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12:10 p.m. ET, December 13, 2023

Top GOP investigators say they will initiate contempt proceedings against Hunter Biden

Rep. James Comer, second from left, speaks to the press in the Capitol on Wednesday.


House Oversight Chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan issued a joint statement saying they will start contempt proceedings against Hunter Biden for not appearing for his scheduled closed-door deposition on Wednesday.

“Hunter Biden today defied lawful subpoenas and we will now initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” the Republican lawmakers said in a statement.

Hunter Biden said while speaking outside of the Capitol earlier Wednesday that he would appear publicly instead.

“There is a process you have to follow. You have to file a report. So we will begin looking at that,” Jordan said to reporters about the prospect of holding Biden in contempt. 

“Look, when Congress asks you to come, you’re supposed to come and testify,” he added.

Comer reiterated that he still expects Biden to come for a closed-door deposition, and then he can appear at an open public hearing. 

“We expect to depose the president’s son, and then we’ll be more than happy to have a public hearing with him,” Comer said. 

Jordan said an open hearing is not sufficient.

“I mean, he was just across the way at the Capitol. You would think he could have come here and sat for questions. 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,” Jordan argued. 

“I don’t know anyone in more trouble than Hunter Biden, and he just got in more trouble today,” Comer added.

What Democrats are saying: House Oversight and Judiciary Democrats accused Comer and other Republicans of trying to “cherry-pick” Biden’s closed-door testimony.

“They wanted to conduct the deposition in a closed-door interview, so the public couldn’t see it and so they could continue to cherry-pick little pieces of evidence,” Oversight ranking member Jamie Raskin told reporters Wednesday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The chairman laid out himself the terms of what compliance looks like he said compliance with the subpoena means that you can show up either in private or in public, whichever you choose. And when his own option was chosen, he decided to reject it at the last minute.”

Democrats called on the chair to also release the transcripts of all the witness testimony in the investigation to be released.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee said this is a “nothing burger” and echoed the other Democrats assertions that the Republicans only want this deposition behind closed doors because they know the evidence isn’t there.

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