Hunter Biden: House committees recommend contempt hours after surprise appearance

WASHINGTON — Hunter Biden, the president’s son, made a surprise appearance Wednesday at a House committee hearing to consider whether to hold him in contempt of Congress.

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The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and Judiciary earlier issued a subpoena to Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into his father. They aimed to have him sit for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 13.

Biden held in contempt by committees

Update 4:59 p.m. EDT Jan. 10: Two House committees voted Wednesday to recommend holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for not submitting to a closed-door deposition, The Washington Post reported.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-14 along party lines to recommend that the full House refer the president’s son to the Justice Department for potential contempt charges, according to the newspaper.

Later, the House Oversight Committee issued a similar recommendation, also voting along party lines, the Post reported

Original report: Hunter Biden went to the Capitol on Wednesday, but declined to appear at a private hearing. Instead, he held a news conference outside the building and insisted that any questioning be done in public.

On Wednesday, he attended a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability alongside his lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

Republicans appeared to be surprised to see him, Bloomberg News reported.

“My first question is, who bribed Hunter Biden to be here today?” Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said during the hearing. “You’re the epitome of white privilege, coming into the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a congressional subpoena to be deposed. What are you afraid of?”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., asked the committee to vote Wednesday on having Biden testify publicly.

Biden left the hearing after a few minutes. Outside, Lowell told reporters that Biden would be willing to testify if asked on Wednesday. The attorney accused Republicans of trying to use his client to attack his father.

“The Republican chairs today then are commandeering an unprecedented resolution to hold someone in contempt who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions,” he said, according to The Hill. “The question there is, what are they afraid of?”

Lawmakers voted last month to formalize the Republican-led impeachment inquiry into the president, which is focused on whether he and his family engaged in corrupt business practices. President Biden has denied the allegations, with the White House calling the inquiry “illegitimate.”

It is unusual for a person facing a contempt resolution to sit through the committee’s debate, Bloomberg reported. If the committee votes to hold Biden in contempt, the resolution will next go to the full House for a floor vote on whether to ask the Justice Department to pursue the case, according to the news site.

Biden is facing criminal charges in Delaware, where faces federal gun charges, and California, where he is accused of tax offenses.

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