On Tuesday, after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that he was moving forward with an impeachment inquiry, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took to the House floor to make it clear that it wasn’t enough.
“The path forward for the House of Representatives is either to bring you into immediate total compliance, or remove you,” Gaetz said in the floor speech.
Among other things, Gaetz asked why the House committees, who have based countless hearings on Hunter Biden’s emails and financial records, had not subpoenaed Hunter Biden himself to appear under oath. Gaetz said in the speech that in the equivalent time of Democratic control of Congress, Democrats had “already brought in Don Jr. three times.”
“He’s throwing impeachment out like an ill-cast lure with no real intention to follow through,” Gaetz said later in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “If you were really serious, you would subpoena Hunter Biden, get answers. They’re not serious. And that’s why you see this failure theater in the absence of real accountability.”
Per The New Republic, House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) was asked this week why Hunter Biden hasn’t been brought in to testify. Many others have been subpoenaed, and the committee has obtained numerous records, but the Oversight Committee does not appear to have subpoenaed Hunter Biden himself.
On Newsmax, Comer was asked the question and stated that Hunter Biden is “more than welcome” to testify before his committee, and that “he’s invited today. We will drop everything.”
When asked why the committee hasn’t been more forceful, Comer stated that “he can fight the subpoena in court. It’s very difficult … if it were easy to get a president or their son in front of a House committee, then the January 6 committee probably would have done that with Donald Trump.”
As noted by TNR, former President Donald Trump had vowed to fight all subpoenas at the start of the January 6 Committee process, while Hunter Biden has not done so. Trump also made executive privilege claims, something that Hunter, as the son of a president, could not do.
As Gaetz pointed out, Donald Trump, Jr. testified before the January 6 Committee, although there’s no indication that he was a target of any criminal investigation, and he has not been charged with anything. The younger Trump’s January 6 testimony was more about things he saw while he was with the president that day, as well as texts he sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Another possible reason Hunter Biden has not been subpoenaed is that the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are waiting for a politically advantageous moment to bring the president’s son before their committee for a dramatic hearing, possibly in the thick of the presidential election. The current Congress lasts for two years and is not even at the halfway point yet. It is likely the Oversight Committee and other committees are going to keep up investigations of what they call the “Biden Crime Family” throughout 2024.
There’s a chance that Comer’s committee knows that getting Hunter Biden before their committee would only come at the end of a long process of negotiating and fighting subpoenas, and are saving that for 2024. It’s also possible that the subpoena for Hunter would come as part of the impeachment inquiry, rather than the regular business of the House committees.
The White House, meanwhile, has blasted the idea of an impeachment inquiry, while also ripping Speaker McCarthy for changing his mind on whether or not he supported it.
“House Republicans have been investigating the President for 9 months, and they’ve turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. His own GOP members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment, now he flip flopped because he doesn’t have support. Extreme politics at its worst,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said this week on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.