Hunter Biden willing to testify
Hunter Biden is prepared to publicly testify before the Republican-run committee investigating his father’s alleged influence-peddling, his lawyer wrote in a letter on Tuesday. The GOP welcomed the letter, but insisted on holding a private hearing with the president’s son.
In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, lawyer Abbe Lowell said that Hunter Biden is prepared to “answer any pertinent and relevant question you or your colleagues might have” in a public hearing on December 13, or an alternate date in December.
“We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door. If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let the light shine on these proceedings,” Lowell wrote, explaining why the president’s son would only testify in a public hearing.
Classified information usually cannot be discussed in such a public hearing.
The committee is currently conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and his alleged involvement in his son’s foreign business dealings. Republicans claim that Hunter Biden charged foreign clients tens of millions of dollars for meetings with his father, during the latter’s time as vice president of the US.
The president denies any knowledge of or involvement in Hunter’s business affairs, and Lowell claimed in his letter that Comer’s committee “has been working for almost a year – without success – to tie our client’s business activities to his father.”
However, Joe Biden has been photographed with several of his son’s clients, and Hunter’s former business partner – Devon Archer – told the committee in July that Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, was given to him solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy. Archer also alleged that Joe Biden dined multiple times with Hunter’s clients, and that Hunter received money transfers immediately after at least two of these meetings.
Earlier this year, the Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee released evidence suggesting that Biden and his family received around $20 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in Ukraine, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees.
The committee sent a subpoena to Hunter earlier this month, as well as to James Biden, the president’s brother. According to the GOP, James Biden wrote a $40,000 check to Joe Biden out of a larger sum paid to Hunter by a Chinese energy firm in 2017.
Responding to Lowell’s letter, Comer accused Hunter Biden of “attempting to play by his own rules.” The Kentucky Republican said that the subpoena requires Biden to appear for a private deposition, but that the president’s son would “have an opportunity to testify in a public setting at a later date.”