Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, gave a short news conference near the steps of Capitol Hill on Thursday in which he accused Republican investigators in Congress of weaponizing his personal problems against the president.
“I’m here today,” Biden began, “to answer at a public hearing any legitimate questions Chairman [James] Comer and the House Oversight Committee may have for me. I’m here today to ensure that the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies.”
Biden did not explain how, by holding a news conference rather than testifying under oath before the committee, he planned to accomplish that.
He then took some level of responsibility for what he called the “mistakes” of his past, before arguing that the “MAGA right” has taken advantage of those mistakes for their own “political purposes.”
“They have tried to dehumanize me, all to embarrass and damage my father,” he said later.
Biden referred to his critics as an “unrelenting Trump attack machine, shouting ‘Where’s Hunter?'” before providing his answer.
“I am here,” he said, referring apparently to the area outside the Capitol Building, and not the room in which the closed-door deposition to which he had been subpoenaed by House investigators.
His refusal to appear before the committee will, according to NBC News, lead House Republicans to move to hold him in contempt of Congress.
However, with the House set to leave D.C. until after the first of the year, it was unlikely that a vote on any contempt bill would be held in 2023.
If that does happen, it will just add fuel to the fire of legal battles current besetting the president’s son, including federal gun charges and nine counts related to tax evasion.
Biden’s statement came as the Republican-controlled House prepared a vote, also possibly to come Wednesday, to launch an impeachment investigation into Joe Biden, NBC noted.
You can watch Biden’s statement in its entirety below.
Biden accused Republicans of not wanting an “open process,” but Rep. James Comer told reporters, also on Wednesday, that if Biden wanted a public hearing, he could have one.
“This is a normal process of investigation,” Comer told reporters.
“We expect to depose the president’s son. And then we’ll be more than happy to have a public hearing with him.”