Hunter Biden Comes Out Swinging at House Republicans Leading Impeachment Probe

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Hunter Biden came out firing in his opening remarks in a private deposition with House investigators on Wednesday, telling the Oversight and Judiciary committees the impeachment probe into his dad is nothing more than a “partisan political pursuit.”

The interview, which is expected to last hours in an office on Capitol Hill, began with the younger Biden saying there’s one “uncontestable fact” that should put any impeachment inquiry to bed: “I did not involve my father in my business.”

“Not while I was a practicing lawyer,” he added, “not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never.”

Joe Biden’s impeachment inquiry has hinged largely on information provided to the FBI by Alexander Smirnov, an ex-informant who was arrested this month on allegations he lied about Biden and Hunter accepting $5 million payments in exchange for providing political cover to a Ukrainian power company.

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With Smirnov indicted and his information deemed tainted, the Republicans still trying to impeach Biden from office appear to be facing an uphill battle. They’ve shown no signs of stopping their probe, however, and Hunter said Wednesday he’s had enough.

“For more than a year, your committees have hunted me in your partisan political pursuit of my dad,” he said. “You have trafficked in innuendo, distortion, and sensationalism—all the while ignoring the clear and convincing evidence staring you in the face.”

Hunter said his dad’s impeachment is being driven by “MAGA-motivated conspiracies.” He told investigators to focus on real American issues and to quit wasting time on what he described as a “baseless and destructive political charade.”

“You have wasted valuable time and resources attacking me and my family for your own political gain when you should be fixing the real problems in this country that desperately need your attention,” he said.

The fiery remarks, made behind closed doors but obtained by The Daily Beast through a transcript provided by a spokesperson for Hunter, come as Republicans have searched high and low for proof of the elder Biden using his political positions to rake in cash for his family.

House GOP leaders have specifically alleged that Biden used his position in government to influence U.S. foreign policy in ways that aided his son’s international dealings in China and Europe. Several of Hunter’s business associates have been questioned, but the vast majority have said the president was never directly involved in any business meetings.

Others reported that Biden was present in business calls, but never to negotiate deals. Devon Archer, one of Hunter’s longtime business partners, told Republicans last year that Biden would occasionally be put on speakerphone in business meetings, but he would talk about topics like fishing and the weather, not foreign policy or business.

One business associate, Tony Bobulinski, has publicly backed Republicans’ claims that Biden was involved in business dealings. He said the president stepped into his brother James’ business dealings, telling investigators that Biden “enabled” James’ business affairs with a now-bankrupt Chinese energy conglomerate.

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Hunter’s opening remarks mentioned Bubulinski and Smirnov, calling both men liars. He emphasized that investigators would find no proof of wrongdoing by his dad no matter how long and hard they searched.

“To be clear, I have made mistakes in my life, and I have squandered opportunities and privileges that were afforded to me,” he said. “I know that. I am responsible for that. And I am making amends for that. But my mistakes and shortcomings are my own and not my father’s, who has done nothing but devote his entire life to public service and trying to make this country a better place to live.”

The interview is a pivotal moment in the feud between Hunter and Republican lawmakers, who’ve tried to get Hunter to meet with them in private for months. Hunter refused initially, citing fears they’d selectively leak parts of the meeting to harm his father, but he eventually relented when threatened to be held in contempt of Congress.

During breaks of the deposition, Democrats on the Oversight Committee accused their Republican colleagues of putting on an “embarrassing spectacle.”

“I believe, based on this first hour, that this whole thing really has been a tremendous waste of our legislative time and resources,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told reporters.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) characterized the deposition as a “deep sea fishing expedition,” saying Republicans are scrambling to find “anything to substantiate their fairy tales” after losing Smirnov as a potentially credible witness.

Republicans emerged during breaks to claim Biden wasn’t answering their questions in good faith. Rep Nancy Mace (R-SC) noted that Biden did not invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but said he’d been far from a cooperative witness.

“Hunter Biden is being defiant, and also dishonest, and his testimony, some of it, is in direct conflict with other witnesses,” she claimed.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said there were a number of “interesting moments” in the deposition. He added, “It is a mirage to believe that Hunter Biden was engaged in international business. This was a bribe masquerading as an international business transaction—nothing more, nothing less.”

A full transcript of the meeting is expected to be released sometime tomorrow.

Hunter said in his opening statements that his dad saved his life as he supported him in his battle with addiction, adding that he should not be punished for his son’s mistakes.

“What he got in return for being a loving and supportive parent is a barrage of hate-filled conspiracy theories that hatched this sham impeachment inquiry and continue to fuel unrelenting personal attacks against him and me,” he said. “Republicans have taken my communications out of context, relied on documents that have been altered, and cherry-picked snippets of financial or other records to misrepresent what really happened.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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