House Republicans Suddenly Chill With Public Hunter Biden Testimony—Now That They Officially Have Nothing

Estimated read time 3 min read

They never really had anything to begin with.

You’ll recall that this fall House Republicans on the Oversight Committee spent weeks getting really worked up on Fox News about how Hunter Biden was defying their subpoenas and evading congressional testimony as part of their bogus impeachment inquiry into President Biden. With the impeachment push, Republicans were supposedly less interested in Hunter’s personal life, the details of which had obsessed them at other times, and more in various airy and Giulianiesque allegations trumpeted in the right-wing press, speculating that Hunter had been involved with a bribe that was paid to the President himself.

Hunter had actually agreed to show up for a deposition, but requested that it be held in public, rather than behind closed doors. The President’s son, his attorney said, did not trust that House Republicans would accurately convey his private testimony to the public. And why would he after they’d spent years using his private life to accuse his father of fake crimes?

At the time, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) insisted that Hunter was trying to “play by his own rules instead of following the rules.” In reality, it was around this time that it started to become overwhelmingly clear that House Republicans did not have the promised evidence that would show President Biden to be guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” — or anything at all. Their star witnesses admitted as much during the first hearing for their impeachment inquiry/retribution crusade. It would’ve been a bit risky to hold another public hearing so quickly after the embarrassment of the first.

Hunter did ultimately end up providing the committee with a closed-door deposition, just days after it was revealed last month that Alexander Smirnov, another key source for Republicans — particularly for the claim that President Biden took a bribe to help his son — was arrested and charged with making false statements to the FBI. DOJ officials alleged in the indictment that Smirnov made up the bribery tip because he was opposed to Biden’s candidacy for U.S. president.

The closed-door hearing did not go well for Republicans, either, and failed to produce any sort of smoking gun. As expected, it was ultimately rather dumb. For example:

So now that their big tipster’s been arrested as they run out of time to impeach Joe Biden before the election, House Republicans are desperate to squeeze any remaining juice they can from their Hunter Biden humiliation crusade. So, Republicans on the panel invited Hunter and some of his former business associates to testify publicly before Congress on March 20. TBD if the President’s son will play along much longer.

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