Hunter Biden declines to attend public hearing on House impeachment inquiry

Hunter Biden declines to attend public hearing on House impeachment inquiry

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, makes a statement to the press outside the U.S. Capitol about his public testimony before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Hunter Biden on Wednesday declined an invitation to testify publicly next week as part of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., that neither he nor his client will be able to attend because of a scheduling conflict with one of Hunter’s ongoing criminal cases.

But that was “the least of the problems,” said Lowell, who called the planned public hearing an act of desperation by Republicans whose impeachment proceedings against the incumbent Democratic president are under increasing scrutiny.

“Your blatant planned event for the media is not proper action, but rather a blatant attempt to throw a hail mary pass after the game ended,” Lowell wrote.

Comer responded later Wednesday that the oversight panel “called Hunter Biden’s bluff” and that the hearing would move forward as scheduled.

“Hunter Biden has stated for months that he wants a public hearing, but now that he has been offered one, along with his business partners with whom he has worked for years, he is refusing to come,” Comer said in a statement to NBC News.

Hunter Biden sat before Republican Party investigators behind closed doors on February 28th. In that hour-long interview, he strongly denied the allegations at the center of the impeachment inquiry that his father was involved in his business dealings.

On March 6, Comer invited Hunter Biden to testify again on March 20, this time in a public hearing titled “Influence peddling: Investigating Joe Biden’s abuse of public office.”

Three of Biden’s former business partners, Devon Archer, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis, were also called to testify.

This invitation came weeks after federal authorities arrested and charged Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI informant, with lying to the government about Joe and Hunter Biden. Before his indictment, Republican impeachment investigators presented Smirnov’s allegations as a key part of their case.

“I thought even you would realize that your baseless impeachment case was dead,” given “the realization that your investigation was based on a patchwork of conspiracies spun by convicted liars and an accused Russian spy,” Lowell wrote in the letter from Wednesday.

“As Mr. Biden has stated repeatedly, supported by detailed reference to records in the committees’ possession, his father was never involved in or benefited financially from Mr. Biden’s business dealings,” Lowell wrote.

The lawyer also pointed to an exchange during Hunter Biden’s testimony in which Comer suggested he was open to questions about the business activities of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, as part of the investigation’s focus on “influence peddling.” .”

“If you are serious about pursuing this oversight purpose in a legitimate and nonpartisan manner, you would hold a hearing with relatives of former President Trump,” Lowell wrote.

“If so, Mr. Biden would consider an invitation to this event.”

Source link

2024-03-14 15:30:07