House Republicans Seek Testimony From Hollywood Producer Lanette Phillips

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

James Lynch Contributor
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House Republicans are demanding testimony from the Hollywood producer responsible for introducing Hunter Biden to his financier and art dealer.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan are sending a letter Thursday to Hollywood producer Lanette Phillips seeking a transcribed interview as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Business Associate Eric Schwerin Performed Financial Services For Joe Biden Free Of Charge)


Phillips introduced Hunter Biden to his friend and financier Kevin Morris around November 2019 at a campaign fundraiser for then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Morris testified in January. She also introduced Hunter Biden to his art dealer Georges Berges, who later played a role in Morris’ $875,000 purchase of Hunter Biden’s art, Berges testified.

“Given Hunter Biden’s long record of influence peddling, the Committees seek to understand whether Kevin Morris’s substantial financial support for Hunter Biden was intended to benefit, curry favor with, or gain access to Joe Biden. As the person who introduced Morris to Hunter Biden, the Committees believe that you have information relevant to that question,” the letter reads. Phillips has until Feb. 8 to contact staff to schedule the interview.

“The Committees must understand the nature of Hunter Biden’s art endeavor. Indeed, the high-dollar sales of paintings by a novice like Hunter Biden raise considerable suspicion given his years of peddling access to his father and capitalizing on the Biden name. For example, the Committees seek to understand whether Naftali’s presidential appointment was in any way influenced by her purchase of Hunter Biden’s artwork. The Committees believe that you are in a position to shed light on that and other issues, given that you introduced Naftali to Bergès,” the letter adds.

Elizabeth Naftali, a Democratic donor and Biden presidential appointee, bought Hunter Biden’s art on two occasions, with the first occurring shortly after President Biden’s inauguration, Berges informed lawmakers.

The Oversight Committee previously subpoenaed Naftali for testimony to advance the impeachment inquiry. Comer, Jordan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith are leading the inquiry.

Morris provided Hunter Biden with $6.5 million of loans from October 2021 through December 2023, his attorney said in a letter to GOP lawmakers. The financial support helped Biden pay off roughly $2 million worth of overdue taxes and many of his personal expenses. (RELATED: James Biden, House Republicans Set Testimony Date For Impeachment Inquiry)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 10:Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, flanked by Kevin Morris, left, and Abbe Lowell, right, attend a House Oversight Committee meeting on January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. The committee is meeting today as it considers citing him for Contempt of Congress. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

The pair’s financial relationship began shortly after they met and became friends in late 2019, Morris told lawmakers. Morris was seated next to Hunter Biden when he unexpectedly appeared at the House Oversight Committee’s contempt of Congress markup hearing after Biden previously defied subpoenas seeking his testimony for the impeachment inquiry.

Two days after Biden’s brief appearance, his defense attorney Abbe Lowell notified House Republicans that he would be willing to testify now that House Republicans formally authorized the impeachment inquiry. His private session is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Hunter Biden’s federal tax indictment in California says Morris paid an estimated $1.2 million of Biden’s expenses in 2020, details Morris testified were accurate. The indictment does not name Morris directly, instead referring to him as an entertainment lawyer and “personal friend” of Biden.

The first son pleaded not guilty to the federal tax charges on Jan. 11.

Henry Rodgers contributed to this report