By refusing to appear before the House Oversight Committee for a standard closed-door deposition, Hunter Biden is widely expected to be held in contempt of Congress. And if we take Joe Biden's words at face value, the president thinks his son should be prosecuted for it.
On Wednesday, instead of complying with the committee's subpoena, he gave a whiny press conference, during which he played the victim card like a petulant child.
He accused Republicans of cherrypicking and fabricating evidence against him and denied any "financial involvement" by his father, Joe Biden, in his foreign business dealings. Hunter curiously moved the goalposts, considering that for a long time, the narrative was that Joe Biden never even spoke with his son about his business, and now suddenly, he seems to be conceding more significant involvement.
But regardless of his son's reasons for refusing to comply with the subpoena, Joe Biden is on record saying that anyone who doesn’t comply with a congressional subpoena should be prosecuted.
It’s true. In October 2021, Biden urged the Department of Justice to prosecute anyone who defied congressional subpoenas from the January 6 Select Committee.
“Mr. President, what’s your message to people who defy Congressional subpoenas on the January 6 Committee?” asked CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
“I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable criminally,” Biden told her.
"Should they be prosecuted by the Justice Department?” she asked in a follow-up.
“I do, yes,” Biden insisted.
Do you think he’s singing the same tune now? To be consistent, he should be, but let’s get real here. One journalist asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about Hunter’s defiance of the congressional subpoena on Wednesday, but she refused to answer.
"Is the President okay with his son defying a congressional subpoena?” the reporter asked.
"I’m just not going to get into — into specifics on that. I would have to re- — would have to refer you to the President’s — not the President, but Hunter’s personal—representatives. He is a private citizen, so I’m just not going to get into it."
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A reporter asked Jean-Pierre when Joe Biden last spoke with his son Hunter in an apparent attempt to find out if Joe Biden knew his son intended to skip the deposition. Jean-Pierre deflected again, saying, "I mean, I’m also not going to get into private conversation[s] that the President has with his family. We’ve been pretty consistent. That’s nothing new. We’re just not going to get into it from here."
It's amusing that Jean-Pierre seemed to know what the question was really about and used the line about private conversations to explain her reason for not answering. That's a red flag that Joe Biden likely knew about Hunter's plan to skip the deposition. But Biden is on record saying that those who defy congressional subpoenas should be criminally prosecuted.
And Hunter Biden did exactly that.