House Republicans have accused President Joe Biden of obstructing justice and engaging in a conspiracy to interfere with a congressional investigation, after his son Hunter Biden faviled to comply with two subpoenas from the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees.
The committees, led by Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), are conducting an impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged involvement in his son’s foreign business dealings, which they claim pose a national security risk and a conflict of interest, as per The Hill on Wednesday, December 27, 2023.
Hunter Biden, who has denied any wrongdoing, was supposed to appear for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 13, but instead he held a press conference outside the Capitol, where he insisted that his father had no financial interest or role in his businesses.
The House Republicans said they were compelled to examine whether the president knew in advance that his son would defy the subpoenas, and whether he tried to influence or dissuade him from cooperating with the investigation.
They cited a statement from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said on the day of the scheduled deposition that the president was “certainly familiar” with what his son was going to say, and that he spoke “from the heart”.
They also referred to a Dec. 6 statement from the president, who dismissed the allegations against him and his family as “a bunch of lies”.
They said these statements suggested that the president was aware of and endorsed his son’s non-compliance, and that this could amount to “an impeachable offense”.
They demanded that the White House produce by Jan. 10 all documents and communications related to the deposition of Hunter Biden and the president’s statement about his family’s business associates.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it has previously defended the president’s integrity and denied any obstruction of the congressional probe.
It has also pointed out that several Biden administration officials have testified before the committees, and that the president has cooperated with other investigations into his son’s affairs.
The House Republicans have vowed to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for his refusal to appear for the deposition, and they have also subpoenaed several of his former business partners and associates.
One of them, Devon Archer, has testified that he and Hunter Biden met with some of their foreign clients at a 2014 dinner in Washington, D.C., where the president also briefly joined them and exchanged pleasantries, but did not discuss any business matters.
The House Republicans have disputed this account, and have accused the president of lying about his interactions with his son’s foreign business partners.
They have also claimed that Hunter Biden’s business activities in countries such as China, Ukraine, and Russia exposed him and his father to foreign influence and blackmail.
The president and his son have rejected these claims, and have said that they have always acted ethically and in accordance with the law.