White House mum on whether Hunter Biden gave advanced notice he would appear at House contempt meeting

 White House mum on whether Hunter Biden gave advanced notice he would appear at House contempt meeting
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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not say if the White House had advanced knowledge that Hunter Biden would visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday to sit in a meeting to consider a resolution that would hold him in contempt of Congress, saying the first son ‘makes his own decisions.’

Hunter Biden unexpectedly appeared with his attorneys at the House Oversight Committee’s meeting Wednesday morning to consider the resolution that, if passed, would set up a full House vote on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena for a closed-door deposition as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

The subpoena was for a deposition on Dec. 13. Hunter Biden had offered to testify publicly — an offer rejected by House Republicans, citing the setting for other witness interviews, and vowing to release a transcript of his deposition.

The president’s son, instead of complying with the subpoena, delivered a public statement on Capitol Hill and did not appear for his deposition.

On Wednesday, Hunter Biden and his attorneys Abbe Lowell and Kevin Morris came to Capitol Hill to sit in the audience as lawmakers on the panel considered whether to pass the resolution out of committee. He and his attorneys ultimately left before the vote on the resolution. 

When asked during the White House press briefing if President Biden or his staff was informed that his son would appear for the committee markup, Jean-Pierre did not respond, but said he is a ‘private citizen.’

‘So here’s what I’ll say. And I’ve said this many times before: Hunter, as you all know, as a private citizen, he’s not a member of this White House,’ Jean-Pierre said. ‘He makes his own decisions like he did today about how to respond to Congress.’

She went on to refer ‘any further questions, any additional questions about this process’ to Hunter Biden’s attorneys.

When pressed again on whether the White House was informed in advance, Jean-Pierre said: ‘I don’t have anything — we don’t have anything else to share beyond that.’

‘He is a private citizen, and he makes his own decisions as it relates to this particular, you know, response, is potentially a response to the Congress,’ she said. ‘That’s something that he decides on, and I would refer to his representatives.’

Fox News’ Peter Doocy went on to press Jean-Pierre, reminding her that last time the first son was on Capitol Hill, on Dec. 13 to defy the subpoena, she told reporters that the president ‘was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.’ 

Doocy pressed again, asking if the president helps his son ‘skirt congressional subpoenas.’ 

‘That is not even true — that is a jump. That is incredibly disingenuous in that question,’ she said. ‘What I will say to you — I’m helping you out. I don’t have anything else to share.’ 

Last month, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, expanded their investigation to probe whether President Biden was involved in his son’s ‘scheme’ to defy his subpoena for deposition earlier this month, which, they say, ‘could constitute an impeachable offense.’ 

Comer and Jordan pointed to a statement made by Jean-Pierre on Dec. 13, after Hunter Biden defied his subpoena. She was asked whether the president had watched his son’s public statement. 

‘White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that President Biden was ‘certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,’’ they wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel last month. ‘Ms. Jean-Pierre declined, however, to provide any further details about the President’s actions on whether the President approved of his son defying congressional subpoenas.’ 

They added, though, that Jean-Pierre’s statement ‘suggests the President had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two congressional subpoenas.’ 

The chairmen pointed to the criminal code, citing the section which states that it is unlawful to ‘corruptly… endeavor to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any investigation or inquiry is being had by… any committee of either House or any joint committee of Congress.’ 

‘Likewise, any person who ‘aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures’ the commission of a crime is punishable as a principal of the crime,’ they wrote. 

‘In light of Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement, we are compelled to examine the involvement of the President in his son’s scheme to defy the Committees’ subpoenas,’ they wrote, adding that the president ‘had advanced awareness’ that his son would defy the subpoenas which ‘raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the Committee’s proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the Committee’s subpoenas.’ 

‘Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense,’ they wrote.  

Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee’s meeting to consider the resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress stands in recess. The House Judiciary Committee is also considering the resolution. 

If passed out of committee, the resolution would come to the floor for a full House vote. 

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