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Representative James Comer announced on Wednesday that he would move forward with holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress, after the president’s son defied a Republican subpoena to testify privately about its investigation into the Biden family.
Biden made a rare public statement on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning, once again challenging House Republicans to allow him to testify publicly in their ongoing investigation of his family — rather than behind closed doors.
“I am here to testify at a public hearing today to answer any of the committee’s legitimate questions. Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say. What are they afraid of? I’m here, I’m ready,” he told reporters at an impromptu press availability.
Biden was subpoenaed by the Republican-led House Oversight Committee to give a private deposition Wednesday as the chamber prepares to vote on an impeachment inquiry of his father, President Joe Biden. The committee’s members had threatened to begin contempt proceedings if he failed to appear.
During his remarks, Biden condemned Republicans’ attempts to connect his father to his personal business dealings, the issue at the center of their impeachment investigation.
“Let me state as clearly as I can. My father was not financially involved in my business. Not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not in my investments at home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist,” he said.
His statement marks the first public comments Biden has made since he was indicted by the government last week for a failure to pay taxes. He allegedly spent large sums on drugs, escorts, and clothing instead of his taxes, and the indictment is full of lurid details. He acknowledged his past struggles on Wednesday, but once again rebuked Republicans for trying to tie his previous actions to his father.
“In the depths of my addiction, I was extremely irresponsible with my finances. But to suggest that is grounds for an impeachment inquiry is beyond the absurd. It’s shameless,” he said.
He called out Comer and Jim Jordan by name, accusing them of “distorting the facts” and of lying about “every aspect of my personal and professional life.”
“No matter how many times it is debunked, they continue to insist that my father’s support of Ukraine against Russia is a result of a nonexistent bribe. They displayed naked photos of me during an Oversight hearing. And they’ve taken the light of my dad’s love for me and presented it as darkness. They have no shame,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after Biden’s remarks, Jordan said they were “disappointed” that he did not appear for his deposition. He also continued to defend the committee’s stance on a closed deposition, arguing it’s the best way to get the information they’re looking for.
“To do it in an open format now, you’re gonna get filibusters. You’re gonna get speeches. You’re gonna get all kinds of things,” he said. “What we want is the facts.”