The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees subpoenaed Hunter Biden to give closed-door testimony on Wednesday, December 13. However, when the day arrived, the president’s son not only defied the subpoena but also held a press conference outside of the Capitol to slam the House Republicans and insist that he would only testify in a public hearing, the Associated Press reported.
In his press conference, coordinated by California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, the defiant Biden claimed that Republicans would use the closed-door testimony to selectively leak and manipulate the interview.
He claimed that Republicans wanted a closed-door interview so the American people could not “see their tactics” or “hear what I have to say.”
In his statement, Biden told reporters that there was no evidence supporting the Republicans’ allegations that his father “was financially involved in my business.”
Following Biden’s press conference, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told reporters that he and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan would begin contempt of Congress proceedings against Hunter Biden for defying the subpoena, adding, “He just got into more trouble today.”
Adding to the trouble for both Hunter and the President was Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s admission during a press briefing later that day.
Jean-Pierre acknowledged that the president was familiar with Hunter’s plans to defy a congressional subpoena, leading some to suggest that this could be considered Biden abetting a criminal act.
As George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out in a column, the Oversight and Judiciary Committees both have independent authority to issue a subpoena and by defying the subpoena and holding a press conference outside of the Capitol, Hunter and his legal team “committed another unforced error” that “could prove costly.”
Turley also noted Jean-Pierre’s admission, describing it as “a breathtaking mistake” since she was acknowledging that the president spoke to his son “about committing a potentially criminal act of contempt.”