House Republicans shocked as Hunter Biden arrives at House contempt hearing

Hunter Biden shocked Republicans on Wednesday, after unexpectedly arriving at a House hearing on the charges of contempt of Congress against him.

The Oversight Committee was meeting to consider a resolution to hold the president’s son in contempt for defying a House subpoena.

Cameras blazed as he strode into the room with his attorney, Abbe Lowell.

Republicans appeared angered by the move, with Rep Nancy Mace accusing him of “white privilege”.

“I think that Hunter Biden should be arrested right here, right now, and go straight to jail,” the South Carolina congresswoman said. “Our nation is founded on the rule of law and the premise that the law applies equally to everyone, no matter what your last name is.”

Democrats on the panel urged Republicans to allow Mr Biden, who sat in the audience, to be allowed to speak. But chair James Comer, who at times struggled to control the hearing, declined: “Mr Biden doesn’t make the rules, we make the rules.”

Mr Biden exited Congress without speaking at the hearing a short time later. He exited the room as right-wing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene began to speak.

The Georgia representative, who has previously displayed nude images of Mr Biden during hearings, called him a “coward”.

Though he remained largely quiet as he left the Capitol, Mr Biden did answer one question. It centred on why he allegedly put his father on speakerphone in roughly 20 business meetings he held during Joe Biden’s vice-presidency.

“If he called you, would you answer the phone?” the president’s son said.

The Oversight Committee is planning to consider the contempt resolution later on Wednesday. Its passage through that body is the first step toward it being considered by the wider House.

For Mr Biden to be held in contempt it would require a simple majority in the chamber, which Republicans hold by a slim two-seat margin.

The 53-year-old’s lawyer, Mr Lowell, who accompanied him, reprimanded Republicans for using Mr Biden as a “surrogate to attack his father”, President Joe Biden. House Republicans have alleged that Mr Biden and his family unfairly profited from the elder Biden’s longstanding political status in Washington.

The White House and Hunter Biden have denied the allegations.

Hunter Biden was subpoenaed to testify privately about his business dealings for the impeachment case against his father last year.

In November, he told House Republicans that he was willing to testify to the Oversight Committee, but only if it was a public hearing. His counsel, Mr Lowell, said it would “let the light shine” on the proceedings.

Republicans refused, and instead Mr Biden made a rare in-person statement outside the Capitol on the day he was to appear before Congress. He slammed Republicans, alleging they had “distorted the facts” and called for a public hearing.

The younger Biden is also facing charges for possession of a gun while being an admitted drug addict and for lying on a federal form.

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