No more ‘special treatment:’ Comer vows to go to court if Hunter Biden blows off deposition
House Oversight Committee Chairman signals more aggressive posture as impeachment inquiry escalates.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer is putting Hunter Biden on notice: show up for his impeachment inquiry deposition on Dec. 13 or be prepared to go to court.
“Hunter Biden has received special treatment his entire life,” Comer told the Just the News, No Noise television show Friday night. “Every government agency that should have caught the crimes the Bidens have been committed for years were told to stand down. And they think they can bully the Oversight Committee and set the rules. And that's not going to happen.
“We're going to treat this investigation like every congressional investigation in recent memory has been treated: you come in for a deposition, then you do the public hearing. All of our depositions are transparent. We released the transcripts,” Comer added. “….He is the key witness to all of the Biden crimes. So the subpoena called for him to show up in this office on Dec. 13 for a deposition. I expect to see Hunter Biden in this office for a deposition.”
Asked if he was prepared to go to court if the first son does not show up, Comer answered. “Absolutely.” Comer said he met with House leadership Friday and got assurances the GOP conference will vote to formally approve the impeachment inquiry, strengthening his committee’s hand to go to court to compel compliance with the subpoenas sent to Hunter Biden and others.
“I suspect that the House of Representatives will formally vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry. This is the exact same process that (former Speaker Nancy) Pelosi took during her impeachment,” he explained. “And they're not going to be able to have a leg to stand on in court if they try to defy our subpoenas.”
Hunter Biden’s team is signaling he won’t appear for a closed-door interview like other witnesses, instead offering to move directly to public testimony. Comer formally rejected that offer in a letter Friday afternoon to Abbe Lowell, the chief lawyer for the president’s son.
"Mr. Biden’s attempt to avoid sitting for a deposition pursuant to the terms of the subpoenas – by offering instead to testify at a public hearing – amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the Committees," Comer wrote Lowell in a letter that was co-signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan..
"Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation. The subpoenas Mr. Biden has received compel him to appear before the Committees for a deposition; they are not mere suggestions open to Mr. Biden’s interpretation or preference."
The letter noted that transcribed interviews and depositions are the normal first step in congressional investigations and that other witnesses in President Joe Biden's impeachment inquiry have complied, including former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer.
The Comer-Jordan letter also included a blistering retort to a volley of recent insults and allegations Hunter Biden’s team has lobbed at congressional investigators and their key witnesses, including IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler who revealed how prosecutors declined to pursue certain serious charges against the first son.
The two chairmen accused Lowell of a "coordinated campaign to discredit the allegations against Mr. Biden, distort the truth, and attack the integrity of witnesses."
"Your attempts to now bully and intimidate the Committees will not stand," the letter declared.
You can read the full letter here.
In the interview, Comer made clear that Hunter Biden’s deposition is likely to be extensive. “We have tens of thousands of pages of bank statements, we have thousands of pages of emails, we have hundreds of specific questions about specific transactions and specific meetings that the Bidens had with our enemies around the world where they received millions of dollars,” he said.
Lowell has called the nearly year-long GOP investigation into his client a “fishing expedition,” but offered for Hunter Biden to appear publicly rather than behind closed doors.
Comer said while they are prepared to fight Hunter Biden should he declined the deposition, his committee has received extensive cooperation from banks that handled the Bidens’ foreign business transactions, including a report released this week that raised money laundering and influence peddling concerns about a $5 million loan the family got in 2017 from a Chinese firm.
“The banks did what they were supposed to do,” Comer said. “And that's why the banks have cooperated with it. Yeah, we've been obstructed at every turn. We've been obstructed by the government agencies. We've been obstructed by the Biden legal team.
“One group that hasn't obstructed us is the banks,” he added. “Because the banks want us to have it. The banks are frustrated that this family's been treated differently.”