WASHINGTON — The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees said that Hunter Biden is seeking “special treatment” from the committees with his request to testify publicly instead of in a private deposition, according to a letter to Hunter Biden’s attorney obtained by NBC News.
The Republican lawmakers, who are leading the impeachment efforts into President Joe Biden, last month sent a subpoena to Hunter Biden for a closed-door deposition. In a letter this week to Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Hunter Biden's lawyer Abbe Lowell said the president's son was open to testifying publicly instead.
"Pursuant to the terms of the subpoenas, the Rules of the House of Representatives, and the respective Committee rules, this testimony will occur initially in a deposition setting, as has been the consistent practice of Committees of the House of Representatives in recent Congresses — during both Republican and Democrat majorities — as well as these Committees during this inquiry," the two GOP chairs wrote in response.
Biden's "attempt to avoid sitting for a deposition," they wrote, "by offering instead to testify at a public hearing— amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the Committees."
"Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation," they continued. "The subpoenas Mr. Biden has received compel him to appear before the Committees for a deposition; they are not mere suggestions open to Mr. Biden’s interpretation or preference."
The chairmen asked Lowell to confirm by Dec. 4 whether Hunter Biden can appear for a closed-door deposition Dec. 13 at the Capitol.
Comer and Jordan said that they intend to videotape the deposition and release the transcript of the deposition after it's completed.
Lowell expressed concern about a closed-door deposition in his letter earlier this week, writing, "We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door."
Lowell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The GOP chairmen wrote in their letter Friday that Hunter Biden’s "business dealings implicate the official actions of his father. This is contrary to the facts already established through the investigation." However, Republicans have admitted that they haven't found evidence of wrongdoing by the president.
Despite that, House Republicans are expected to move forward with their impeachment inquiry, with the lower chamber expected to vote to formally authorize the probe as early as next week.