Hunter Biden Appears on Capitol Hill as House G.O.P. Readies Contempt Vote

Hunter Biden, the president’s son, surprised Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday morning when he briefly appeared in the hearing room as they were poised to vote to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to sit for a private deposition.

The arrival of the younger Mr. Biden, who has repeatedly offered to testify publicly in the impeachment inquiry into President Biden but refused to be interviewed behind closed doors, prompted chaos in the proceedings as Democrats and Republicans bickered about whether to allow him to be heard.

The exchange pitted some of the staunchest supporters of former President Donald J. Trump against the son of his successor and chief political rival, underscoring the bitter polarization that is driving the impeachment investigation.

Democrats on the panel urged the Republicans who control it to let Mr. Biden testify right then and there, but G.O.P. lawmakers insisted he must submit to a closed-door deposition as ordered by their subpoena.

As Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, was beginning to speak against the younger Mr. Biden, he and his entourage left the room just moments after arriving, which prompted Ms. Greene to label him a “coward.”

“Hunter Biden is terrified of strong conservative Republican women because he can’t even face my words,” said Ms. Greene, who had displayed nude photos of Mr. Biden during a previous committee hearing.

Representative Robert Garcia, Democrat of California, called her actions “shameful” and argued that Mr. Biden was justified in leaving as she spoke.

“She is the person that showed nude photos of Hunter Biden in this committee room,” he said.

The spectacle was the younger Mr. Biden’s latest attempt to undercut the Republicans’ case that he has failed to comply with their subpoena, by demonstrating that he was making himself available to testify publicly. He did not address the panel on Wednesday, but has previously said that he does not want to be interviewed behind closed doors because he fears Republicans would selectively leak his testimony in an effort to misrepresent it.

The younger Mr. Biden is under federal indictment facing accusations of tax crimes related to his overseas business interests. Republicans are hunting for evidence that his father was inappropriately involved in his foreign business dealings, and are working to build a case for charging the president with bribery and corruption, but have so far turned up no proof of either.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill on the day Republicans hoped to depose him last month, Hunter Biden acknowledged his personal failings, described in scandalous detail in the indictment against him, but said they had nothing to do with his father and that his father had no financial involvement in his business.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Source link

Leave a comment