Hunter Biden plans to testify behind closed doors as part of House Republicans’ sweeping impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Feb. 28.
Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced the private deposition with the president’s son on Thursday, following a week of negotiations with his lawyers.
“Hunter Biden will appear before our committees for a deposition on February 28, 2024. His deposition will come after several interviews with Biden family members and associates. We look forward to Hunter Biden’s testimony,” Jordan and Comer said in a statement.
A person familiar with the negotiations between committee staff and Hunter Biden’s attorneys confirmed the date.
It’s a significant U-turn from just a week ago, when House Republicans were threatening to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a prior subpoena for a closed-door deposition last month. Instead, Hunter Biden appeared outside the Capitol to reiterate his offer of a public hearing. His team had voiced concerns that any private testimony could be selectively leaked.
But that stalemate shifted on Friday. As House Republicans officially scheduled a contempt vote, Hunter Biden’s legal team said that if Republicans would issue new subpoenas that they could comply with a deposition. That kicked off a flurry of behind-the-scenes negotiations, and the House GOP hit pause on their contempt plans.
The person familiar with the negotiations, pointing back to worries about selective leaks, noted that Hunter’s team has been in discussion with committee staff “regarding a way for Hunter to provide the facts in a way that addresses his concern.”
Republicans view Hunter Biden as a key witness in their impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, which has largely focused on his family’s business agreements. Republicans are hoping to make a call in a matter of weeks on whether or not to move forward with articles of impeachment against the president.
House Republicans voted to formalize their inquiry last month. But they still face skepticism within their own ranks, since some lawmakers want to see a “smoking gun” before they vote to actually impeach. That currently leaves investigators short of the votes needed to recommend ousting Biden from office.
Though Republicans have found evidence of Hunter Biden using his last name to bolster his own influence and poked holes in previous statements made by Joe Biden and the White House, they have yet to show irrefutable evidence that actions taken by Joe Biden as president or vice president were meant to benefit his family’s business arrangements.