized their Republican counterparts for refusing to accept Lowell's offer for an open hearing. However, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) recently emphasized the importance of following precedent, suggesting that the House will not deviate from its usual procedures for the impeachment inquiry.
In an effort to combat alleged stonewalling by the White House, Johnson announced that the House will hold a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry, which began in September. This move, according to Johnson, will ensure that the House is at the "apex of its constitutional authority" when facing challenges to their subpoenas in court.
The House Republicans' decision to escalate the fight over the subpoena for Hunter Biden is a clear indication of their determination to uncover any potential wrongdoing by the president and his son. It also signals a continued divide between Democrats and Republicans over the impeachment inquiry, with both sides refusing to back down. The outcome of this ongoing battle remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the impeachment inquiry will continue to be a contentious and highly debated issue in the coming months.