Hunter Biden has agreed to testify behind closed doors, Republicans claim

Hunter Biden will testify behind closed doors before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, as part of the ongoing Republican impeachment inquiry into his father.

Mr Biden will sit for a deposition on 28 February according to Republican sources. The announcement appears to have resolved a dispute over demands for his testimony that had escalated in recent weeks. The president’s son had previously insisted on testifying publicly.

“His deposition will come after several interviews with Biden family members and associates. We look forward to Hunter Biden’s testimony,” said Representatives James Comer of Kentucky and Jim Jordan of Ohio, the committees’ respective chairmen.

Republicans had been set to advance a contempt resolution against him to the House floor this week but called it off on Tuesday to give the attorneys additional time to negotiate.

The agreement concludes months of contentious back-and-forth between Mr Biden and Republicans who have been investigating his overseas business dealings for over a year in an effort to connect it to his father.

Republicans, led by Comer and Jordan, first subpoenaed the president’s son in November, demanding that he appear before lawmakers in a private setting by mid-December.

Mr Biden and his attorneys had refused to comply with the private interview, saying that it would allow information to be selectively leaked and manipulated by House Republicans and insisted that he would only testify in a public setting.

When Republicans denied those terms, he and his attorneys made two separate appearances at the US Capitol.

In both instances, Mr Biden again refused to testify privately, instead delivering statements to the press where he defended his business affairs and castigated the yearslong investigations into him and his family.

The impeachment inquiry into the president Biden which began in September, has focused heavily on his son’s international business affairs, questioning whether the president profited from that work.

It has so far failed to uncover evidence directly implicating the president in wrongdoing involving his son’s work.

Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's son, accompanied by his attorney Abbe Lowell, left (AP)
Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden's son, accompanied by his attorney Abbe Lowell, left (AP)

Meanwhile, Democratic members of Congress have published evidence showing that former Donald Trump’s hotel properties earned more than $7m from foreign governments, mostly from China, during his presidency. Mr Trump has declined to deny those claims.

The Republican-led committees have so far refrained from opening investigations into Mr Trump and his family’s business dealings during his time in the White House.

News of Hunter Biden’s private testimony next month comes as he faces several other courtroom battles.

He previously pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun.

His lawyers have said that he did not break the law despite struggling with addiction to crack cocaine during the same period of 2018. Mr Biden has since said he has stopped using drugs.

He also pleaded not guilty to federal tax charges in Los Angeles last week, with prosecutors in California alleging he took part “in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4m in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019”.