Hunter Biden declines public hearing for House GOP impeachment inquiry

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Hunter Biden will not attend a March 20 public hearing with the House Oversight Committee, skipping what would have been a high-profile hearing for House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, notified Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday that the president’s son will not attend the hearing in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.

Hunter Biden, Lowell noted, had a “scheduling conflict” because he had to be in California for a court hearing the day after the hearing. But, Lowell added, that is the “least of the issues,” then delivering a blistering rebuke of the GOP’s investigation into President Joe Biden.

“Your blatant planned-for-media event is not a proper proceeding but an obvious attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass after the game has ended,” he wrote.

Comer had invited Hunter Biden to a public hearing earlier this month, after an hourslong closed-door deposition. Hunter Biden and his legal team had indicated last year that he wanted a public hearing in lieu of the private interview — citing fears that his words might be taken out of context by GOP investigators — but later caved to the demand to do it behind closed doors after Republicans threatened to hold him in contempt.

In addition to Hunter Biden, Comer invited three of his former business associates — Devon Archer, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis — to testify at the March 20 hearing. Comer indicated on Tuesday that the other witnesses had agreed to participate in the hearing.

Comer said in a statement that “next week’s hearing with Hunter Biden and his associates is moving forward and we fully expect Hunter Biden to participate.”

“The House Oversight Committee has called Hunter Biden’s bluff. Hunter Biden for months stated he wanted a public hearing, but now that one has been offered, alongside his business associates that he worked with for years, he is refusing to come,” he added.

Hunter Biden was viewed as a top witness in the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into the president. That inquiry has largely focused on the business deals of Hunter Biden and other family members, as investigators have struggled to find a clear link between Joe Biden’s actions as president or vice president and those financial arrangements.

Republicans have increasingly acknowledged that they are unlikely to get the votes to ultimately impeach Biden. Lowell, in his letter, argued that the invitation was an “attempt to resuscitate your Conference’s moribund inquiry with a made-for-right-wing-media, circus act.”

Lowell did say, however, that Hunter Biden would consider attending the hearing if Comer schedules a hearing with former President Donald Trump’s family members, who also faced accusations of using their father’s political office to benefit their businesses.

“If you are serious about pursuing this oversight purpose in a legitimate and bi-partisan fashion, you would hold a hearing with relatives of former President Trump about whom you indicated you ‘would ask.’ If you do, Mr. Biden would consider an invitation for that event,” he said.

A person familiar with the offer said that if Comer schedules “a legitimate hearing that includes Jared Kushner, Hunter will be there.”

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