8425 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

(814) 864-3001

Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hunter Biden appears for impeachment testimony after a long battle with GOP


After months of delays, Hunter Biden went behind closed doors yesterday to testify on Capitol Hill. The House GOP made Hunter Biden a central figure in their impeachment probe into his father, President Joe Biden. And after more than six hours of testimony, Hunter Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told reporters the questions from Republicans focused on the son's personal failings, not the father's involvement.


ABBE LOWELL: It seems to me that the Republican members wanted to spend more time talking about my client's addiction than they could ask any question that had anything to do with what they call their impeachment inquiry.

MARTÍNEZ: It was considered a high-stakes conversation in an impeachment probe that has so far failed to prove any wrongdoing by President Biden. NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales is here with more. Any specifics about what Hunter Biden told lawmakers in this closed-door session?

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Well, we do know from Hunter Biden's opening remarks, which NPR obtained, that he really pushed back on this Republican-led impeachment probe before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. And he echoed some of the same statements made by the president's brother, James Biden, who also appeared before these same panels in closed-door testimony last week.

MARTÍNEZ: Now, did he say anything directly about Joe Biden, his father?

GRISALES: Well, according to the statement, he said that his father did play a role in terms of his process of recovering from his addiction, but he played no role at all in his business dealings. And he also said that he was there to, quote, "provide the committees with one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry." And he went on to say that his father was not involved in his business dealings as a lawyer, as an investor, as a board member, as an artist.

He called the probe a partisan political pursuit that was built on a house of cards and that it was based on lies told by witnesses with credibility now in question, as several are facing their own criminal cases. And he also reiterated again that he made these mistakes, and he squandered opportunities and privileges that were afforded to him - that he was responsible for that and making amends for it. But he said that his father saved his life, and what he got in return was a barrage of conspiracy theories and this impeachment inquiry.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. So how are Republicans reacting to Hunter Biden's testimony?

GRISALES: Well, they told a very different story from Hunter Biden and his legal team. The Republican chairs of these committees - that's Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan and Oversight Chair James Comer - were upbeat. Comer said that this was a great deposition. He claimed that Hunter Biden made, quote, "contradictory statements," however. Here he is talking to reporters.


JAMES COMER: I think this was a great deposition for us. It proved several bits of our evidence that we've been conducting throughout this investigation. But there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review.

GRISALES: But Comer didn't elaborate on what those contradictions were when asked.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. So the impeachment inquiry - what now?

GRISALES: So he says - Comer says the next step is a public hearing. And now we're expecting Hunter Biden to get his original wish, which is he will testify publicly. At least that's the plan right now. Transcripts should be released in the coming days. But Republicans have a difficult road ahead in the House. It's a narrowly controlled chamber, and it's still not clear any of this will convince all of their members to move forward with this impeachment inquiry of President Biden.

MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Claudia Grisales. Thanks a lot.

GRISALES: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

A Martínez
A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Claudia Grisales
Claudia Grisales is a congressional correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.