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Hunter Biden testifies behind closed doors as part of impeachment inquiry against his father

PoliticsHunter Biden testifies behind closed doors as part of impeachment inquiry against his father

Hunter Biden arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning for his highly-anticipated deposition as part of the impeachment inquiry against his father, President Biden.

The first son is expected to take questions from lawmakers and congressional investigators behind closed doors before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees.

The deposition was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Hunter Biden’s expected testimony comes after his uncle, President Biden’s younger brother James Biden, testified last week as part of the impeachment inquiry. James Biden testified that President Biden “has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest” in his business ventures. 

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

Hunter on Capitol Hill

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, departs a House Oversight Committee meeting on Capitol Hill Jan. 10, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

House Republicans have heard testimony from a number of the first son’s former business associates, like Tony Bobulinski, who testified before the committees earlier this month that Joe Biden was involved in the family’s business ventures. He also testified that he personally met with him. 

House Democrats and the White House have criticized the inquiry as baseless, but Republicans insist they have just scratched the surface of the investigation into Biden family businesses.

“The House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means Committees have unearthed a record of evidence revealing Joe Biden was ‘the brand’ his family sold to enrich the Bidens,” House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky, said in statement Tuesday. “Joe Biden knew of, participated in, and benefited from these schemes. Joe Biden attended dinners, spoke on speakerphone, showed up to meetings, and had coffee with his son’s foreign business associates. 

“In fact, we’ve documented how Joe Biden has met with nearly all of his son’s foreign business associates as they were collectively funneling millions to the Bidens. Our committees have the opportunity to depose Hunter Biden, a key witness in our impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, about this record of evidence. This deposition is not the conclusion of the impeachment inquiry. There are more subpoenas and witness interviews to come.” 

He added that the committee will continue to investigate to “determine whether articles of impeachment are warranted.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer

Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., arrives for the House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing, “Unsuitable Litigation: Oversight of Third-Party Litigation Funding” in Rayburn Building Sept. 13, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Days before Bobulinski’s testimony, another former business associate, Rob Walker, testified that Joe Biden met with the chairman of the Chinese energy firm CEFC that his brother and son did business with. 

After Walker’s testimony, the House Oversight Committee said it was able to “now confirm Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son.” 

Also last week, congressional investigators heard testimony from a former business associate of Hunter’s — Jason Galanis, who is serving a 14-year prison sentence. Galanis testified during a rare transcribed interview from an Alabama prison that Joe Biden was allegedly considering joining the board of a joint venture created by Hunter Biden and his business associates with ties to the Chinese Communist Party after he left the vice presidency.

Joe Biden’s involvement would bring “political access in the United States and around the world,” he claimed. 

JOE BIDEN ‘ENABLED’ FAMILY TO SELL ACCESS TO ‘DANGEROUS ADVERSARIES,’ TONY BOBULINSKI TESTIFIES

Hunter Biden was first subpoenaed to appear for a closed-door deposition in November. The deposition was slated for Dec. 13, but the first son defied the subpoena. Instead of appearing to testify, he held a press conference on Capitol Hill during which he defended himself and his father, saying the president “was not financially involved in my business.”

Ahead of his subpoenaed deposition, Hunter Biden had offered to testify in a public setting.

Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, rejected his request, noting that the first son would not have special treatment and pointing to the dozens of other witnesses who have appeared as compelled for their interviews and depositions. Comer and Jordan vowed to release the transcript of Hunter Biden’s deposition.

Hunter Biden on Capitol Hill

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Dec. 13, 2023. Hunter (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

But after he defied the subpoena, the committees in January passed resolutions to hold the first son in contempt of Congress for defying the congressional subpoena. Before those resolutions were able to be considered by the House Rules Committee and the full House, Hunter Biden’s attorneys offered to discuss scheduling a new deposition for the first son — something House Republicans were willing to do.

HUNTER BIDEN DEPOSITION SCHEDULED FOR NEXT MONTH AFTER RISK OF BEING HELD IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

The president’s son’s deposition comes after years of congressional investigations into his business dealings, beginning in September 2019 in the Senate. That investigation was led by senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Hunter Biden’s business dealings and foreign relationships came under heightened scrutiny in the fall of 2019 during the first impeachment of former President Trump.

Trump was impeached after a July 2019 phone call in which he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch investigations into the Biden family’s actions and business dealings in Ukraine, specifically Hunter Biden’s ventures with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and Joe Biden’s successful effort to have former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin ousted.

FLASHBACK: GRASSLEY, JOHNSON SHARE HUNTER BIDEN’S CHINA-LINKED BANK RECORDS WITH US ATTORNEY LEADING CRIMINAL PROBE

Hunter Biden was quietly under federal investigation, beginning in 2018, at the time of the call, a probe prompted by suspicious foreign transactions.

Joe and Hunter Biden

Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump’s request was regarded by Democrats as a quid pro quo because millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen. Democrats also said Trump was meddling in the 2020 presidential election by asking a foreign leader to look into a Democratic political opponent.

Republicans had been investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings, specifically with regard to Burisma Holdings. House Republicans, who were in the minority at the time, made several requests to subpoena Hunter Biden for testimony and documents related to the impeachment of Trump and his business dealings that fell at the center of the proceedings.

FLASHBACK: GOP-LED COMMITTEES RELEASE INTERIM REPORT ON HUNTER BIDEN, BURISMA PROBE

Biden has acknowledged that when he was vice president he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, and Hunter had a highly lucrative role on the board, receiving thousands of dollars per month. The vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S. aid at the time if Shokin was not fired.

Hunter Biden gets off plane with president

President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, step off Air Force One Feb. 4, 2023, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ … I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden recalled the conversation during an event for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018.

“Well, son of a b—-, he got fired,” Biden said during the event. “And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Biden allies maintain he pushed for Shokin’s firing when he was vice president due to concerns the Ukrainian prosecutor went easy on corruption, and they say that his firing, at the time, was the policy position of the U.S. and international community.

FLASHBACK: HUNTER BIDEN ‘TAX AFFAIRS’ UNDER FEDERAL INVESTIGATION; LINKS TO CHINA FUNDS EMERGE, SOURCES SAY

Now, as part of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans are investigating any involvement Joe Biden had in his son’s business dealings.

Last year, the federal investigation into Hunter Biden that began in 2018 also came under heightened scrutiny when two IRS whistleblowers claimed politics were influencing prosecutorial decisions throughout the years-long probe.

The Bidens

President Biden enters a store with his son, Hunter Biden, in Nantucket, Mass., Nov. 24, 2023. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

Those allegations sparked congressional investigations and, ultimately, the impeachment inquiry. They also put pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to give then-U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss special counsel authority.

WEISS SAYS HE ‘WASN’T GRANTED’ SPECIAL ATTORNEY AUTHORITY IN HUNTER BIDEN PROBE DESPITE REQUEST: TRANSCRIPT

Special counsel Weiss indicted the first son on federal gun charges in Delaware last year. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to those charges. His attorneys are attempting to have that case dismissed.

Also last year, Weiss charged Biden with nine federal tax charges, which break down to three felonies and six misdemeanors for $1.4 million in owed taxes that have since been paid.

Weiss charged Hunter Biden in December, alleging a “four-year scheme” in which the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports.

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Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to all charges.

His attorneys are also seeking to have that case dismissed.

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