WASHINGTON — Hunter Biden caved Friday and agreed to sit for a deposition in the House impeachment inquiry into his father — moving to avoid a vote as soon as next week to hold him in contempt of Congress.
Hunter, 53, waved a white flag in a letter to Congress from his attorney Abbe Lowell.
“If you issue a new proper subpoena, now that there is a duly authorized impeachment inquiry, Mr. Biden will comply for a hearing or deposition. We will accept such a subpoena on Mr. Biden’s behalf,” Lowell wrote.
The House Judiciary and Oversight committees voted separately Wednesday to hold Hunter in contempt — after the first son crashed the Oversight hearing, infuriating Republicans after he ducked his scheduled Dec. 13 interview.
Contempt of Congress is punishable by a minimum of 30 days behind bars, though a decision to prosecute would be made by President Biden’s Justice Department appointees if the full House clears the sanction.
It was not immediately clear Friday whether Republicans will shelve the contempt legislation.
Lowell’s letter reflects a significant shift in Hunter Biden’s posture after the high-priced lawyer and other Democrats previously claimed Hunter couldn’t sit for a deposition because he preferred to testify publicly.
The new communication claims that the original subpoenas were flawed because the House hadn’t voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry when they were issued in November — even though the Oversight and Judiciary committees have subpoena power in their own right.
Republicans have said they would welcome a public hearing with Hunter Biden, who regularly involved his father in his foreign business relationships, but only after a closed-door deposition led by committee staffers who would drill down on factual points to establish a record for the inquiry.
Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry have featured concerted Democratic efforts to flip the script by arguing that former President Donald Trump and his family also have had ethical dilemmas while more eccentric Republican panelists have veered sharply off-script.