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Hunter Biden provides combative testimony to House panel

A transcript shows Hunter Biden repeatedly denied accusations his father, President Joe Biden, has been involved in his business dealings.
Posted at 12:55 PM, Mar 01, 2024

During his nearly seven-hour deposition on Wednesday, Hunter Biden defiantly and unequivocally denied that his father, President Joe Biden, had any involvement in his businesses.  

“I did not involve my father in my business, not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions, domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist, never,” Hunter Biden said in his opening remarks.

The transcript of the closed-door deposition was released just over 24 hours after the conclusion of the Wednesday hearing.  

House Republicans have hung their impeachment inquiry into President Biden upon the premise he enriched himself during his vice presidency through his son. Hunter Biden denied all claims in his, at times, seemingly combative testimony, where he’d turn questions around on the lawmakers.  

As he was being questioned by Republican Matt Gaetz over how the family exchanged payments with each other, Biden said, “It's not incumbent upon me to point you to something that doesn't exist. It's incumbent upon you to create something, to come up with something based upon the voluminous evidence that you've collected, which shows no involvement.” 

The response stemmed from an inquiry into family dinners, with the younger Biden saying they were only "interwoven" as families were.  

“When I was earning enough money to be able to do it, but most of the time, my dad would pay for dinner if he could pay for dinner, if he didn't forget his credit card, which 90% of the time, he usually does,” Hunter Biden said. 

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Gaetz asked him for receipts. Hunter shot back, “You have all my receipts.” 

“You have every bank account that I've ever had. You have every bank record that I've ever had. You've subpoenaed, I have not objected to your subpoena, over 10,000 pages, 14,000 pages of bank records. You have every transaction that I've ever made. Do you see a transaction, Mr. Gaetz?” Biden said.

In the nearly 230 pages of questioning, lawmakers peppered him repeatedly about his relationship with his father, his use of the "Biden brand," his emails and other forms of communications.  

At one point, an unidentified Republican staffer asked why he’d place his dad on speakerphone during a call. 

“I’m surprised my dad hasn’t called me right now, and if he did, I would put him on speakerphone to say hi to you and to Congressman Raskin and everybody else in the room,” he replied. “It is nothing nefarious, literally.” 

He went on to say that was the kind of relationship their family had, especially after the loss he experienced in his early life.   

At no point during the testimony did Hunter Biden invoke his Fifth Amendment rights or not answer a question, even after his lawyer told him he did not need to regarding his past drug use.  

During one testy exchange, Gaetz asked him if he was “on drugs when you were on the Burisma board?” 

Hunter Biden responded by asking Gaetz, “Of all the people sitting around this table, do you think that's appropriate to ask me?” seemingly implying the ethical contradiction, given Gaetz himself has been accused of partying at events with drugs readily available.  

His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told him it was outside the scope, but Hunter Biden still replied, “I will answer it this way: I have been absolutely transparent. Again, I spoke to you all earlier this morning about that. About my drug use, I'm sorry; I'm an addict. I was an addict.”  

Hunter Biden argued his addiction was the reason behind a WhatsApp message to a Chinese associate in 2017 where he had stated he was “sitting here with my father.” 

“My father had no awareness. My father had no awareness of the business that I was doing. My father never benefited from any of the business that I was doing.  And so, I take full responsibility for being an absolute ass and idiot when I sent this message, if I did send this message,” he testified.  

He also stated the message in question was sent to the wrong person, not the individual involved in the deal.  

“I, like an idiot, directed it towards Henry Zhao, who had no involvement, who had no understanding or even remotely knew what the hell I was even g**damn talking about,” he said. “I made the g**damn — excuse my language again — because I made like an idiot, and I was drunk and probably high, sent a — this ridiculous message to a Zhao, to a Henry Zhao.”