The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter and James Biden, President Joe Biden’s son and brother, the panel announced Wednesday, setting off a much-anticipated showdown as House Republicans continue to search for whether the president committed a criminal offense related to his family’s foreign affairs business relationships. – a high bar they have yet to meet.
The Republican-led panel also said it had subpoenaed a Biden family business associate, Rob Walker, and requested voluntary interviews with a list of people including Sara Biden, James Biden’s wife, Hallie Biden, the widow of the president’s eldest son, Beau Biden, with whom Hunter Biden was romantically involved, and Tony Bobulinski, another business associate of the president’s son.
Wednesday’s subpoenas are the first time the panel has directly subpoenaed members of the Biden family and come as Republicans on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee focus on a list of high-profile interviews they want to conduct before completing their impeachment in the case. Chairman.
The subpoenas, signed by House Oversight Chairman James Comer of Kentucky, set Hunter Biden’s deposition for Dec. 13 and James Biden’s deposition for Dec. 6. Walker’s arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 29.
In the letters seeking voluntary cooperation from members of the Biden family, Comer and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan wrote: “The committees have identified you as possessing information relevant to their investigation and are seeking your testimony regarding these and other related matters. This request is made pursuant to this investigation.”
But even as their endgame comes into focus, it’s unclear how long the effort will take or whether House Republicans leading the effort will be able to convince enough of their GOP colleagues that Biden himself committed high crimes or misdemeanors , which is still an important obstacle. .
Abbe Lowell, attorney for Hunter Biden, responded to the subpoena notice by calling it “yet another political stunt aimed at distracting from the apparent failure of Rep. Comer and his MAGA allies to prove a single one of their wild and now discredited conspiracies about Biden family.”
“Nevertheless, Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum and at the appropriate time, to discuss these issues with the committee,” Lowell said.
The White House, which has rejected Comer’s investigation at every turn, released a memo that went after the panel’s latest moves to subpoena members of the Biden family, framing them as a result of Comer complying with demands from right-wing Republicans.
“With just over a week left before House Republicans can once again push the country into a damaging and chaotic government shutdown, the most extreme voices in their party like James Comer are trying to distract from their repeated mismanagement,” said a White House spokesman. House, Ian. Sams wrote.
He continued: “Instead of using the power of Congress to wage a partisan smear campaign against the president and his family, extreme Republicans in the House of Representatives should be doing their jobs.”
The top Democrat on the oversight panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, said in a statement to CNN: “I keep hearing from GOP colleagues that their plan is to create a ‘master narrative’ that would be similar to what the select committee did on January 6th. But that ‘master narrative’ was based on finding the truth. This ‘master narrative’ is about constructing a lie. And yet truth is a resilient, stubborn thing, and the facts here are clear: There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden. ”
Republicans have been poring over Hunter Biden’s bank records and foreign business dealings for months, receiving thousands of wire transfers and documents as a result of their subpoenas to banks for information. They have said that based on the information they have received, members of the Biden family have cumulatively received over $24 million from foreign nationals over approximately five years, including from countries such as China, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Kazakhstan.
“The House Oversight Committee will bring in members of the Biden family and their staff to question them about this documentation,” Comer said in a statement.
“These subpoenas are a necessary next step as House Republicans deliver accountability to the American people,” Jordan said in a statement about the subpoenas.
House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican whose panel is also involved in the Republican-led investigation, said in a statement, “no one should be protected from legal scrutiny based on their last name.”
“Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight to determine whether our nation’s elected leaders have used public office to enrich themselves or their families, and more importantly, whether those public officials may be compromised by their family’s foreign dealings,” Smith said.
Recently, House Oversight Republicans released two personal checks from James and Sara to Joe Biden that had the words “loan repayment” written on the front and originated when Joe Biden was not elected to office.
Walker, who after receiving money from countries like China and Romania wired portions to some members of the Biden family, told the FBI in 2020: “I certainly never thought at any time that, ah…, the deputy director was part of anything , we did.”
This story has been updated with further developments.