House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said Hunter Biden made a ‘huge change’ by saying his father, President Biden, was ‘not financially involved’ in his business dealings.
Jordan’s comments came shortly after Hunter Biden defied his subpoena by not appearing for a deposition before the House Oversight Committee, and instead, delivering a public statement defending himself and his family amid the House impeachment inquiry against his father.
‘My father was not financially involved in my business,’ Hunter Biden said Wednesday morning from Capitol Hill, adding the president was not involved in his dealings with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, or his Chinese investments and others in the U.S.
‘No evidence to support that my father was financially involved in my business because it did not happen,’ Hunter Biden said.
The White House and President Biden have maintained that the president was ‘never in business’ with his son. Biden has also said he never spoke to his son about his business dealings, but Republicans say evidence — including email records and testimony from Hunter Biden’s former business partners — seem to contradict those statements.
Jordan, shortly after Hunter Biden’s public appearance, pointed out his changing narrative.
‘I would just point out that I’ve had a chance to review what Hunter Biden said in his press conference. I think he made an interesting statement,’ Jordan said. ‘He said his father was not financially involved in the business. And I think that qualifier, the word ‘financially’ is important because once again, it shows another change in this story.’
Jordan continued, ‘First, it was no involvement. Then no one ever, never talked to anyone, and then we find out about the dinners, the meetings, the phone calls, everything else.’
‘Now, it’s okay, he wasn’t involved in the business financially,’ Jordan continued. ‘I think that is important. It’s one of the reasons we want to talk to Hunter Biden.’
Jordan said the ‘biggest takeaway’ from Hunter Biden’s appearance was that statement about President Biden not being financially involved — which to Jordan indicates the elder Biden may have been involved in his son’s business dealings in other ways.
‘That is a huge change, which means — sort of means he’s involved,’ Jordan said. ‘I think that’s how anyone with common sense would read it.’
Jordan described the change as indicating President Biden has ‘been involved, just not financially.’
Jordan said that ‘is a huge departure from everything they’ve said now for the last three and a half years.’
President Biden, dating back to August 2019 on the 2020 campaign trail, said he ‘never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their business, period.’
A month later, Biden said he had ‘never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.’
The next month, Biden said, ‘I don’t discuss business with my son.’
This summer, however, the White House made a change, and began saying Biden was not ‘in business’ with his son during his vice presidency.
‘As we have said many times before, the president was not in business with his son,’ White House counsel’s office spokesperson Ian Sams said in a June 29 statement.
‘The answer remains the same,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a July 24 briefing. ‘The president was never in business with his son. I just don’t have anything else to add.’
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Jordan, Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith wrote a letter to White House Counsel Stuart Delery in July to seek clarity on the shifting message, but their July 27 deadline was ignored.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell in September said he can ‘categorically’ declare that the elder Biden was not involved in his son’s previous business dealings and did not profit from any of them.
‘I can tell you that Hunter did not share his business with his dad,’ Lowell told CNN in September. ‘I can tell you that he did not share money from his businesses with his dad. And as the evidence out there, his dad, like all good parents, tried to help Hunter when Hunter needed that help.’
Meanwhile, Comer and Jordan last week threatened to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress if he defied the subpoena and failed to appear for his deposition.
Comer and Jordan had vowed to release the full transcript of Hunter Biden’s deposition if he did participate. They also vowed to then schedule a public hearing for the president’s son to testify in a setting for the American people to hear from him directly.
Meanwhile, Comer and Jordan spoke to reporters, defending their ‘lawful subpoena of the president’s son.’
‘This is a normal process in an investigation,’ Comer said. ‘This has been a serious investigation since day one — an investigation about public corruption at the highest level.’
Comer said he still expects to depose the president’s son.
‘And then we will be more than happy to have a public hearing,’ Comer said.
Jordan said if a public hearing took place first, as suggested by the first son, members would filibuster and delay lines of questioning.
‘The way you get the facts is you bring people in for an interview behind closed doors,’ Jordan said.
Lowell and the White House have argued that the subpoena was not valid because the House impeachment inquiry was never formalized by the full House of Representatives.
However, a vote to do so is expected later Wednesday.
‘We think it is going to pass,’ Jordan said. ‘We’ll see what their excuse is then.’
However, Jordan did say that once that vote takes place, he and Comer will, as promised, ‘move forward with contempt proceedings’ against the first son.
Comer said that the committee has tens of thousands of documents prepared in the room where Hunter Biden was expected to testify.
Comer said the committee has ‘specific questions for the president’s son,’ and said the American people want this investigation.