House GOP allege 'conspiracy to obstruct' Congress by President Biden and son Hunter in defiance of deposition subpoena

 December 28, 2023

President Joe Biden's White House, along with family members like his son Hunter, have been less than fully cooperative with House Republicans and their ongoing impeachment inquiry and related probe of alleged Biden family corruption and influence-peddling.

That has led some House Republicans to consider charging President Biden with obstruction of Congress as an impeachable offense, according to Axios.

The obstruction charge would be specifically related to the president's apparent involvement in Hunter Biden's deliberate defiance of a lawful subpoena to testify before a congressional committee in a closed-door deposition earlier this month.

Hunter defied lawful congressional subpoenas

Hunter Biden had been subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee to testify in a deposition on Dec. 13 but failed to appear and instead held a defiant press conference, albeit without taking any questions, in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

Later that same day, during the White House press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged multiple questions about whether President Biden thought it was okay for individual citizens, including his son, to deliberately defy lawful congressional subpoenas, and instead repeatedly directed such questions to Hunter's attorneys as she fell back on prepared talking points.

Asked at one point if the president had watched his son's statement in front of the Capitol, Jean-Pierre did, however, acknowledge that "the President was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say."

New potential charge added to Biden impeachment inquiry

Now two weeks later, in addition to the consideration of a contempt of Congress charge against Hunter Biden, it was announced that the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees, led respectively by Chairmen James Comer (R-KY) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), was also looking at possible obstruction of Congress charges against President Biden.

In a letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel, the chairmen wrote, "In light of an official statement from the White House that President Biden was aware in advance that his son, Hunter Biden, would knowingly defy two congressional subpoenas, we are compelled to examine as part of our impeachment inquiry whether the President engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct a proceeding of Congress."

The chairmen noted the press secretary's remark about the president's familiarity with his son's defiance and her refusal to provide more details but pointed out that "Jean-Pierre’s statement suggests that the President had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two
congressional subpoenas."

The lawmakers cited 18 U.S.C. § 1505, which states that "Whoever corruptly ... obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had ... or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress" is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison.

They also cited 18 U.S.C. § 2(a), which states that "Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal."

Did the president corruptly conspire with his son to defy congressional subpoenas?

"In light of Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement, we are compelled to examine the involvement of the President in his son’s scheme to defy the Committees’ subpoenas," the Republican chairmen wrote. "The Committees have accumulated substantial evidence that Hunter Biden’s business endeavors have improperly included his father, and the President has made false claims about his knowledge and involvement in these schemes."

"In light of this evidence, the fact that the President had advanced awareness that Mr. Biden would defy the Committees’ subpoenas raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the Committees’ proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the Committees’ subpoenas," they continued. "Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense."

The letter concluded by asking the White House counsel to turn over all relevant "documents and communications" between the president's office and his son or son's attorneys about Hunter's subpoenaed deposition as well as about a now seemingly provably false statement issued by the president about his son's business dealings just a week before that scheduled deposition.

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