House Republicans Finally Get Their Shot To Grill Hunter Biden Under Oath. Here’s What They Could Ask Him

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Hunter Biden is set to testify in front of congressional investigators Wednesday as part of the ongoing impeachment probe into President Joe Biden, giving Republicans an opportunity to ask key questions to the first son about his business dealings and the degree of his father’s involvement in those affairs.

Hunter Biden lays at the heart of allegations that Joe Biden profited from business deals organized by his son and his associates in a major influence peddling scheme spanning several continents and involving a complex web of shell companies and wire transfers. Hunter Biden has mostly stayed out of the public eye as the impeachment inquiry against his father has gained momentum, and Wednesday’s scheduled deposition will be a key opportunity for Republican investigators to directly question Hunter Biden under oath about key emails, text messages and timelines related to his business career in the 2010s.

The body of evidence assembled by investigators — including bank records, the archived contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop and numerous interviews of his former business associates — provides Republicans like House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan several prospective lines of questioning that could help them advance their investigation. (RELATED: James Biden Says He Relied On His Own Business ‘Talent’ And Not His Brother, Last Name)

Who is “the big guy” referenced in the May 2017 email with business associates?

A May 2017 email on Hunter Biden’s laptop from business associate James Gilliar details a proposed equity split for an entity involved in a transaction with CEFC China Energy Limited, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked energy firm that indirectly paid Hunter Biden and his associates millions of dollars over the course of the 2010s. Notably, Gilliar’s proposed equity split sets aside “10 (percent) held by H for the big guy.”

The email has sparked wide speculation as to the identity of “the big guy,” with many suspecting that the nickname references Joe Biden. Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden business partner, has alleged for years that Joe Biden is “the big guy” mentioned in the email.

Congressional investigators will have a chance to ask Hunter Biden point blank to identify “the big guy;” while Hunter Biden did not author the email in question, he may be able to shed light on who “the big guy” is given that holding this individual’s equity in a complex financial maneuver was to be his role.

If investigators cannot ascertain the identity of “the big guy” by asking Hunter Biden directly, they could probe for additional details and context by asking Hunter Biden why he and his associates seemingly planned to have Hunter hold this individual’s equity rather than simply having “the big guy” claim and control the equity without a middle man.

Was Joe Biden sitting next to Hunter Biden or otherwise involved in the threatening text message Hunter Biden sent a Chinese business associate in July 2017?

Hunter Biden wrote a threatening text message to a Chinese associate affiliated with CEFC on July 30, 2017, according to an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father,” the WhatsApp text message reads.

Hunter Biden appears to have been at his father’s residence in Delaware on the day that the message was sent, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The outlet analyzed photos from Hunter Biden’s laptop to place him at his father’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on that date.

Investigators could ask Hunter Biden to confirm whether or not his father was actually in the room when he sent that message, as he claimed to have been the case in the text itself. If the answer to that question is unrevealing, investigators could follow up with lines of questioning asking Hunter Biden to explain why he invoked his father’s name and political influence to pursue a beneficial business outcome.

What was the “brand” referenced by Devon Archer during his testimony?

Devon Archer, a former friend and business partner of Hunter Biden, testified to lawmakers in July 2023 that the Biden family “brand” in business derived its punch from Joe Biden’s political power. Archer was involved with Hunter Biden in business with Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas firm that initially paid Hunter Biden approximately $1 million annually to sit on its board of directors, despite his lack of sector experience, while Joe Biden was in charge of Ukraine policy for the Obama administration.

Archer also told investigators that Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone during business meetings on numerous occasions over the course of their business relationship.

“You keep saying ‘the brand,’ but by ‘brand’ you mean the Biden family, correct?” lawmakers asked Archer during his interview, according to its transcript.

“Correct,” he responded.

Wednesday’s interview will provide lawmakers the chance to ask Hunter Biden about Archer’s characterization of the “brand,” and to ask him about the apparent trend of his father talking on speakerphone about unrelated matters while Hunter Biden was meeting with foreign business partners.

Why did Burisma drastically cut Hunter Biden’s pay after his father left office?

Burisma hired Hunter Biden in the spring of 2014, while his father was vice president, and paid him approximately $80,000 a month for his work despite the fact that he has never stepped foot in Ukraine, a point made clear in special counsel David Weiss’ recent indictment against a since-discredited FBI source. Starting in March 2017, two months after former President Donald Trump took office, Burisma effectively halved Hunter Biden’s salary.

The company started paying Hunter Biden a salary of approximately $500,000 starting in March 2017, down from the previous arrangement that paid him $1 million, according to an indictment handed down to Hunter Biden by a federal court in California. Burisma subsequently paid him $491,939 in 2018 and $160,207 in 2019, according to the indictment.

Investigators can press Hunter Biden to explain the timing of the pay cuts and push him to detail other circumstances that could have prompted the reduction in his pay.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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