Earlier this month, Hunter Biden defied a congressional subpoena, choosing instead to give a press conference on Capitol Hill. While this act in itself means he has some new legal troubles, it now also means that House Republicans have something new to add to the list of Biden’s impeachable offenses.
What do I mean? Do you remember how White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre let a detail slip during a White House press briefing that Joe Biden spoke with Hunter before he defied the subpoena and knew what he was going to say?
“Look,” she said, “as you know, Hunter Biden is a private citizen. And so, I certainly would refer you to his representatives. Look, you know, 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.”
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called Jean-Pierre’s admission a “breathtaking mistake.”
“If this latest allegation is true, the president was speaking with his son about committing a potentially criminal act of contempt. Hunter was refusing to give testimony focused not on his own role but on his father’s potential role in the alleged influence peddling. The House can pursue evidence on that conversation and how the president may have supported his son’s effort,” Turley explained.
Well, now that’s what Republicans are looking into. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced on Wednesday that they are investigating “whether President Biden sought to influence or obstruct the Committees’ proceedings by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son, Hunter Biden, from complying with the Committees’ subpoenas for a deposition as part of the House of Representatives’ ongoing impeachment inquiry,” which they say “could constitute an impeachable offense.”
And Jean-Pierre’s statement about Joe Biden being familiar with Hunter’s plans is key evidence.
“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,” wrote Chairmen Comer and Jordan in a letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel. “Under the relevant section of the criminal code, it is unlawful to ‘corruptly . . . endeavor to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any investigation or inquiry is being had by . . . any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress[.]’ Likewise, any person who ‘aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures’ the commission of a crime is punishable as a principal of the crime.”
Between all the bribery and influence-peddling that House Republicans have uncovered as part of their ongoing investigation, Joe Biden really didn’t need this on top of everything else. Jean-Pierre ought to be out of a job for revealing this nugget of information that Republicans are now treating as evidence.
“In light of Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement, we are compelled to examine the involvement of the President in his son’s scheme to defy the Committees’ subpoenas,” Comer and Jordan wrote. “The Committees have accumulated substantial evidence that Hunter Biden’s business endeavors have improperly included his father, and the President has made false claims about his knowledge and involvement in these schemes.”