Hunter Biden deposition: Republicans prepare for biggest impeachment interview yet

Hunter Biden is set to be deposed behind closed doors Wednesday as Republican lawmakers continue their efforts to impeach his father, President Joe Biden, ahead of the 2024 general election.

The private deposition was a change of strategy from the president’s son and his legal team. For months, Biden said he would only field questions regarding his business dealings and what his father may or may not have known about them from Congress in a public hearing to avoid selective leaks of his testimony. But after defying a congressional subpoena for testimony and facing contempt of Congress, Biden agreed to sit for the hourslong interview under oath.

However, the interview will not be recorded on video, like the deposition of James Biden, the president’s brother, last week, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) will rapidly release a full transcript of Hunter Biden’s interview, per CNN.

Furthermore, the Oversight Committee plans to hold a public hearing with the president’s son at some point in the future.

“As is standard with investigations, the committees are currently in the deposition and interview phase and then will move to public hearings,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement.

Hunter Biden was previously scheduled to be deposed in December, but he did not show for questions and instead held a press conference in which he claimed that he was the subject of a political witch hunt aimed at undermining his father’s reelection chances.

The younger Biden, a rehabilitating drug addict, expanded on those comments in a Monday interview with Axios. Biden claimed that he views his sobriety fight as not only a personal battle but also part of the greater struggle to protect democracy because any relapses on his end could be used as campaign fodder by former President Donald Trump, Biden’s likely general election opponent.

“You have to believe that you’re worth the work or you’ll never be able to get sober, but I often do think of the profound consequences of failure here. Maybe it’s the ultimate test for a recovering addict, I don’t know. I have always been in awe of people who have stayed clean and sober through tragedies and obstacles few people ever face,” he told Axios. “They are my heroes, my inspiration. And now I have something much bigger than even myself at stake. We are in the middle of a fight for the future of democracy. My first responsibility is to make it through that fight clean and sober, and I feel a responsibility to everyone struggling through their own recovery to succeed.”

Biden has reportedly told close confidants that the investigations into his son and family are both frustrating and politically motivated. The president believes that the 17 years in prison his son is already facing in relation to federal tax and firearms charges would not have been brought had he not decided to run for reelection in 2024.

Still, the Biden team, which for the past several years has largely avoided commenting on Hunter Biden’s legal woes, remained exceptionally quiet on the subject in the lead-up to last week and this week’s depositions.

Both Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel who frequently attacks Republicans’ investigations of the Biden family, and Biden’s reelection campaign declined to comment on either deposition.

Hunter Biden’s deposition represents a “white whale,” so to speak, for Republican investigators, whose case against the president saw a significant setback with the recent indictment of former FBI confidential informant Alexander Smirnov.

Smirnov is accused of embellishing information regarding the Biden family’s business dealings and the president’s involvement, prosecutors argued in a secondary filing that Smirnov fabricated statements after meeting with Russian intelligence assets in 2023. The president has suggested his indictment should prompt Republicans to halt the impeachment proceedings.

“He is lying, and it should be dropped,” he told reporters in mid-February. “It’s been an outrageous effort from the beginning.”

Comer, on the other hand, said that Republicans have uncovered enough evidence to continue pursuing impeachment, despite the unreliability of Smirnov’s testimony.

“To be clear, the impeachment inquiry is not reliant on the FBI’s FD-1023,” Comer said in a statement. “It is based on a large record of evidence, including bank records and witness testimony, revealing that Joe Biden knew of and participated in his family’s business dealings.”

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has also stated his commitment to impeaching Biden after news of Smirnov’s indictment broke.

“It’s a tale as old as time. A government official takes action. That action benefits his family. And then, when questions are asked, there’s a cover-up. For President Joe Biden, it’s a story about money, influence, and protecting the Biden family brand,” he wrote on X on Monday. “The question is — will Americans let the Bidens get away with it.”

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