Hunter Biden agrees to deposition with lawmakers after resisting subpoena in impeachment probe

The president's son had castigated the inquiry as "illegitimate."

January 18, 2024, 6:10 PM

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden will sit for a closed-door deposition with the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Feb. 28, the committee chairmen said on Thursday, after weeks of back and forth with the younger Biden, who faced the threat of being held in contempt of Congress.

"[Hunter Biden's] deposition will come after several interviews with Biden family members and associates. We look forward to Hunter Biden’s testimony," James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the oversight and judiciary chairs, said in a statement.

Speaking with reporters later Thursday, Comer said, "He's going to be able to come in now and sit down and answer questions in a substantive, orderly manner."

"We have a lot of questions," Comer said.

Members from the three committees charged with leading the impeachment inquiry -- judiciary, oversight and ways and means -- will be able to attend and ask questions, he said.

The president's son had been subpoenaed to sit for a closed-door deposition late last year in the Republican-led impeachment inquiry into the president but said he would testify only in a public forum and previously castigated the probe as "illegitimate."

A source familiar with negotiations on the deposition said that Hunter Biden was concerned any private comments to lawmakers could be selectively released.

Instead of sitting for a closed-door interview on Dec. 13, as required by his subpoena, Hunter Biden held a defiant news conference just outside the U.S. Capitol.

"Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say. What are they afraid of? I am here," he said then.

He faced a contempt vote for his refusal and, had he been held in contempt, he could have been prosecuted by the Department of Justice. But his agreement to testify will postpone and potentially render moot the pending contempt vote.

Congressional Republicans have said that they are open to public testimony at an unspecified "future date" but "need not and will not accede to Mr. Biden's demand for special treatment with respect to how he provides testimony."

Hunter Biden attends the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled "Resolution Recommending That The House Of Representatives Find Robert Hunter Biden In Contempt Of Congress," Jan. 10, 2024.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The Biden impeachment inquiry, launched unilaterally by now-ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy and then formalized months later by the House in a party-line vote, has yet to yield any concrete evidence to support GOP claims that Joe Biden participated in and profited from his son and family's foreign business dealings.

The president has denied any wrongdoing.

A House Oversight Committee report recommending a contempt charge against Hunter Biden stated that his testimony was "necessary" to determine whether there are "sufficient grounds" for impeachment of the president. Comer said Thursday that "we're very concerned that the president of the United States could be compromised."

On Jan. 10, Hunter Biden made a surprise appearance at a contempt hearing being held by the House Oversight Committee -- a move that sparked outrage from Republicans.

"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?" South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace said just after he entered the room. She went on to say the younger Biden should be arrested and go "straight to jail."

Hunter Biden's attorney Abbe Lowell accompanied him to the hearing and spoke to the press outside, though Hunter Biden ignored shouted questions.

"Hunter Biden was and is a private citizen. Despite this, Republicans have sought to use him as a surrogate to attack his father," Lowell said.

He accused Republicans of caring "little about the truth" and trying to "hold someone in contempt who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions."

In a letter sent Friday morning to Comer and Jordan, Lowell argued the subpoenas and moves to find Hunter Biden in contempt suffer from "impropriety and legal invalidity."

Comer pushed back on Hunter Biden's resistance at Wednesday's hearing.

"We will not provide Hunter Biden special treatment because of his last name. All Americans must be treated equally under the law, and that includes the Bidens," he said.

ABC News' Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.

Related Topics