House Republicans will begin the process of holding Hunter Biden in criminal contempt of Congress on Wednesday for not complying with a congressional subpoena to sit for a closed-door deposition last month.

Both the House Oversight and House Judiciary committees, which subpoenaed the president’s son for his testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, will hold separate markups of the contempt resolution.

The allegations at the core of the Republican-led investigation stem from unproven claims that the president was involved in or financially benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings, making the president’s son a crucial witness for their probe.

Instead of sitting for his deposition, Hunter Biden held a news conference outside the Capitol and has said he will only testify in a public setting. House Republicans maintained they were willing to hold a public hearing with the president’s son, but only after he sat for a private interview. After the younger Biden did not appear for his deposition, House Oversight Chair James Comer and House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan issued a joint statement announcing they would begin contempt proceedings.

The pair of markups on Wednesday kick off a lengthy process and underscore that the Republican effort to obtain testimony from the president’s son will remain difficult. If the contempt resolution passes out of committee, it is referred to the full House for a contempt vote.

If an eventual House floor vote succeeds, the Department of Justice, which is already pursuing two criminal cases against the president’s son, would have to determine whether to prosecute the president’s son for evading a congressional subpoena.

White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations Ian Sams issued a statement ahead of the committee meetings, dismissing “baseless attacks” against the president’s family members and calling on Republican lawmakers to focus on Congress’ other responsibilities.

“Instead of playing politics, they should do their jobs, fund the government and border security, and focus on solutions that benefit the American people,” Sams stated.

Ahead of the markup, Jordan told CNN he expects the contempt resolution to pass, but did not know when it would come to the floor or how quickly the referral would move through the Justice Department if it got to that point.

“Whenever Speaker Johnson wants to put it on the floor, for a floor vote, then it’s up to Merrick Garland and Mr. Graves,” Jordan told CNN.

With Congress back this week from its winter recess, House Republicans are ramping up their investigations at a busy time on Capitol Hill. The meetings are scheduled to happen at the same time Wednesday the House Homeland Security Committee is moving forward with its impeachment investigation into DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Sams highlighted that Congress is just days away from a government funding deadline but that House Republicans are instead focusing on their investigations.

“House Republicans are less than ten days from sparking a partial government shutdown that many of their far-right members are rooting for, but instead of working full-time to avoid it, they are wasting time on political stunts,” Sams said in a statement. “These baseless attacks on the President’s Cabinet and family members will do nothing to help improve Americans’ daily lives, strengthen our border security, or improve the economy; all they will do is help extreme House Republicans get booked on Fox and Newsmax to try to distract from their inability to govern.”

With the Biden probe moving methodically and a number of Republicans still skeptical about impeaching the president, senior Republicans now believe targeting Mayorkas will be an easier lift as the border crisis becomes a defining campaign issue.

“There’s a lot of competing impeachments so it’s tough to tell who is in the lead,” Rep. Tony Gonzales, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN.

“I will say that I think a lot of the members up here have lost confidence in DHS,” the Texas Republican added.

House Republicans have lambasted Mayorkas over what they’ve claimed to be a dereliction of duty as border crossings have reached record highs, laying the groundwork for impeachment proceedings. If the Homeland Security secretary is impeached, it would be an exceedingly rare event. Only one Cabinet official has ever been impeached in American history – Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.

Jordan said Republicans will “find out” if the House can pursue two impeachments at once, but said he believes “there is strong, compelling evidence for both.”


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