Hunter Biden at deposition: ‘I did not involve my father in my business’

Hunter Biden agreed to appear before House Republicans for a private deposition Wednesday, as part of the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden

Hunter Biden appeared on Capitol Hill on Feb. 28 for the closed-door deposition with lawmakers. Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings for over a year in a so far futile effort to connect it to his father.

"For more than a year, your Committees have hunted me in your partisan political pursuit of my dad," Hunter Biden said in his opening statement obtained by The Associated Press. He accused Republicans of trafficking in "innuendo, distortion, and sensationalism" and insisted, "I did not involve my father in my business."

After the nearly seven-hour deposition wrapped, an attorney for the president's son told reporters that during the testimony Republicans "produced no evidence that would do anything to support the notion that there was any financial transactions that involved Hunter with his father. Period."

FILE - Hunter Biden attends the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled

FILE - Hunter Biden attends the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled "Resolution Recommending That The House Of Representatives Find Robert Hunter Biden In Contempt Of Congress," in Rayburn Building on Jan. 10, 2024. (Tom Willia

He added, "It seems to me that the Republican members wanted to spend more time talking about my client’s addiction than they could ask any question that had anything to do with what they call their impeachment inquiry." The White House echoed their sentiments, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying the probe is a "stunt" that has "dragged on for months and months."

Rep. James Comer, one of the GOP chairmen, came out late Wednesday to declare that it was a "great deposition," and said it helped back several pieces of evidence they've gathered thus far.

"But there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review," the Kentucky Republican said, adding that the next forum for that will be a public hearing with Hunter Biden at a future date.

The deposition could mark a decisive point for the 14-month Republican investigation into the Biden family, which has centered on Hunter Biden and his overseas work for clients in Ukraine, China, Romania and other countries. 

After conducting dozens of interviews and obtaining more than 100,000 pages of documents, Republicans have yet to produce direct evidence of misconduct by the president.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., one of the members inside the deposition, told reporters Wednesday that the president's son had provided testimony in the first hour that was "defiant and dishonest."

Meanwhile, Democrats on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees came out during the break to call out what they called an "embarrassing spectacle where the Republicans continued to belabor completely trivial points."

"Based on this first hour, this whole thing really has been a tremendous waste of our legislative time and the people’s resources," Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said.

"This thing is over. A referee would stop the fight if this was a boxing match. A coroner would pronounce this thing dead," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said about the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

He added that Hunter Biden had "leaned in" and had not been afraid to answer any of the questions. "In fact, he's challenged a number of Republicans about their baseless theories," Swalwell said.

Hunter Biden agrees to deposition

The House Oversight Committee announced last month that the two parties had agreed for the president’s son to sit for the deposition on Feb. 28.

The task of interviewing Hunter fell largely on Comer and Jim Jordan, the GOP chairmen leading the impeachment investigation.

Jordan declined to answer reporters' questions in the hallways. He cited the sensitivity of a private deposition and said the release of the public transcript would speak for itself.

The president's son had been subpoenaed to sit for a closed-door deposition late last year but said he would testify only in a public forum and previously rebuked the probe as "illegitimate."

Speaking with reporters in January, Comer also said that Hunter Biden was a "key witness" in the investigation and "he’s gonna be able to come in now and sit down and answer questions in a substantive, orderly manner." 

He added that Hunter Biden would be able to testify publicly sometime after his deposition.

House authorizes impeachment inquiry into Biden

In December, the House authorized the impeachment inquiry into President Biden with every Republican rallying behind the process despite lingering concerns among some in the party that the investigation has yet to produce evidence of misconduct by the president.

The 221-212 party-line vote put the entire House Republican conference on record in support of an impeachment process that can lead to the ultimate penalty for a president: punishment for what the Constitution describes as "high crimes and misdemeanors," which can lead to removal from office if convicted in a Senate trial.

The president has denied any wrongdoing.

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"Instead of doing anything to help make Americans’ lives better, they are focused on attacking me with lies," Joe Biden said following the vote. "Instead of doing their job on the urgent work that needs to be done, they are choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts."

Authorizing the months-long inquiry ensures that the impeachment investigation extends well into 2024 amid Biden’s reelection campaign. He seems likely to be squaring off against former President Donald Trump — who was twice impeached during his time in the White House.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.