FIRST ON FOX: House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanded Hunter Biden appear for his deposition later this month as part of their effort to determine whether the House of Representatives will draft articles of impeachment against President Biden.
The lawmakers also stressed to Hunter Biden’s attorney that the president’s son will receive no ‘special treatment.’
Comer, R-Ky., subpoenaed Hunter Biden for a deposition earlier this month. The deposition is set for Dec. 13.
But Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell offered the president’s son for a public hearing instead, where he would answer questions and offer his testimony directly before the American people.
In a letter to Lowell on Friday, Comer and Jordan said Hunter Biden’s testimony ‘will occur initially in a deposition setting, as has been the consistent practice of Committees of the majorities—as well as these Committees during this inquiry.’
‘We also appreciate your confirmation that Mr. Biden is willing to testify at a public hearing,’ they wrote. ‘We look forward to his testimony in a hearing at the appropriate time.’
Comer and Jordan, who are leading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden along with Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., explained that the committees require Hunter Biden’s testimony ‘to inform potential legislative reform relating to federal ethics and financial disclosure laws.’
‘In addition, the Committees are investigating whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment against President Biden based on evidence received to date showing that President Biden was aware of at least some of his family’s business ventures and sought to influence potential business deals that financially benefited his family,’ they wrote.
Comer and Jordan also said that Lowell has suggested that there is ‘no evidence to support a finding’ that Hunter Biden’s business dealings ‘implicate the official actions of his father.’
‘This is contrary to the facts already established through the investigation,’ they wrote. ‘As we have detailed in the memorandum explaining the scope of the impeachment inquiry, witnesses have testified not only that Mr. Biden sold the Biden ‘brand.’ But also how Mr. Biden placed his father on speaker phone twenty times with business associates and how he introduced his father in-person during business meetings with foreign business partners.’
Comer and Jordan also pointed to the FBI FD-1023 form in which an FBI confidential human source ‘detailed a bribery scheme in which President Biden allegedly participated with his son.’
‘Despite your bluster, the evidence remains undisputed,’ they wrote, adding that Lowell is just working to ‘discredit the allegations against Mr. Biden, distort the truth, and attack the integrity of witnesses against Mr. Biden.’
They added: ‘Your attempts to now bully and intimidate the committees will not stand.’
Regarding Lowell’s request for Hunter Biden to testify at a public hearing, Comer and Jordan said that is an effort to ‘avoid sitting for a deposition’ and said it ‘amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the committees.’
‘Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation,’ they wrote. ‘The subpoenas Mr. Biden has received compel him to appear before the Committees for a deposition; they are not mere suggestions open to Mr. Biden’s interpretation or preference.’
Comer and Jordan noted that Justice Department, FBI and IRS officials have all testified in transcribed interview and deposition settings, as well as Hunter Biden’s business associate Devon Archer.
They also noted that other Biden business associates are ‘also cooperating with our subpoenas and not demanding a public hearing first.’
‘Mr. Biden seems to believe that he should be treated differently than other witnesses before the committees,’ they wrote. ‘Nonetheless, if it helps to alleviate your stated concerns, you should be aware that, consistent with House and Committee rules and practice, we intend to videotape the deposition and release the deposition transcript soon after its completion.’
Comer and Jordan added: ‘The committees’ investigation will proceed apace without interference or obstruction.’
Comer and Jordan gave Lowell until Dec. 4 to confirm Hunter Biden’s attendance at his deposition, scheduled for Dec. 13.
Lowell, earlier this week, accused Comer and Republicans of using ‘closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public.’
‘We therefore propose opening the door,’ Lowell wrote. ‘If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let light shine on the proceedings.’
Democrats have blasted Comer and House Republicans amid their impeachment inquiry against President Biden for not taking Lowell up on the offer, saying their denial proves that the case against the first son is weak.
But Comer dismissed those claims in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday.
‘Democrats always create a false narrative ahead of potential peril,’ Comer told Fox News Digital, using Hunter Biden’s laptop as an example of Democrats peddling the inaccurate narrative that the laptop was a product of Russian disinformation.
‘We have always planned on deposing the key witness in this entire investigation — that’s the president’s son,’ Comer said.
Comer told Fox News Digital that his committee has ‘accumulated tens of thousands of pages of documents.’
‘We have hundreds of questions that we have to ask Hunter Biden,’ Comer said, noting that a public hearing is not an efficient setting to get answers to all questions. ‘If you have a public hearing, we may get to 35, 40 questions with five minutes each way. In a deposition, we can easily get 400-plus questions in.’
Comer stressed that the deposition of Hunter Biden ‘will be transparent.’
‘We will release the transcripts,’ he said. ‘We always do unless they contain classified information.’
Comer added: ‘This has been the most transparent major congressional investigation in history.’