Hunter Biden’s Congressional visit reveals rift with White House team

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By Carina

Hunter Biden’s recent unexpected visits to Capitol Hill have highlighted his independent approach to the GOP investigations into his business dealings. 

This approach notably diverges from the White House’s strategy. President Joe Biden’s son made two surprise appearances in the past month, signaling his desire to personally address the allegations against him without coordination from the White House.

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Hunter Biden’s Congressional visit unknown to White House

A source familiar with the situation informed The Hill that the White House officials were unaware of Hunter Biden’s plan to attend a recent hearing by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. 

This committee was deliberating on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena last month. 

The source revealed “no one” at the White House “was notified or advising Hunter” before this move.

Read More: Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax fraud charges

Hunter Biden’s relationship with White House officials

Insiders suggest that it’s not surprising the White House was unaware of Hunter’s plans, highlighting that while the President and the First Lady maintain a close relationship with their son, he does not typically seek advice from White House staff. 

A Democrat close to the White House shared Hunter Biden’s low opinion of the public relations personnel surrounding the President. 

“Can you blame Hunter for not taking communications advice from this group?” the Democrat questioned, referencing the low approval ratings and public opinion of President Biden under his current press team.

Following Hunter Biden’s visit, Republicans moved forward with a resolution to hold him in contempt of Congress. 

Hunter Biden agrees to testify, faces continued contempt charges

However, he later agreed to a new subpoena and offered testimony to Congress. 

His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, conveyed this decision in a letter to Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). 

Lowell proposed a “public deposition/hearing with alternating rounds of questions for Republicans and Democrats,” similar to a closed-door deposition.

Despite Hunter’s willingness to testify, Comer and Jordan indicated their intention to proceed with the contempt charges.

Also Read: House Republicans progress towards holding Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress 

Contrasting perspectives on Biden family investigation

This development highlights the tension between Hunter Biden’s team and the White House. 

A former White House staffer described the relationship as non-advisory, noting that advising Hunter Biden would be “weird,” given the messaging that he is a private citizen.

Democrats on the Oversight Committee, including ranking member Jamie Raskin (Md.), expressed unawareness of Biden’s plans to attend the hearing. 

Nevertheless, many praised his strategy, with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) calling it a “stroke of genius” that undermined Republican claims of his non-cooperation.

White House’s stance and Hunter Biden’s public engagement

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refrained from commenting whether the President knew about his son’s Capitol Hill visit. 

Hunter Biden's troubles
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She stated in December that the President was “familiar” with what his son planned to say during a press conference outside the Capitol.

Hunter Biden has been increasingly public recently as House Republicans intensify the impeachment inquiry into his father. 

He has been seen with his father on various occasions but rarely spoke publicly until his recent Capitol visit and a podcast appearance.

Biden family defends Hunter despite White House’s distanced stance

The Biden family has been vocal in defending Hunter. First Lady Jill Biden labeled the allegations against her son as “cruel,” and Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi accused Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of lying during the hearing. 

This familial support contrasts with the White House’s stance, which has consistently emphasized Hunter Biden’s status as a private citizen and distanced itself from commenting on his actions.

Hunter Biden’s criticism of his father’s communications team was highlighted in texts made public in 2020, where he sarcastically referred to former deputy campaign manager and White House communications director Kate Bedingfield. 

This sentiment aligns with the current approach of both Hunter and the White House, maintaining a clear distinction between their respective communications strategies. 

Read Next: Democrats question Biden’s decision to debate Trump

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