A move by House Republicans could put Hunter Biden at risk of imprisonment and a substantial financial penalty.
Subpoena noncompliance has thrust Hunter Biden into a contentious legal spotlight with serious potential consequences.
The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees have taken a significant legal step against the President's son. Their actions come after Hunter Biden neglected to attend a deposition he was obligated to by congressional subpoena. The deposition was convened to scrutinize his foreign business engagements.
Should the legal process proceed to a conviction, the repercussions for Hunter Biden are severe. As established by law, the penalties for contempt of Congress include imprisonment and financial restitution, with fines potentially reaching $100,000.
The House committees are unyielding in pursuing the matter, signaling a rigorous adherence to legal procedure.
Closed-door depositions are not an uncommon practice in congressional investigations. They have previously been employed by Democrats during pivotal inquiries, such as the Trump impeachment and the investigations into the January 6th events. These historical precedents reinforce the gravity of the current situation.
Ranking Member Jamie Raskin has emphasized the significance of depositions for comprehensive investigations, highlighting their impartial nature even amidst politically charged situations. House Republicans have asserted that an individual's surname does not grant exemption from standard investigative procedures.
The investigation into Hunter Biden includes examining President Joe Biden's potential involvement in the Biden family's international business dealings. This claim has intensified the scrutiny on the Bidens, with Republican congress members advocating for equitable application of the law.
The message from these members is unequivocal: familial ties should not place anyone beyond the reach of the legal processes that support and enforce congressional authority.
Historically, others in high-profile positions have faced similar legal actions. Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon were indicted after defying subpoenas from the January 6th Committee. Such precedents have been cited by some Republicans in arguing that Hunter Biden's defiance should similarly be met with contempt charges.
Representatives Comer and Jordan have been particularly vocal about the issue, stating:
"We will not provide special treatment because his last name is Biden. As our committees were today prepared to depose Hunter Biden, he chose to make a public statement on Capitol Hill instead where he said his father, Joe Biden was not financially involved in his family’s business dealings."
Furthermore, they questioned the extent of the current President's involvement in these business dealings, suggesting that evidence points to a strategy centered around Joe Biden's name.
In response to perceived obstructions, House Republicans are considering an impeachment inquiry vote. This move aims to solidify their legal position as they confront what they describe as hindrances from the White House and other witnesses.
Comer and Jordan have expressed their determination to bolster their legal case through a formal vote:
"Today, the House will vote on an impeachment inquiry resolution to strengthen our legal case in the courts as we face obstruction from the White House and witnesses. Today’s obstruction by Hunter Biden reinforces the need for a formal vote."
This statement underlines the perceived necessity for a structured legal approach to address the challenges encountered during the investigation.