House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer has announced that the transcript of Hunter Biden's deposition will be made available to the public later this month, heralding it as part of the "most transparent major congressional investigation in history."
Despite the offer from Hunter Biden’s attorney for a public hearing, Comer insists on a closed-door deposition as the initial step, with a public hearing to follow.
Comer, a Republican from Kentucky, had earlier subpoenaed Hunter Biden for a deposition set for December 13. However, Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, proposed a public hearing instead, where Biden could testify before the American populace.
Democrats have expressed their disapproval of Comer's decision, arguing that it demonstrates the weakness of the case against the president's son. In response to these claims, Comer gave an interview to Fox News Digital. Referring to the controversy surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop, Comer said:
"Democrats always create a false narrative ahead of potential peril. We have always planned on deposing the key witness in this entire investigation — that’s the president's son."
Comer reassured the public that the investigation was being conducted in the most transparent manner. He stated that they have "accumulated tens of thousands of pages of documents" and have "hundreds of questions" for Hunter Biden.
Comer expressed that a public hearing would not be the most effective format for a thorough inquiry. He pointed out that such a setting might only allow for a limited number of questions, potentially around 35 to 40, given the time constraints.
In contrast, a deposition would enable a more extensive questioning, possibly exceeding 400 queries, allowing for a more in-depth investigation.
Comer also emphasized the transparency of the deposition, stating that the transcripts will be released unless they contain classified information. As new evidence is found, it is presented to the public. "We have done four bank memorandums," Comer added. "We have had countless press conferences."
The top Democrat on the Oversight Committee criticized Comer’s decision, calling it an "epic humiliation." They argued that the hesitancy to let the president's son give public testimony indicates a lack of interest in the facts.
"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?"
Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who led several high-profile investigations as the House Oversight Committee chairman, backed Comer's approach.
Chaffetz, in his capacity as a Fox News contributor, highlighted that for serious investigations, conducting a transcribed interview or deposition before a public hearing is a standard and accepted practice.
He emphasized that depositions, where questions are posed by professional staff rather than lawmakers, facilitate a more comprehensive investigation.
Furthermore, Chaffetz noted that the Bidens do not have the authority to determine the investigative procedures of the House of Representatives, underscoring the independence of the House's investigative process.
However, Lowell accused Comer and Republicans of manipulating facts in "closed-door sessions" and proposed opening the door. "If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let light shine on the proceedings," Lowell wrote.
Despite these claims, Comer maintains his stance, stating that his investigation into the Biden family business dealings is "a credible, serious investigation of public corruption at the highest levels."
He concluded, "We bring out more evidence almost on a daily basis that shows this family was involved in serious crimes ranging from money laundering to being an unregistered foreign agent to securities fraud."
As the investigation continues, it's clear that this story will continue to develop, and the public will be looking forward to the release of the deposition transcript for further information.