Republicans push ahead with Hunter Biden contempt charge after his surprise visit to Capitol Hill

Hunter Biden, center, leaves a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday as Republicans take the first step toward holding him in contempt of Congress in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — Republicans on Wednesday took the first step toward holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena. They advanced the charge to a full House vote just hours after the president’s son sparked a momentary political frenzy by appearing in the front row for part of the debate.

The House Oversight and Judiciary committees each passed contempt charges against the younger Biden with unanimous Republican support and all Democrats opposed. The action sets up a House vote on recommending criminal charges against a member of President Joe Biden’s family as the GOP moves into the final stages of an impeachment inquiry into the president himself.


If the House votes to hold Hunter Biden in contempt, it will be up to the Department of Justice, specifically the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to decide whether to prosecute.

It’s the latest step for the inquiry, which began in September, but has so far failed to uncover evidence directly implicating the president in wrongdoing involving his son’s business dealings.

Hunter Biden has defended his lack of compliance with the GOP-issued subpoena, which ordered him to appear for closed-door testimony in mid-December. Biden and his attorneys said information from private interviews can be selectively leaked and manipulated by House Republicans and insisted that he would only testify in public

The arrival of the president’s son at the Oversight Committee, which has been engaged in a yearlong probe, sitting in the audience with his legal team sent the panel into chaos.

One Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, insisted that Hunter Biden be quickly arrested. GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia called him a coward as he left during her remarks. Democratic lawmakers argued that Biden, who has refused to testify to the panel behind closed doors, should be allowed to speak publicly.

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