House Republicans issued subpoenas Wednesday to Hunter and James Biden – respectively the son and brother of President Joe Biden – as well as a Biden family associate, Rob Walker, in an escalation of Republican anger. indictment investigation in the president.
Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., issued the subpoenas, which focus on the Biden family’s business dealings. One calls for the president’s son to appear for a deposition on December 13. The other two are subpoenas for James Biden and Walker, who are scheduled to appear for depositions on December 6 and November 29 respectively.
Additionally, the committee requests transcribed interviews with several other members of the Biden family and their associates: Sara Biden (James’s wife); Hallie Biden (widow of the president’s other son, Beau); Elizabeth Secundy (Hallie’s sister); Melissa Cohen (wife of Hunter); and Tony Bobulinski.
Comer’s office said it plans to send additional subpoenas and transcribed interview requests later this week.
In a statement, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said it was “another political stunt designed to distract from the blatant failure of Rep. Comer and his MAGA allies to prove just one of their wild and now discredited conspiracies about Biden. family.”
“Nevertheless, Hunter looks forward to the opportunity, in a public forum and at the right time, to discuss these issues with the Committee,” Lowell said.
A representative for James Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In response to the subpoenas, White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a memo that “despite spending taxpayer dollars to conduct this investigation, (Republicans) have found no evidence to support their wild allegations of corruption and “serious crimes”. which they say motivates their open “impeachment investigation.” »
“Instead of using the power of Congress to wage a partisan smear campaign against the president and his family, extremist House Republicans should do their job,” Sams said.
The subpoenas and interview requests come a day after the special prosecutor oversaw the investigation into Hunter Biden. testified before the House Judiciary Committee, behind closed doors.
“The House Oversight Committee followed the money and built a dossier of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved in and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Comer said in a statement. communicated. “Now the House Oversight Committee will bring in members of the Biden family and their associates for questioning about this body of evidence.”
The House Oversight Committee says it has obtained financial documents that it says show members of the Biden family created more than 20 shell companies, most of which were created during Joe Biden’s tenure in as vice-president. The committee alleges the companies were part of an effort to hide payments from foreign adversaries. The panel further alleges that the Biden family, their business associates and companies received more than $24 million from foreign countries over approximately five years.
Comer has accused the Biden family of engaging in “shady business practices,” but has yet to demonstrate how the transactions specifically show concrete evidence of wrongdoing or influence peddling on the part of Biden himself .
“These documents reveal how the Bidens sold out Joe Biden around the world to benefit the Biden family, including Joe Biden himself, to the detriment of American interests,” Comer said in the statement. The justice system and Ways and Means will continue to follow the facts and provide the transparency and accountability that the American people demand and deserve.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, blasted the new subpoenas in a statement. “Even after their farcical arraignment hearing in which their own witnesses testified that they had seen no crime, much less evidence of an impeachable offense, in the nine months of the majority’s investigation into President Biden, and even after an interview in which special counsel David Weiss completely debunked empty Republican claims that it was political interference in the investigation on Hunter Biden. President Comer decided that what he needed to restart this epic investigative fiasco was a big pile of subpoenas and interview requests, all addressed to private citizens.” did he declare. said.
House Republicans are investigating whether the Justice Department gave favorable treatment to the president’s son because of his father, alleging that Hunter Biden, who faces federal gun charges , should also have been indicted for some of his business relationships.
Hunter Biden last month pleaded not guilty to three charges related to his possession of a firearm while using illegal drugs. He indicated that he request that the federal indictment against him be dismissed.
The three federal firearms charges in the September indictment include two counts alleging he falsely indicated he did not use illegal drugs on a drug purchase form. firearm in 2018 and a third charge alleging he possessed a firearm while consuming a narcotic.
Subpoenas to the Bidens were issued a day after the special counsel David Weiss, who is overseeing the investigation into Hunter Biden, told the House Judiciary Committee that he was not prevented from filing charges against the president’s son. Weiss’ testimony marked the first time a special counsel answered questions from congressional investigators as part of an active investigation.
“At no time have I been blocked or prevented from pursuing charges or taking necessary actions in connection with the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service, or anyone else in the Department of Revenue. Justice,” Weiss said in closed-door testimony. according to prepared remarks obtained by NBC News.
Weiss also said he does not make decisions in a case “in a vacuum” and is required to follow federal laws, the principles of federal prosecution and Department of Justice guidelines.
“As a result, there are processes that I must follow in making investigative and charging decisions,” he told the committee. “These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority. »
Weiss’ testimony came after a Hunter Biden’s plea deal with the government collapsed when the judge in the case questioned the terms of the agreement. Weiss, who was appointed by Trump but retained his position after the 2020 election to oversee the case, is leading an indictment of the president’s son on gun-related charges. Weiss had requested and received special counsel status after the plea deal was broken.
Weiss had voluntarily agreed to testify before Congress to clear up inconsistencies between his public statements about the investigation and the public testimony of two IRS investigatorswho claimed Weiss was prohibited from filing charges against Hunter Biden.
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, such as Reps. Daniel Goldman of New York, Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania and Ted Lieu of California, denounced Republicans’ questioning of Weiss as misleading and repetitive.
Scanlon criticized the procedure as “a farce” and “an absolute waste of time” before leaving the building.
Meanwhile, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told reporters that Weiss “was here in person, but not particularly in spirit,” adding that the callers got “almost nothing” from him.
Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters that one of the key takeaways was that Weiss said he requested “special counsel status” in the spring of 2022 and that ‘he didn’t get it. Jordan said Weiss said the Justice Department told him to “follow the process.”