WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – The Republican-controlled U.S. House Oversight Committee said on Wednesday it had subpoenaed President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his brother , James Biden, to appear for depositions, part of an escalation of his impeachment investigation into the Democrat.
House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry in September, after months of investigations. They allege that Biden and his family personally benefited from policy decisions Biden made while serving as vice president during former President Barack Obama’s administration.
James Biden could not immediately be reached for comment.
Father Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, called the subpoena “yet another political stunt.”
“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 in a statement.
Devon Archer, a former associate of Hunter Biden, told the House Oversight Committee earlier this year that the younger Biden sought to create “an illusion of access to his father” and put his father on the phone with foreign associates “maybe 20 times”. during Archer’s business relationship with Hunter Biden.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday called the investigation a “smear campaign.” The investigation “has been going on for a year now and has revealed no evidence against the president,” she said.
The impeachment inquiry was publicly supported by former President Donald Trump, who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination against Biden in the 2024 election.
In addition to the subpoenas to Hunter Biden and James Biden, the committee issued a subpoena to Rob Walker, a former business partner of Hunter Biden.
The committee also asked four other members of the Biden family to appear, as well as another former business partner, Tony Bobulinski. The committee said it would send additional subpoenas and interview requests later in the week.
The committee has already received financial records from family members.
The House Oversight Committee held a public hearing related to the September investigation, which was a review of documents related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business ventures, which Republicans say indicate members of the president’s family were selling access.
Hunter Biden, 53, publicly discussed his history of substance abuse and never held a position in the White House or his father’s campaign.
Trump was the first American president to be impeached twice. He was acquitted by the Senate twice. Trump faces four criminal indictments on charges related to his business activities, alleged mishandling of classified documents and alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
It is unclear whether the full House of Representatives, controlled by a narrow 221-212 Republican majority, would vote to impeach Biden, although Speaker Mike Johnson has supported the investigation.
Reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.