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Two House committees vote to advance Hunter Biden contempt proceedings hours after surprise visit

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Two House committees vote to advance Hunter Biden contempt proceedings hours after surprise visit
A report suggesting a contempt of Congress resolution against Hunter Biden for not responding to a subpoena was approved by a pair of Republican-led House committees on Wednesday night, just hours after the president’s son made an unexpected visit to Capitol Hill.

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Next, the entire House will vote on the resolution on the floor. When that vote will take place is unclear.
Hunter Biden unexpectedly made a brief appearance on Wednesday morning, just as House Republicans were beginning their two committee sessions.

Separate markups of the contempt resolution were conducted by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, which subpoenaed the president’s son to testify as part of the investigation into President Joe Biden’s impeachment.

Hunter Biden stirred up controversy both inside and outside the Oversight committee chamber on Wednesday morning while legislators were debating what to do.

From her committee seat, GOP Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina told Hunter Biden, “You are the epitome of White privilege.” “entering the Oversight Committee, spitting in our faces, and refusing to comply with a deposition subpoena from Congress.” What fears do you have? You’re devoid of balls.
Before leaving, Biden and his attorneys took a seat and chatted for about ten minutes.

The president’s son is a key witness in the Republican-led inquiry since the fundamental allegations are based on unverified claims that the president was involved in or profited financially from his son’s international business operations.

Hunter looked just like he did when he responded to the subpoena last month. Hunter Biden announced he would only testify in public at a press conference outside the Capitol rather than taking his deposition.

The president’s son had to sit for a private interview before House Republicans would allow him to testify in public. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight Chairman James Comer jointly announced they will start contempt proceedings after the younger Biden failed to show up for his deposition.

Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, claimed in a statement that they had six times offered to meet with House Republicans on Oversight, but Comer had instead requested a subpoena for a deposition behind closed doors.

“The Republican chairs have today commandeered an unprecedented resolution to hold someone in contempt who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions,”

Lowell said, “proving again that they cared little for the truth and wanted only to’move the needle of political support’ that Chairman Comer confessed was his purpose.”

“They ignored that invitation,” Lowell said.”What fear do they harbor?”
Hunter Biden’s appearance is a component of his legal team’s more proactive, forward-thinking approach, which attorneys Lowell and Kevin Morris have implemented to counter his critics. The attorneys know that they have little, if any, means of enforcing a punishment, even in the event that Congress holds a contempt vote against him as early as next week. According to a person involved with the negotiations, Biden now faces criminal tax and firearms charges, which has increased his power to postpone congressional testimony.

The announcement of Hunter Biden’s visit to Capitol Hill surprised a number of high-ranking White House officials. According to a senior White House official who spoke with CNN, some of those officials didn’t even know about Hunter Biden’s visit until they watched television coverage of his surprise announcement.

Although they did not know if it had been the case, that official would not completely rule out the possibility that certain individuals inside the White House, including some members of the president’s closest circle of advisers or the president himself, may have known at least some of what Hunter Biden and his legal team had planned for Wednesday.

Democratic Representative Jared Moskowitz of Florida said, “If the gentlelady wants to hear from Hunter Biden we can hear from him right now,” in response to Mace’s taunting of the president’s son during the Oversight hearing.

“I believe that Hunter Biden should be arrested right here, right now, and go straight to jail,” retorted Mace.
Hunter Biden and his legal team exited the room as GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia began her speech.
“I believe it is evident to all those observing this hearing that Hunter Biden is afraid of strong, conservative, Republican women because he was unable to even bear the words I was going to use to address him,” Greene stated.

Republican Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona pleaded with his colleagues to “don’t act like a bunch of nimrods” in response to all of the members interrupting one another.
Republicans from Kentucky, Comer, began the meeting by justifying his panel’s subpoena for a secret deposition with the president’s son, declaring, “We will not give Hunter Biden preferential treatment based only on his last name.

The law should treat every American equally.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the leading Democrat on the panel, drew attention to the absurdity of several Republicans, including Jordan, eluding congressional subpoenas while attempting to find Hunter Biden in contempt. Comer has “bizarrely decided to obstruct his own investigation,” according to Raskin, when he declined Hunter Biden’s invitation to participate in a public hearing.

Raskin stated, “The chairman refused to take ‘yes’ for an answer from Hunter Biden,” but Republicans cut him off.
The two markups on Wednesday marked the beginning of a drawn-out procedure and demonstrate how challenging the Republican attempt will continue to be to get testimony from the president’s son.

The Department of Justice, which is now investigating two criminal cases against the president’s son, would have to decide whether to prosecute the president’s son for avoiding a congressional subpoena if an eventual House floor vote is successful.

By Thursday, Hunter Biden should be on the West Coast. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Los Angeles on nine criminal accusations related to his criminal tax case.
Prior to the committee hearings, Ian Sams, the White House’s spokesperson for oversight and investigations, released a statement in which he denounced “baseless attacks” on the president’s family members and urged Republican senators to concentrate on their other duties in Congress.

“They should do their jobs, fund the government and border security, and focus on solutions that benefit the American people instead of playing politics,” Sams said.

Jordan told CNN ahead of the markup that he expected the contempt resolution to succeed, but he was unsure about when it would come to the floor or how quickly the Justice Department would handle the referral if it reached that stage.
“Merrick Garland and Mr. Graves have the final say whenever Speaker Johnson wants to call for a floor vote,” Jordan told CNN.

During a hectic period on Capitol Hill, House Republicans are stepping up their investigations now that Congress is back from its winter break. The meetings are taking place concurrently. Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of DHS, is the subject of an impeachment probe that the House Homeland Security Committee began on Wednesday.

Sams emphasized that House Republicans are concentrating on their probes while Congress faces a federal funding deadline in a few days.

“House Republicans are wasting time on political stunts, instead of working full-time to avoid a partial government shutdown that many of their far-right members are rooting for,” a statement from Sams stated. “House Republicans are less than ten days from sparking a partial government shutdown.”

“These unjustified assaults on the President’s Cabinet and family members will not enhance the lives of Americans, fortify our border security, or boost the economy; all they will accomplish is facilitate extreme House Republicans’ attempts to divert attention from their incapacity to lead.”

As the border crisis becomes a defining campaign issue, senior Republicans now feel that targeting Mayorkas will be an easier lift, with the Biden probe proceeding gradually and several Republicans remaining cautious about impeaching the president.

Rep. Tony Gonzales, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that it is difficult to determine who is leading the pack because there are numerous competing impeachments.
The Texas Republican continued, “I will say that I think a lot of the members up here have lost confidence in DHS.”

Republicans will “find out,” according to Jordan, if the House can pursue two impeachments concurrently, but he maintains that “there is strong, compelling evidence for both.”
The headline and story have been changed to take into account new information.

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