Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

House Republicans hit pause on effort to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress

By 37ci3 Jan17,2024

The House of Representatives has stopped moving forward with a resolution to seize Hunter Biden After Biden’s lawyers and the House Judiciary and Oversight committees renewed talks on setting a date, Congress was held in contempt. son of the president to appear and testify.

Two Republican-led committees voted in contempt of Congress last week to recommend that the full House retain Hunter Biden. for defying a subpoena in a Republican impeachment inquiry against his father. The younger Biden offered to testify in a public hearing, and he appeared on Capitol Hill to testify on the day ordered in the subpoena in December, but did not appear for the closed testimony requested by the committees.

After the contempt vote, Biden’s top lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wrote to the committees that the subpoenas were “legally invalid” because they were issued before the House voted last month to authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. but he said that if the committees issue new subpoenas, Hunter Biden’s legal team will accept them on behalf of his clients.. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky. and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said they would issue new subpoenas, and sources said Monday the committee chairs were poised to make recommendations to leadership. A potential vote for Biden in contempt of Congress if he actually cooperates with the committee and tries to set a date for a closed deposition.

“Following correspondence between the parties on January 12th and January 14th, committee staff and Hunter Biden’s attorneys are working to schedule Hunter Biden’s appearance,” a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee said. “Negotiations continue this afternoon, and with members’ travel disrupted and votes canceled, the House Rules Committee is not considering a contempt resolution today to give attorneys more time to reach a deal.”

Hunter Biden’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden’s Hollywood attorney, Kevin Morris, plans to sit down for a transcribed interview with staff on the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees Thursday, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Morris received a formal request, though not a subpoena, for a transcribed interview in November as part of the committees’ impeachment inquiry into the president.

NBC News reported that Morris began advising Hunter Biden in 2020 and arranged for him to pay nearly $2 million in unpaid tax liabilities to the IRS in 2020 and 2021.

Morris declined to comment.

Morris’ payments to the IRS were not a focus of federal prosecutors, according to multiple sources familiar with the five-year investigation. Morris is listed in a federal indictment filed in December as a “personal friend” who gave Hunter Biden nearly $200,000 for rent.

The House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees wrote to Morris in November to testify, citing news reports that he owed Hunter Biden more than $2 million and other testimony they obtained that he made tax payments on Biden’s behalf. They also pointed to Biden’s original plea agreement, which fell apart in August and identified a third party to make tax payments on his behalf.

“The committees are interested in understanding the nature and purpose of any loans or payments made on behalf of Hunter Biden while Joe Biden was running for or holding public office. Among other things, the Committees intend to understand the terms of any such loans you have made to Hunter Biden and what benefits you may receive as a result of your financial assistance to President Biden’s son,” the committee chairs wrote in their letter to Morris.

Separately, the Ways and Means Committee obtained and released documents from two IRS whistleblowers who worked on the Hunter Biden case. e-mail Morris contacted Biden’s accountant in February 2020 to discuss his desire to reconcile Biden’s back taxes because they posed “significant personal and political risk.”

The House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees did not comment on Morris’ scheduled testimony.

Morris is a longtime Hollywood lawyer, producer and writer known for arranging lucrative deals, including with the creators of South Park and The Book of Mormon. He and a small group of veteran documentary filmmakers are working on several documentaries — about subjects ranging from Hunter Biden and former Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the JFK assassins. Sources familiar with the production said that there was no editorial control during the filming process of the film with Biden.

Morris notably did not attend Biden’s trial in a Los Angeles courtroom last week. In December, he appeared with Biden for a surprise news conference outside the Capitol and sat next to him at a House sign-of-control hearing last week for a resolution to hold Biden in contempt of Congress.

Morris’ friendship with Biden dates back to 2019. “I don’t know where I’d be without Kevin” Biden spoke to the Los Angeles Times this month. “And I don’t mean he lent me money to survive this attack, I mean he gave me my dignity back. He was a brother for me.”

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By 37ci3

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