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Hunter Biden willing to testify before House Oversight Committee in public hearing, lawyer says

Hunter Biden offers to testify to House panel
Hunter Biden offers to testify before House Oversight Committee 03:20

Washington — Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden, is willing to be interviewed by lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee in public as part of its impeachment inquiry into the president, his lawyer said in a letter to the panel Tuesday.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's attorney, told Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky, that the president's son will answer "any pertinent and relevant questions" lawmakers might have, but said his questioning must take place at a public committee hearing.

"A public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits, or one-sided press statements," Lowell said. "Your empty investigation has gone on too long wasting too many better-used resources. It should come to an end."

Lowell said Hunter Biden is willing to testify on Dec. 13 or on another date next month that can be arranged.

"We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public," he wrote. "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."

The move by Hunter Biden to agree to answer questions from congressional investigators in public comes after House Republicans subpoenaed him and James Biden, the president's brother, to appear for depositions earlier this month. Congressional investigators have also requested other members of the Biden family appear before lawmakers for transcribed interviews, and has issued subpoenas to Hunter Biden's former business associates. The demands marked another escalation in the House GOP's efforts to determine whether Mr. Biden committed impeachable offenses. 

Comer quickly rejected Hunter Biden's offer on Tuesday, saying he must appear for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 13 while leaving open the possibility of public testimony in the future.

"Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else. That won't stand with House Republicans," Comer said in a statement. "Our lawfully issued subpoena to Hunter Biden requires him to appear for a deposition on December 13. We expect full cooperation with our subpoena for a deposition but also agree that Hunter Biden should have opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date."

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight panel, criticized Comer for spurning Hunter Biden's willingness to answer questions in a public setting and said his resistance further demonstrates that Republicans lack evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden.

"What an epic humiliation for our colleagues and what a frank confession that they are simply not interested in the facts and have no confidence in their own case or the ability of their own members to pursue it," he said in a statement.

The GOP leaders of the Oversight and Judiciary Committees, who are leading the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden, claimed Hunter Biden was "actively involved in the web connecting the Biden family to foreign money," and said he has "personal knowledge" of whether the president has been involved in his family members' business dealings.

Though House Republicans have claimed that the president profited off his son's overseas work, they have yet to uncover direct evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced in September that he directed relevant House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden, and his successor, Speaker Mike Johnson, has continued to support the probe. Johnson said earlier this month that the next step is to question key witnesses under oath to "fill gaps in the record."

House Republicans held their first and only hearing of their impeachment inquiry in September, during which they sought to outline the basis for their probe of the president. But one of the GOP's witnesses, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said he did not believe the evidence collected by Republicans would support articles of impeachment.

Matthew Mosk contributed to this report.

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