House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said what the rest of us (TPM) have been thinking (screaming) for months Tuesday in response to House Republicans’ rejection of Hunter Biden’s offer to publicly testify before the panel.
Earlier this month, House Republicans on the oversight panel issued a subpoena to depose Hunter Biden on Dec. 13, as part of their “””investigation””” into his business dealings. The President’s son’s lawyer responded to the committee in a letter on Tuesday, saying Hunter Biden would comply, but suggested the hearing be made public, rather than a closed-door deposition. The attorney, Abbe Lowell, argued his client would prefer public testimony because he doesn’t trust House Republicans to accurately convey information to the American people.
“We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door,” Lowell wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY), who is leading the Biden family disinfo campaign. “If, as you claim, your efforts are important and involve issues that Americans should know about, then let the light shine on these proceedings.”
Comer denied the request, saying Hunter Biden was trying to “play by his own rules instead of following the rules” (???), but said he could testify in public another time. Raskin, in turn, shredded his Republican colleagues in a statement Tuesday:
“Let me get this straight. After wailing and moaning for ten months about Hunter Biden and alluding to some vast unproven family conspiracy, after sending Hunter Biden a subpoena to appear and testify, Chairman Comer and the Oversight Republicans now reject his offer to appear before the full Committee and the eyes of the world and to answer any questions that they pose? What an epic humiliation for our colleagues and what a frank confession that they are simply not interested in the facts and have no confidence in their own case or the ability of their own Members to pursue it.”
If the professional antagonists on the committee actually bought what they’ve been selling, the move would be baffling. But, as Raskin put it, the move provides further evidence that House Republicans don’t actually believe what they’ve been proclaiming loudly for months — that they have mountains of evidence that justify a Joe Biden impeachment inquiry.
It’s a recurring theme. During House Republicans’ first Trump retribution crusade couched as a Joe Biden impeachment inquiry, several of Republicans’ supposed star witnesses acknowledged outright that none of the information presented to the committee amounted to a crime committed by the President. Keeping Hunter Biden’s testimony under wraps ensures that they can avoid similar, further humiliation in front of the cameras.
Raskin touched on this as well:
“After the miserable failure of their impeachment hearing in September, Chairman Comer has now apparently decided to avoid all Committee hearings where the public can actually see for itself the logical, rhetorical and factual contortions they have tied themselves up in. The evidence has shown time and again President Biden has committed no wrongdoing, much less an impeachable offense.”
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