House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., slammed committee Republicans for refusing Hunter Biden’s request for a public hearing on Dec. 13, when Biden will appear for a closed-door deposition.
In a statement Tuesday, Raskin called the Republicans’ actions an “epic humiliation” and said their hesitancy to let the president’s son give public testimony is “a frank confession that they are simply not interested in the facts and have no confidence in their own case or the ability of their own Members to pursue it.”
“Let me get this straight,” Raskin said. “After wailing and moaning for ten months about Hunter Biden and alluding to some vast unproven family conspiracy, after sending Hunter Biden a subpoena to appear and testify, Chairman Comer and the Oversight Republicans now reject his offer to appear before the full Committee and the eyes of the world and to answer any questions that they pose?”
Earlier Tuesday, Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell wrote to House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., and offered to let the president’s son appear before the committee, with C-SPAN cameras rolling and answer lawmakers’ questions about his family’s business dealings. The letter came in answer to a subpoena issued by Comer for Biden, his family members and business associates to sit for a closed-door deposition as part of the GOP-led investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings.
“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 wrote. “If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let light shine on the proceedings.”
In reply, Comer accused Biden of “trying to play by his own rules” and rejected his request to testify publicly on Dec. 13. However, the chairman agreed that Biden “should have the opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.”
No future hearing has yet been scheduled.
House Republicans have opened an impeachment inquiry into President Biden to examine evidence and allegations that Hunter Biden leveraged his father’s positions in government to make unethical business deals with foreign partners, from which President Biden allegedly received payouts. However, at the first public inquiry hearing, GOP witnesses said there was not yet enough evidence to prove the president committed an impeachable offense.
Raskin said Republicans will not schedule a public hearing for Hunter Biden to testify because it would expose how weak their case is against his father.
“After the miserable failure of their impeachment hearing in September, Chairman Comer has now apparently decided to avoid all Committee hearings where the public can actually see for itself the logical, rhetorical and factual contortions they have tied themselves up in,” he said.
“The evidence has shown time and again President Biden has committed no wrongdoing, much less an impeachable offense. Chairman Comer’s insistence that Hunter Biden’s interview should happen behind closed doors proves it once again. What the Republicans fear most is sunlight and the truth.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.