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House GOP pauses plans to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress

Republicans now trying to schedule a hearing for Joe Biden’s son to appear and testify

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 17 January 2024 20:57 GMT
Hunter Biden walks out of Congress hearing over contempt claim

House Republicans have paused their attempts to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress as they try to schedule the president’s son to appear and testify.

Mr Biden’s lawyers and the House Judiciary and Oversight committees have restarted conversations about a date when that might happen, according to Politico.

It comes a week after the Republican-led committees voted to recommend that Mr Biden be held in contempt by the full House for defying a subpoena in the GOP impeachment efforts of his father.

Hunter Biden has offered to testify in public, which has so far been rejected by Republicans, but has refused to take part in any behind-closed-doors hearings.

A spokesperson for the Oversight Committee GOP told Politico that they were working with Mr Biden’s lawyers on a date for him to appear.

“Negotiations are ongoing this afternoon, and in conjunction with the disruption to member travel and canceling votes, the House Rules Committee isn’t considering the contempt resolution today to give the attorneys additional time to reach an agreement,” said the spokesperson.

An oversight meeting earlier this month descended into farce when Hunter Biden and his lawyers showed and offered to testify – if it was in public – up just as Republican members were castigating him for not being willing to show up and testify. Mr Biden and his team walked out just as Marjorie Taylor Greene got up to speak.

Republicans have focused on business deals involving Hunter Biden but have so far failed to provide any evidence that Joe Biden did anything as vice president or president to benefit his family through those business dealings. Meanwhile, Democratic members of Congress have published evidence showing that Donald Trump’s hotel properties earned more than $7m from foreign governments, mostly from China, during his presidency. Mr Trump has declined to deny those claims. The Republican-led committees have so far refrained from opening investigations into Mr Trump and his family’s business dealings during his time in the White House.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun.

His lawyers have said that he did not break the law despite struggling with addiction to crack cocaine during the same period of 2018. Mr Biden has since said he has stopped using drugs.

He also pleaded not guilty to federal tax charges in Los Angeles last week, with prosecutors in California alleging he took part “in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4m in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019”.

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