BREAKING: Hunter Biden refuses to attend deposition, claims House committee that subpoenaed him is 'illegitimate'

"I’m also here today to correct how the MAGA right has portrayed me for their political purposes," Hunter Biden said outside the Capitol.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Hunter Biden arrived on Wednesday morning in Washington DC, not to appear in a deposition before Congress to answer to allegations of shady business deals and influence peddling undertaken by himself and his family members, but instead to deliver a statement on the Capitol lawn, calling the committee's investigation "illegitimate."

Speaking outside the Capitol, Hunter Biden said, "here I am Mr. Chairman, taking up your offer when you said we can bring these people for depositions or committee hearings, whichever they choose. Well, I've chosen, I'm here to testify at a public hearing today to answer any of the committee's legitimate questions."

"Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say. What are they afraid of? I'm here, I'm ready."

However, he has not submitted to the closed-door meeting House Oversight demanded he attend. Biden wants the meeting to be public.

According to the Committee on House Administration rules, depositions of a witness are to take place only in the presence of the "Committee, Committee staff designed by the Chairman or the ranking minority member, an official reporter, the witness, and the witness’ two designated attorneys." Hunter Biden, however, doesn't think this rule should apply to him.

"I’m also here today to correct how the MAGA right has portrayed me for their political purposes."

Hunter Biden said that he has "made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded. I’m responsible for that. I’m accountable for that."

"Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business," Hunter Biden said, "not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not in my investments at home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist."

He later added, "There is no evidence to support the allegations that my father was financially involved in my business, because it did not happen. James Comer, Jim Jordan, Jason Smith, and their colleagues have distorted the facts."

The time for the speech was reportedly set aside by Rep Eric Swalwell.

Leading up to the deposition, GOP lawmakers threatened to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress if he did not show.

"We received your letters dated November 28, 2023, and December 6, 2023, concerning the deposition subpoenas," the letter from House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to Hunter Biden's attorney Abbe Lowell read. 

"Contrary to the assertions in your letter, there is no 'choice' for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13."

"If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings," the letter concluded.

According to Fox News, Lowell said in November that Hunter Biden wanted to testify publicly as opposed to a closed-door interview. The GOP chairmen said that Hunter Biden must appear for the deposition first.

"Mr. Biden has offered to appear at a hearing on the December 13, 2023, date you have reserved, or another date this month, to answer any question pertinent and relevant to the subject matter," Lowell wrote in a letter earlier in December.

"He is making this choice because the Committee has demonstrated time and time again it uses closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public — a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings," Lowell said. "We look forward to working out the schedule."

Comer and Jordan have pledged to release the full transcript after the deposition takes place.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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