House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan are threatening to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of congress if he refuses to appear for a closed-door deposition.
Comer and Jordan wrote a letter Wednesday to Abbe D. Lowell, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, informing Lowell the committees will initiate proceedings to hold Hunter Biden in contempt if he does not abide by a subpoena and appear for a deposition on Dec. 13. (RELATED: DOJ Blocking Testimony From Key Officials Involved With Hunter Biden Investigation, House Report Says)
READ THE LETTER:
“Contrary to the assertions in your letter, there is no ‘choice’ for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13. If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” the letter reads. (RELATED: ‘Coordinated Campaign’: Jim Jordan And James Comer Deliver Scathing Fact Check To Hunter Biden’s Attorney)
Criminal contempt of congress is a misdemeanor federal offense for individuals who do not comply with subpoenas, according to the Congressional Research Service. House lawmakers can provide a citation for contempt to federal prosecutors, a move without direct legal consequences for the person deciding not to comply with a subpoena.
The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter Biden in November to appear for a deposition before the committee. Lowell countered with an offer for Hunter Biden to testify publicly and skip the deposition.
Hunter Biden must appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023.
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) December 6, 2023
Comer and Jordan are leading the House GOP’s impeachment inquiry into Hunter Biden alongside Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith. All three rejected Hunter Biden’s counter offer and demanded he answer questions behind closed doors before testifying publicly.
In May, Comer threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt when the Oversight Committee sought to view an FBI FD-1023 document containing bribery allegations against Joe Biden and his son. (RELATED: Biden Bribery Allegations Came From Credible FBI Source Used In Other Investigations, Former Prosecutor Confirms)
Members of the Oversight Committee were granted permission to view the FBI document in June. Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley released the FD-1023 form in July after receiving it from Department of Justice (DOJ) whistleblowers. (RELATED: FBI Received ‘Criminal Information’ On Joe And Hunter Biden From Over 40 Confidential Sources, Sen Grassley Finds)
House lawmakers are also seeking testimony from Hunter Biden’s uncle James Biden and multiple former business associates of the first son.
James Biden was expected to appear for a deposition Wednesday in compliance with a subpoena from the Oversight Committee. His deposition has been delayed and it’s unclear when he will show up for the interview, the New York Post reported.
The Oversight Committee is communicating with James Biden’s attorney, a spokesperson told the outlet. Paul Fishman, Biden’s attorney, told the outlet the conversations are taking place without saying whether his client will comply with the subpoena.
House Republicans are currently weighing a floor vote to strengthen the legal authority of the impeachment inquiry by formally authorizing it.
Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.