House Republicans call Hunter Biden and business associates to testify in public Biden impeachment hearing

The president’s son was invited to a hearing titled ‘Influence Peddling: Examining Joe Biden’s Abuse of Public Office’

Kelly Rissman,Eric Garcia
Thursday 07 March 2024 01:31 GMT
James Comer gets into testy exchange with reporter about lack of evidence in Biden probe

The Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee has invited Hunter Biden and a handful of his associates to testify at a public hearing as part of its flailing investigation into Joe Biden.

The committee is investigating allegations that the president was involved in his son’s business dealings and used his political influence to enrich his family – a claim central to the Republican impeachment inquiry into the president.

The probe, however, has so far turned up little evidence to support the claims.

Now, Oversight Committee Chair James Comer has announced that he extended an invite to the president’s son to testify at a hearing titled “Influence Peddling: Examining Joe Biden’s Abuse of Public Office” on 20 March.

In the announcement on Wednesday, Mr Comer said he “fully” expects the president’s son to attend.

The committee also invited three of his business associates — Devon Archer, Tony Bobulinski, Jason Galanis — to testify.

All four have already testified behind closed doors, but the committee wrote that this hearing will “examine inconsistencies among the witnesses’ testimonies in order to get the truth for the American people”.

In a statement, Mr Comer wrote that, during his interview, “Hunter Biden confirmed evidence about Joe Biden’s involvement, yet his testimony conflicts with other witnesses’ testimonies”.

“The American people deserve the facts about the Biden family’s corrupt influence peddling and Oversight Republicans will work to ensure accountability and press for answers to inform legislative solutions to prevent this abuse of power,” he continued.

Hunter Biden, left, son of President Joe Biden, arrives with attorney Abbe Lowell at the O'Neill House Office Building for a closed-door deposition in February (AP)

Despite Mr Comer’s steadfast effort to probe the president, the committee has found little, if any, evidence so far to support the claims that he committed any wrongdoing.

Last month, The Independent reported that after conducting seven witness interviews, the committee turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. Each of the seven individuals said “they were not aware of any evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden or of President Biden being involved in, profiting from, or taking official actions in relation to family members’ business ventures,” according to a memorandum.

“Far from yielding any evidence of misconduct by President Biden, these efforts have served only to add to the mountain of evidence rebutting the Chairmen’s false claims about the President,” it read. The inquiry relies “on nothing but distorted and cherry-picked facts and long-debunked conspiracy theories”.

The president’s son had demanded in December that the committee hold a public hearing, saying that was the only forum in which he would testify as he feared Republicans wouldn’t characterise his testimony accurately.

However, he eventually sat for a closed-door six-hour deposition in February.

It’s not clear whether he or his associates have agreed to attend the public hearing.

When asked about the public hearing announcement, Jamie Raskin, the top-ranking Democrat on the committee, told The Independent, “I don’t understand the logic of what they’re doing. And lots of Republicans tell me that they think [the probe] is over.”

Mr Raskin also pointed out that the invitation was only sent by Rep Comer — not from Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. This is “interesting” because “they had agreed to do everything together,” the Maryland Democrat said. “I hope there’s no trouble in paradise here.”

Jasmine Crockett, another Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said that Republicans are trying to drag out the process: “Putting Hunter on the spot publicly, now more so so that they can continue their spectacle.”

She added that they have already “asked pertinent questions” behind closed doors, so a public hearing serves as an “opportunity for all their crazy, radical members to berate him and be disrespectful as he sits there, remaining very composed. It’s just red meat for the Fox News crowd>”

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