House Republicans Tell Hunter Biden He Must Answer Questions Behind Closed Doors Before Public Hearing

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James Lynch Contributor
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House Republican lawmakers overseeing the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden informed Hunter Biden he will have to answer questions behind closed doors in addition to testifying publicly.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, the leaders of the impeachment inquiry, have all issued statements demanding Hunter Biden comply with the Oversight Committee’s subpoena to appear for a deposition on Dec. 13. (RELATED: House Republicans Launch Website With Everything You Need To Know About The Biden Impeachment Inquiry)

“Our committees will first interview and depose witnesses,” Comer said at a Republican leadership press conference held on Wednesday. “We then of course would welcome Hunter Biden to testify at a public hearing at a future date,” Comer added.

Comer’s comment echoed a statement he released on Tuesday after Hunter Biden’s defense attorney wrote a letter offering for his client to testify publicly next month. Jordan came out with a similar statement Tuesday and reiterated his remarks at the press conference. (RELATED: Comer Unveils Bank Records Showing Joe Biden Received $40,000 Of ‘Laundered’ Chinese Money)

“We will have Hunter Biden in a deposition and frankly I think in an open hearing. I think that would be great,” Jordan said.

Likewise, Smith released a statement on Tuesday telling Hunter Biden to abide by the subpoena and testify publicly at a later date. “The congressional subpoena he received was not a suggestion, and he is required to sit for a deposition on December 13th. I expect he will have the opportunity to testify in a public setting in the future,” Smith said.

Comer, Jordan and Smith used the press conference to lay out the evidence for the impeachment inquiry related to Joe Biden’s role in Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and IRS whistleblower testimony accusing the Department of Justice (DOJ) of giving Hunter Biden special treatment during its ongoing investigation.

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testified behind closed doors to the Ways and Means Committee in May and June. Both whistleblowers proceeded to testify publicly in July with their allegations of special treatment. The Ways and Means Committee released documents in September supporting the IRS whistleblower testimony.

DOJ and IRS officials involved with the Hunter Biden case have testified behind closed doors to the Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees over the past few months, according to transcripts reviewed by the Daily Caller.

Special counsel David Weiss, the prosecutor leading the Hunter Biden case, appeared before the Judiciary Committee in early November. Witness testimony and the newly released documents confirmed central components of the IRS whistleblower testimony.

Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former friend and business associate, testified to the Oversight Committee in July behind closed doors. (RELATED: Joe Biden Aides, Democratic Operatives Reportedly Divided On Hunter Biden’s Legal Strategy)

Joe Biden spoke with his son’s business associates on roughly 20 occasions including a spring 2014 dinner with Russian oligarch Elena Baturina and a spring 2015 dinner attended by Vadim Pozharskyi, an executive with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, Archer testified. (RELATED: FBI Headquarters Stonewalled Investigative Activity On Hunter Biden Ties To Ukraine, Former Prosecutor Testifies)

Hunter Biden was indicted in September on three federal gun charges and pleaded not guilty in early October. Weiss continues to scrutinize the first son’s taxes with assistance from a California grand jury, CNN first reported.

Abbe D. Lowell, Biden’s attorney, explained in his letter why Hunter Biden does not want to answer questions behind closed doors.

“We have seen you use closed door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door,” Lowell said. “A public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits, or one-sided press statements,” he added.

Lowell did not mention specific examples of Republicans supposedly distorting closed-door testimony. House Republicans are also seeking depositions from Hunter Biden’s uncle James Biden and multiple former business associates of Hunter Biden.

Lowell did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.