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House GOP readies contempt of Congress charges against Hunter Biden

                                Hunter Biden speaks during a news conference outside the Capitol last month in Washington.
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Hunter Biden speaks during a news conference outside the Capitol last month in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> House Republicans plan to move forward next week with holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress after the president’s son defied a congressional subpoena to appear for a private deposition last month.

The Republicans who lead the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the Judiciary Committee announced today that they will hold votes on contempt charges against Hunter Biden as the GOP moves into the final stages of its impeachment inquiry. If the committees approve the charges, the full House would get a final vote.

“Hunter Biden’s willful refusal to comply with our subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution,” said Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in a joint statement. “We will not provide him with special treatment because of his last name.”

Hunter Biden and his lawyers have repeatedly slammed the GOP-issued subpoena for the closed-door testimony, arguing that information from those interviews can be selectively leaked and manipulated. Hunter Biden has insisted that he would only testify in public.

“It’s clear the Republican chairmen aren’t interested in getting the facts or they would allow Hunter to testify publicly,” Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement. “Instead, House Republicans continue to play politics by seeking an unprecedented contempt motion against someone who has from the first request offered to answer all their proper questions.”

He added, “What are they afraid of?”

For months, Republicans have pursued an impeachment inquiry seeking to tie the Democratic president to his son’s business dealings. So far, GOP lawmakers have failed to uncover evidence directly implicating Democratic President Joe Biden in any wrongdoing.

While Republicans say their inquiry is ultimately focused on the president, they have taken particular interest in Hunter Biden and his overseas business dealings, from which they accuse the president of personally benefiting. Republicans have also focused a large part of their investigation on whistleblower allegations of interference in the long-running Justice Department investigation into the younger Biden’s taxes and his gun use.

The hearings planned for Wednesday on contempt of Congress will come a day before Hunter Biden is scheduled to make his first court appearance on tax charges filed by a special counsel in Los Angeles. He is facing three felony and six misdemeanor counts, including filing a false return, tax evasion, failure to file and failure to pay.

His lawyer has accused special counsel David Weiss of “bowing to Republican pressure” in the case.

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