House Republicans reveal plan to subpoena Hunter Biden – again

House Republicans want to hold Mr Biden in contempt of Congress

Graig Graziosi
Monday 15 January 2024 18:08 GMT
Related video: Hunter Biden walks out of Congress hearing over contempt claim

House Republicans on the Judiciary and Oversight Committees are planning to bring new subpoenas for Hunter Biden after his lawyer said the president's son would only comply if a "proper" subpoena was issued.

Mr Biden has previously been subpoenaed and asked to participate in an impeachment inquiry aimed at his father, Joe Biden.

Congressmen James Comer and Jim Jordan, chairs of the Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee, respectively, sent the letter announcing the new legal filings to Mr Biden’s attorney, NBC News reported.

The Republican lawmakers alerted Mr Biden's lawyer to the forthcoming subpoenas in a letter on Sunday.

Even though both Mr Comer and Mr Jordan have agreed to send a new subpoena, they have insisted that the initial paperwork was "lawful and legally enforceable."

Mr Biden's legal team has advised him to only testify in public settings. That advisement may have been what drove Mr Biden to skip a closed-door deposition last month. He instead gave a short speech outside the US Capitol, but did not take any questions.

House GOP members have been frustrated by what the perceive as Mr Biden's willful defiance of subpoenas, and have moved to formally recommend he be held in contempt of Congress.

“His conduct toward the House has been contemptuous. His defiance of the subpoenas has been willful and flagrant,” Mr Comer and Mr Jordan wrote in their letter. “His demands to testify only in a public setting are, as we have explained, inconsistent with the practice of these Committees in this matter as well as the practice of congressional Committees in recent Congresses. While we welcome Mr. Biden’s public testimony at the appropriate time, he must appear for a deposition that conforms to the House Rules and the rules and practices of the Committees, just like every other witness before the Committees.”

After the contempt vote was passed, Mr Biden's attorneys said he would cooperate with a a proper subpoena.

“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition. We will accept such a subpoena on Mr. Biden’s behalf,” Abbe Lowell, Mr Biden's attorney, said in a letter to Mr Comer and Mr Jordan.

Mr Lowell said the original subpoenas were invalid because they had been issued before the House voted on whether or not to impeach Joe Biden.

Mr Biden will be issued a new subpoena sometime in the next few weeks, according to the letter.

“The Committees welcome Mr. Biden’s newfound willingness to testify in a deposition setting under subpoena,” the Republican lawmakers said in their letter. “Although the Committee’s subpoenas are lawful and remain legally enforceable, as an accommodation to Mr. Biden and at your request, we are prepared to issue subpoenas compelling Mr. Biden’s appearance at a deposition on a new date in the coming weeks.”

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