Republican House committees escalate impeachment probe by demanding the White House provide documents on Hunter Biden

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The Republican-led House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Wednesday are seeking any communications between the White House and lawyers for Hunter Biden about efforts to depose the president’sson as part of their impeachment inquiry.

House Oversight Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, made the request in a letter to Edward Siskel, assistant to the president and White House counsel, obtained by NBC News. The GOP chairmen said they’re seeking to determine whether the president was involved in his son’s decision to not comply with a congressional subpoena.

The letter asks for all “documents and communications sent or received by employees of the Executive Office of the President regarding the deposition of Hunter Biden,” as well as any records “sent or received by employees of the Executive Office of the President regarding President Biden’s statement about his family’s business associates on December 6, 2023.”

The Republican lawmakers indicated they’re not aware whether any such communications exist.

“In light of an official statement from the White House that President Biden was aware in advance that his son, Hunter Biden, would knowingly defy two congressional subpoenas, we are compelled to examine as part of our impeachment inquiry whether the President engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct a proceeding of Congress,” Comer and Jordan wrote.

“The fact that the President had advanced awareness that Mr. Biden would defy the Committees’ subpoenas raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the Committees’ proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the Committees’ subpoenas. Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense,” they added.

The White House declined to comment. The offices of Abbe Lowell and Kevin Morris, attorneys for Hunter Biden, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Comer and Jordan referred specifically to a statement made during a White House press briefing Dec. 13 in response to a question about Hunter Biden’s statement on the day he was due to appear for a closed-door deposition. Instead of participating in the deposition, as Republicans had requested, the president’s son spoke to reporters at a news conference outside the Capitol, repeating his offer to testify in a public hearing.

“I’m here today to make sure that the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family did not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies. And I’m here today to acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes in my life, and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded,” Hunter Biden said, reading a prepared statement. “For that, I’m responsible, for that I’m accountable and for that, I’m making amends.”

During the Dec. 13 press briefing, a reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “Did [President Joe Biden] spend any time watching what his son had to say outside the Capitol?”

Jean-Pierre noted that Hunter Biden is a private citizen and referred reporters to his representatives, adding that “the president was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”

“And I think what you saw was from the heart from his son,” she said. “And you’ve heard — you’ve heard me say this; you’ve heard the president say this: When it comes to the president and the first lady, they are proud of him continuing to rebuild his life. They are proud of their son.”

After Hunter Biden defied the request for a closed-door deposition, Comer and Jordan said Republicans would initiate contempt of Congress proceedings. The House is not expected to be back in session until the second week of January.

House Republicans last week released records showing that the president exchanged emails with his son’s business associate 54 times while he was serving as vice president, with some of the messages sent around the time he was traveling to Ukraine while his son was working for a Ukrainian gas company. The records do not include the content of the emails. NBC News has not independently reviewed the messages.

Hunter Biden faces a series of legal woes. Federal prosecutors charged him with nine tax-related charges this month, including three felony counts. That came after he was indicted in September on federal charges of possessing a gun while using narcotics.

Comer has accused Hunter Biden and other Biden family members of engaging in “shady business practices,” but has not yet provided concrete evidence of wrongdoing or influence peddling by the president.

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Republican House committees escalate impeachment probe by demanding the White House provide documents on Hunter Biden

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