The House Oversight and Accountability Committee will recommend charging Hunter Biden with contempt of Congress if he does not comply with its subpoena compelling him to appear for a closed-door deposition, rather than concede to his demands for a public hearing, Chair James Comer told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"There's a precedent for this," Comer told "Wake Up America." "The same exact thing happened when the Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Steve Bannon, [who] said he will not come in for deposition, but he will come in for a public hearing … he refused to do the deposition and Congress held Steve Bannon in contempt of court. We will treat Hunter Biden the same way."
Abbe Lowell, the attorney representing the president's son, said in a letter Tuesday to the committee, which is investigating his business dealings as part of its impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden, that his client doesn't trust Comer and committee Republicans to present a truthful account of a private deposition.
But Comer told Newsmax that the closed-door session is necessary as Republicans on the committee have "hundreds of questions about specific transactions with our enemies around the world."
"This is a serious investigation," the congressman said. "This is about public corruption at the highest levels of our government. We have over 10,000 pages of documents that we've obtained pertaining to Hunter Biden's financial transactions with our enemies around the world."
But if the hearing is held in public, the 24 members of the committee will have just five minutes each to ask questions, while the Democrats will be "yelling and screaming like they do every hearing."
"We would probably get about 30-35 questions," said Comer. "We will gladly have a public venue for Hunter Biden. I welcome that, and we will do that after he comes in for the deposition on Dec. 13."
He added that he and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, spoke with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on the House floor Tuesday night, and said the speaker "has our backs" on holding Biden in contempt if he doesn't comply with the subpoena he was issued.
Comer said he does not think the committee needs to provide more evidence to prove Hunter Biden "was influence peddling with our enemies around the world."
"Even the Democrats will admit to it," said Comer. "The argument is what Joe Biden's level of involvement was. Now, we want to ask Hunter Biden about that, and you cannot do that in a committee setting."
Meanwhile, Comer accused the Bidens of wanting to "run out the clock" and obstruct the investigation from taking place before the election.
"That's what they've done to us the entire eight months," he said. "We've had to fight every battle to get every ounce of information pertaining to the crimes the Biden family has committed."
And if it wasn't for the Oversight Committee, he added, "Nobody would know anything about all the schemes that the Biden family did with our enemies around the world."
The line of questioning in a deposition "go down the line" of a "very long spreadsheet" of Hunter Biden's bank transactions, "some of them $100,000 transactions, some of them $1 million transactions," Comer said.
"We want to know what Joe Biden's involvement was and what did they get in return?" said Comer. "We don't believe that these people gave the Bidens nearly $30 million just because they liked [them]. We believe they expected to get something in return. And I don't know for the life of me what Hunter Biden could provide them of value, but Joe Biden could provide a lot."
He added that the committee is investigating the president, not his son, who is being seen as a key witness in the matter.
"That's why we have to do the deposition, and we will gladly provide a public forum for Hunter Biden to testify in front of the world in the committee setting after the deposition," said Comer. "We've spent too much time compiling all of this evidence to squander it."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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