This past week, the leaders of the House Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee, Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), respectively, took significant steps towards ensuring accountability within their legislative purview.
They sent a stern letter to Hunter Biden, informing him of the legal consequences of not acquiescing to their request for testimonial evidence. The duo communicated to Mr. Biden’s legal counsel, Abbe Lowell, that their issued subpoena necessitated an appearance from his client, Robert ‘Hunter’ Biden. This legal summons sought a deposition from Biden, expected to take place on December 13, 2023.
The chairmen’s correspondence was a rebuttal to the earlier received letters from Hunter’s legal representation dated November 28, 2023, and December 6, 2023, which had raised objections to the initially issued subpoena for deposition.
The Chairman duo rendered those objections inadequate and reiterated the legal expectations of commitment from the subpoena recipient. They highlighted this through their clear words – ‘the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13.’
The letter conveyed more than a mere invitation: it represented an unambiguous ultimatum. Hunter Biden was warned that should he choose not to appear for his scheduled deposition, this would be perceived as a serious move. Their measure of response? Entry into contempt of Congress proceedings.
The diligent work of Chairman Comer and his investigations involving Biden has been publicly recognized. As documented by the DC Enquirer, Comer indeed issued official legal summonses to a list of individuals including Hunter Biden, James Biden, and Rob Walker asking them to present themselves before Congress in the preceding month.
In an effort to secure comprehensive testimony regarding their investigations, additional persons were called upon. The identified individuals included Sara Biden, Hallie Biden, Elizabeth Secundy, Melissa Cohen, and Tony Bobulinski. The individuals play various roles in Hunter Biden’s life, and we can only speculate about the potential value of their depositions in these investigations.
Following the formal issuance of the subpoena, Hunter Biden’s legal team reached out to the committee chairs. They expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the investigation undertaken by the House Republicans. Additionally, they intimated that they were preparing to take aggressive measures to counter the investigation.
In challenging the committee’s approach, the lawyers expressed concerns about the veracity of evidence gathered in closed-door sessions. They laid down a proposition to make the deposition public, essentially opening the proverbial door to let in light. Their letter read, ‘We therefore propose opening the door.’ Their intention was evident: if the matter indeed carried national importance, then the process should be laid bare for public view.
Advancing further in their letter, they expressed their objection to the prolongation of the investigation, both succinctly and emphatically. To them, it utilized valuable resources in a manner they deemed wasteful. They called for the investigation to be discontinued, labeling it ’empty’.
Nevertheless, they held out the possibility of Hunter Biden appearing for a public hearing on December 13, 2023, or on a mutually agreeable date within the month of December. They maintained their position stating that the depositions or interviews from the subpoenaed individuals would yield no harmful truth about their client, describing the accusations as being ‘baseless’.
In reply to the attorney’s letter, Rep. Comer put forth his perspective. According to him, Hunter Biden seemed to operate under rules that appeared unique to himself, as opposed to adhering to those universally binding. He conveyed that this would not be tolerated by House Republicans.
His interaction with Hunter Biden’s legal representation was clear and categoric. The subpoena, legally issued, required Hunter Biden to appear for deposition on December 13. He underlined their expectation of full compliance with the subpoena, but also acknowledged that Hunter Biden could avail of the option to testify publicly at a later date.
This back-and-forth marks yet another chapter in the push for accountability at high levels. It appears that House Republicans are committed to not letting Hunter Biden evade duly expected testimony. The suggested contempt of Congress proceedings, though a formidable tool, seems to be an option they’re willing to consider.
In one sense, this all boils down to whether Hunter Biden will be forced to partake in these proceedings or opt to do so voluntarily. The comparatively greater public scrutiny associated with such a contempt of Congress procedure might just be the catalyst that persuades him to do so preemptively.
The letter from Chairmen Comer and Jordan stands as a testament to their determination. An exemplar of legislative governance, it communicates a strong message: no one, regardless of their position or influence, is exempt from the rule of law or the demands of due process. It serves as a stark reminder of the obligations to comply with legal proceedings and the potential consequences of refusing to do so.