House turns down Hunter Biden's push for public hearing

December 4, 2023

The House Oversight Committee has formally turned down Hunter Biden's request to make his testimony a public hearing.

Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) responded in a letter to the first son responding to his lawyer's plan to garner public support.

The statement

“We appreciate your confirmation that Mr. Biden is available and willing to testify on December 13,” the letter to Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell stated.

“This testimony will occur initially in a deposition setting, as has been the consistent practice of Committees of the House of Representatives in recent Congresses—during both Republican and Democrat majorities—as well as these Committees during this inquiry. We also appreciate your confirmation that Mr. Biden is willing to testify at a public hearing. We look forward to his testimony in a hearing at the appropriate time,” they added.

The background

"In the previous letter, Biden's lawyer said the president's son was opposed to a deposition mandated by House Republicans' subpoenas against him and James Biden, the president's brother, over fears that the committee will use the closed-door sessions 'to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public,'" Axios reported.

"A public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits, or one-sided press statements," the lawyer stated in the letter.

Democrats respond

"Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) blasted his Republican colleagues for opposing Hunter Biden’s offer to testify at an open hearing, calling the move an 'epic humiliation' in a statement published Tuesday," USA Today reported.

"After Hunter Biden received a House subpoena on Nov. 8 asking him to testify at a closed-door deposition about his overseas business deals when his father served as vice president. Biden’s lawyer proposed that he testify at an open hearing to prevent a 'cloaked, one-sided process,'" it noted.

The testimony is currently scheduled for Dec. 13, giving both sides less than two weeks before Hunter Biden is set to appear before the committee.

The battle over public access is likely to continue until the final moment, with Biden's lawyers expected to fight back yet again over the committee's request.

The testimony is part of the larger effort by Republicans to move forward with an impeachment inquiry against the president, with some expecting the move will formally occur within the next two weeks.

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