'You Have No Balls': House Committee Descends Into Chaos As Hunter Biden Crashes Contempt Vote

The president's son unexpectedly showed up at a House Oversight Committee meeting that went completely off the rails.

WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden’s son made a surprise appearance Wednesday at a House Oversight Committee hearing where Republicans approved a resolution holding him in contempt of Congress.

Hunter Biden’s arrival served as a reminder that he has offered to testify in response to Republicans’ subpoena for his testimony ― but only in public.

Republicans have insisted he speak in a private deposition and are holding him in contempt because of his refusal. If approved by the full House, the contempt resolution would result in a request for the Justice Department to press charges.

Both the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee approved the contempt resolution Wednesday. It’s not clear how soon the resolution could see a vote on the chamber floor.

Biden’s brief appearance threw the oversight committee meeting into early chaos, and even after he left the proceedings repeatedly broke down or went off topic as lawmakers interrupted each other, debated the meaning of “white privilege” and argued over the use of “revenge porn” in the hearing room.

Biden arrived as the committee’s top members made their opening statements. He sat in the audience, behind the witness table, occasionally smirking as Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) mocked him and said he belonged in jail.

“Who bribed Hunter Biden to be here today?” Mace said. “You are the epitome of white privilege, coming to the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a congressional subpoena to be deposed — what are you afraid of?”

Before being interrupted, Mace told Biden, “You have no balls.”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) noted that Biden’s appearance in the room seemed contrary to Mace’s statement.

“He’s here. Doesn’t seem to be too afraid,” Moskowitz said. “The only folks that are afraid to hear from the witness, with the American people watching, are my friends on the other side of the aisle.”

Hunter Biden (left) and his attorney Abbe Lowell attend Wednesday's House Oversight and Accountability Committee meeting on whether he should be held in contempt. Biden sat in the audience section for about 20 minutes.
Hunter Biden (left) and his attorney Abbe Lowell attend Wednesday's House Oversight and Accountability Committee meeting on whether he should be held in contempt. Biden sat in the audience section for about 20 minutes.
Tom Williams via Getty Images

But Biden got up and left as soon as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) started speaking. Last summer at a committee hearing, Greene displayed photos of Biden in the midst of sex acts with women who were apparent sex workers.

As he left, Greene and others shouted “aww” in mock sympathy.

“Hunter Biden is terrified of strong conservative Republican women,” Greene said. “What a coward.”

It was Biden’s second visit to Capitol Hill in a month. He also showed up on his deposition date in December, but delivered prepared remarks outside the Senate rather than show up at the oversight committee.

In the hallway outside of the hearing room on Wednesday, Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said Biden had previously made five offers to provide “relevant information” to the investigation.

“Our first five offers were ignored, and then in November they issued a subpoena for a behind-closed-doors deposition, a tactic that the Republicans have repeatedly misused in their political crusade to selectively leak and mischaracterize what witnesses have said,” Lowell said, with Biden standing by his side.

The contempt hearing is an offshoot of the impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, whom Republicans have dubiously claimed participated in his son’s foreign business deals. But Wednesday’s proceedings were emblematic of the investigation into the president, which has failed to uncover incriminating evidence while repeatedly delving into seemingly irrelevant material, such as Hunter Biden’s second career as an artist and a pickup truck he bought with his father’s help in 2018.

The main corruption allegation against the Bidens is that when he was vice president, Joe Biden benefited his son by urging Ukraine to fire a prosecutor when Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian company. State Department officials debunked the allegation in testimony over the course of 2019 and 2020; Republicans have ignored that testimony.

The major point of disagreement Wednesday was wether Biden deserved a contempt citation for refusing to show for a deposition despite his willingness to speak publicly. It’s an unprecedented situation.

Democrats repeatedly noted that several Republicans on the committee ― Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) ― faced little consequences for blowing off subpoenas in 2022 from a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Perry said the Jan. 6 committee “was nothing more than a Soviet show trial in America,” and that therefore Republicans could ignore its subpoenas.

Later, Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) took issue with Mace’s “white privilege” accusation against Biden.

“It was a spit in the face ― at least of mine as a Black woman ― for you to talk about what white privilege looks like,” Crockett said, noting the “lack of diversity” among elected Republicans and their dubious claims of a two-tier justice system that persecutes conservatives.

Crockett added, “Let me tell you why nobody wants to talk to you behind closed doors ― because y’all lie.”

At one point, the hearing stopped for several minutes as the committee’s chairman, James Comer (R-Ky.), and its top Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), huddled with staff on the question of whether Greene could speak out of turn to address whether she had previously shown “revenge porn” of Hunter Biden. As they talked, Moskowitz held up a giant photo of Donald Trump with the infamous sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.

Greene later held up a poster with images taken from Hunter Biden’s laptop, alleging they showed Biden paying prostitutes to cross state lines for sex, in violation of federal law.

Raskin objected, saying the material was pornographic and irrelevant to an investigation of the president.

“This is not ‘The Jerry Springer Show,’” he said, in reference to a raunchy and sometimes-violent daytime talk show.

Comer insisted the pictures were relevant, since Republicans have claimed that the Justice Department has gone easy on the president’s son. (Hunter Biden faces felony gun and tax charges.) The committee voted along party lines to allow the material to be part of the hearing.

At one point, Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Mo.) suggested that Wednesday’s hearing itself showed the shortcomings of congressional hearings.

“This is the reason why we want to have a deposition,” he said.

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