Hunter Biden will sit for a deposition before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Feb. 28, committee chairmen James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced on Thursday, ending weeks of contentious back and forth between the president’s son’s legal team and House Republicans.
“His deposition will come after several interviews with Biden family members and associates,” the two Republicans said in a short statement. “We look forward to Hunter Biden’s testimony.”
The scheduled deposition, as part of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Biden, comes just a week after the two House committees voted to recommend holding the younger Biden in contempt of Congress. Hunter Biden had defied a congressional subpoena that requested he appear for a closed-door deposition and instead offered to appear for public testimony or a public deposition.
“We’ve given him another opportunity,” Comer said Thursday after the announcement was made.
A person close to Biden and familiar with the discussion between committee staff and Biden’s attorneys, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, told The Washington Post that Biden’s concern “has always been a pattern by Republicans to cherry-pick closed-door sessions.’
”That is the reason Hunter wanted and then accepted Comer’s offer of appearing at a public hearing,” the person said.
It was not immediately clear whether the deposition next month would be conducted in public, as Biden’s team had demanded in recent weeks, or in private with a transcript released afterward, the format upon which House Republicans have continued to insist.
“His team has been in discussion with Committee staff regarding a way for Hunter to provide the facts in a way that addresses his concern,” the person added.
The impeachment inquiry centers on whether President Biden benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings. But House Republicans so far have not released any direct evidence that the president benefited from his son’s financial involvement in Ukraine or elsewhere.
“I really don’t even know what the investigation is about anymore,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the oversight committee’s ranking member. “It’s chaos.”
Last week, Republican lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee rejected Biden’s request for public testimony and advanced a contempt resolution. GOP lawmakers on the Oversight Committee followed suit hours later, voting along party lines after a contentious session where the president’s son made a surprise appearance — essentially daring lawmakers to invite him to publicly testify on the spot.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Kevin Morris, a friend and benefactor of Hunter Biden’s, appeared for a transcribed interview before the committees.
In their statement, Comer and Jordan said they have also scheduled depositions with other Hunter Biden associates including Eric Schwerin and Tony Bobulinski. Additional witnesses, they added, will be announced at a later time. The two Republicans said they are still working with James Biden’s attorney to schedule his appearance. The president’s brother is also involved in the investigation.