Hunter Biden, the president’s son, on Wednesday rejected a request from House Republicans to testify next week at a public hearing in their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, blasting the G.O.P.’s plans as a “made-for-right-wing-media circus act.”

House Republicans had asked the younger Mr. Biden to appear at a hearing on March 20 alongside three of his former business partners. Two of them have been convicted in fraud cases, and the other is angry over being cut out of a deal.

But Abbe Lowell, Mr. Biden’s lawyer, cited a scheduling conflict while slamming the proceeding in a letter to Representative James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky, the chairman of the Oversight Committee.

“Your blatant planned-for-media event is not a proper proceeding but an obvious attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass after the game has ended,” Mr. Lowell wrote, adding: “Mr. Biden declines your invitation to this carnival side show.”

House Republicans have been working for months to try to tie the foreign business deals of Hunter Biden, who is facing charges of tax crimes, to his father as part of their impeachment inquiry. But they have so far failed to produce evidence of wrongdoing by the president — much less high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment.

Hunter Biden sat for a closed-door, six-hour interview with House investigators last month, frequently sparring with Republicans and criticizing their questions while offering explanations — often ones that were exceedingly unflattering to himself — for his actions. Despite pending criminal charges against him, Mr. Biden, 54, never invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“Mr. Biden’s answers to every question you, your colleagues and staff posed to him were the final nail in the coffin of your wasteful yearlong misadventure,” Mr. Lowell wrote.

Mr. Biden agreed to a closed-door deposition only after Republicans refused his demands to be allowed to testify in public. G.O.P. lawmakers threatened to hold Mr. Biden in contempt of Congress before he relented.

Mr. Comer pointed to Mr. Biden’s earlier insistence on public testimony in his response to Mr. Lowell’s letter.

“The House Oversight Committee has called Hunter Biden’s bluff,” Mr. Comer said. “Hunter Biden for months stated he wanted a public hearing, but now that one has been offered alongside his business associates that he worked with for years, he is refusing to come.”

House Republicans plan to hold a hearing next with former business associates of Hunter Biden: Jason Galanis, Devon Archer and Tony Bobulinski.

Mr. Galanis, who is serving 14 years in prison for fraud, told the panel the “entire value-add of Hunter Biden to our business was his family name and his access to his father, Vice President Joe Biden.”

Mr. Archer, who was convicted of federal tax charges in 2018 related to a conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe, has testified that he could recall about 20 times when he and Hunter Biden were meeting with business associates and Mr. Biden put his father on speakerphone. But he said those conversations only included niceties and did not touch on any business transactions.

Mr. Bobulinski, whom Democrats describe as disgruntled over being cut out of a business deal, told lawmakers that “Joe Biden was ‘the brand’ being sold by the Biden family.”

Mr. Lowell wrote there was one condition under which Mr. Biden would consider testifying: if Mr. Comer also invited relatives of former President Donald J. Trump to testify about their foreign business deals.

Mr. Biden and his lawyer have noted that Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner received a $2 billion investment from the main Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund six months after the Trump presidency ended, suggesting that the former president had used his power to financially benefit his family — as Republicans have accused the elder Mr. Biden of doing, without evidence.


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Credit: NYTimes.com

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