Hunter Biden made a brief appearance at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday as House Republicans began the process of impeaching the president's son. In criminal contempt of Congress for not complying with a congressional subpoena for a closed-door hearing last month.
Both the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees, which subpoenaed the president's son for testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, held separate signs of impeachment. Hunter Biden walked through the halls of Congress with his lawyers outside an oversight committee hearing, creating a tense scene inside and outside the committee room as lawmakers debated what to do.
Hunter Biden sat for about 10 minutes before walking into the committee room and leaving.
“You are the epitome of white privilege,” said GOP Rep. Nancy Mays of South Carolina. “Coming into the Oversight Committee, spitting in our faces, ignoring a congressional subpoena for impeachment. What are you afraid of? You have no balls.
The allegations at the center of the Republican-led investigation stem from this Unproven claims The president was involved in or financially benefited from his son's foreign business dealings, making the president's son a key witness in their investigation.
Hunter's appearance was reminiscent of how he had approached the subpoena last month. Instead of sitting for his confession, Hunter Biden held a news conference Outside the Capitol, he has said he will only testify in a public setting. House Republicans have said they are open to holding a public hearing with the president's son, but only after he sits down for a private interview. After the younger Biden failed to appear for his deposition, House Oversight Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan issued a joint statement announcing the initiation of contempt proceedings.
In another boardroom, Jordan presented at a meeting of the Judiciary Committee.
“Instead of coming before us and answering questions about other similar cases of the Biden family trading money for influence, Hunter Biden held a press conference a few hundred yards from here. In public but after he finished his statement, he abruptly left without taking any questions from the press,” Jordan said. said.
“We have no choice but to hold Mr. Biden in contempt,” he added.
At the oversight hearing, Democratic Representative Jared Moskowitz of Florida responded to Mays' taunt about the president's son by saying, “If that lady wants to hear from Hunter Biden, we can hear from him right now.”
Mays shot back: “I think Hunter Biden should be arrested right now and go straight to jail.”
As GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia began to speak, Hunter Biden and his attorney left the room.
“I think it's clear and obvious to everyone watching this hearing today that Hunter Biden is afraid of strong, conservative, Republican women, because he couldn't face my words when I was about to talk to him,” Green said.
Arizona's GOP representative watched as all the members interrupted each other. Andy Biggs pleaded with his colleagues not to “act like nimrods”.
Comer, a Kentucky Republican, opened the hearing defending his committee's subpoena for a closed-door filing with the president's son, saying, “We're not going to give Hunter Biden special treatment because of his last name. All Americans should be treated equally under the law.
The top Democrat on the panel is Rep. Maryland. Jamie Raskin highlights the hypocrisy of many Republicans, including Jordan, who have avoided congressional subpoenas and are still trying to discredit Hunter Biden. Raskin said Hunter has “strangely decided to obstruct his own investigation” by refusing to accept an offer to appear at Biden's public hearing.
“The chairman refused to take 'yes' to Hunter Biden's answer,” Raskin said before being interrupted by Republicans.
The pair's markups on Wednesday began a lengthy process and underscored how difficult the Republican effort to get testimony from the president's son will be. If a contempt motion passes out of committee, it is sent to the full House for a contempt vote.
If the House floor vote ultimately succeeds, the Justice Department, which is already pursuing two criminal cases against the president's son, will have to decide whether to prosecute the president's son for evading a congressional subpoena.
Hunter Biden is scheduled to be on the West Coast by Thursday. He is appearing in federal court in Los Angeles in his criminal tax case, where he faces nine criminal charges.
White House Press Secretary for Oversight and Investigations Ian Sams issued a statement ahead of the committee meetings, rejecting “baseless attacks” against members of the president's family and calling on Republican lawmakers to focus on other responsibilities in Congress.
“Instead of playing politics, they should be doing their jobs, funding the government and border security, and focusing on solutions that benefit the American people,” Sams said.
Ahead of the markup, Jordan told CNN he expects the contempt motion to pass, but it's unclear when it will come to the stage or how quickly the recommendation will move through the Justice Department if it does.
“Whenever Speaker Johnson wants to put it on the floor, for a floor vote, it's up to Merrick Garland and Mr. Graves,” Jordan told CNN.
As Congress returns from its winter recess this week, House Republicans are ramping up their investigations at a busy time on Capitol Hill. At the same time Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee is moving forward with an impeachment hearing on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorgas.
Congress is days away from a government funding deadline, but Sams stressed that House Republicans are focused on their investigations.
“House Republicans are less than ten days away from triggering a partial government shutdown that many of its far-right members are rooting for, but instead of working full-time to avoid it, they're wasting time on political stunts,” Sams said. Report. “These baseless attacks on the president's cabinet and family members will not improve the everyday lives of Americans, strengthen our border security, or improve the economy; All they can do is help hard-line House Republicans sign up Fox and Newsmax to try to distract from their administration's impotence.
As Biden moves through the impeachment process, with many Republicans still skeptical of impeaching the president, senior Republicans now believe Targeting Mayorkas will be easy The border crisis becomes a defining campaign issue.
“There are a lot of competing allegations, so it's hard to say who's leading,” Rep. Tony Gonzalez, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN.
“I think a lot of members here have lost faith in DHS,” the Texas Republican added.
Jordan said Republicans will “find out” whether the House can pursue two impeachments simultaneously, but said he believes there is “strong, compelling evidence for both.”
This story and title have been updated to reflect additional developments.
CNN's Christine Wilson contributed to this report.