As political tension heightens in the nation's capital, Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, finds himself amid a brewing storm.
In an escalating standoff, House Republicans issued a stern warning to Hunter Biden, threatening contempt of Congress proceedings if he fails to comply with a subpoena to testify in a closed-door deposition on December 13th.
The subpoena, issued by House Oversight Chairman James Comer and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, insists on Hunter Biden's presence for a closed-door deposition. However, Biden's legal representatives have signaled their client's refusal to comply with this requirement.
Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's lawyer, responded to the subpoena with a letter of his own. In it, Lowell confirmed his client's unwillingness to participate in a closed-door session but offered a compromise: Hunter Biden would testify, but in an open hearing instead.
"He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and again it used closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public — a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings," Lowell wrote.
The subpoena to Hunter Biden is not an isolated incident. It forms part of a broader corruption-focused impeachment inquiry into President Biden, led by House Republicans. Other subpoenas and interview requests related to the impeachment inquiry have been dispatched, including one to President Biden's brother, James.
House Speaker Mike Johnson has emphasized the importance of "precedent" in requiring closed-door depositions and dismissed calls for open hearings.
To strengthen their legal authority to enforce challenged subpoenas, Johnson announced that the House would hold a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry.
This ongoing saga has deepened the divide between the two major political parties. While President Biden and his allies maintain that he has committed no wrongdoing, they decry this impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated move by the Republicans.
On the other hand, House Democrats have criticized Republicans for rejecting Hunter Biden's offer to testify in an open hearing. The clash over the nature of the session—closed-door or open—continues to fuel the partisan fire. Johnson stated:
"The House has no choice, if it’s going to follow its constitutional responsibility, to formally adopt an impeachment inquiry on the floor so that when the subpoenas are challenged in court we’ll be at the apex of our constitutional authority."
The coming days will be defining ones for the impeachment inquiry. If Hunter Biden fails to appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings, according to the letter from Reps. Comer and Jordan.
However, the story is far from over. The balance of political power, the quest for truth, and the pursuit of justice all hang in the balance. As the nation waits for December 13th, one thing is clear: the eyes of America will be on Hunter Biden.