House investigators may have received a new line of inquiry in their newly-authorized impeachment probe after President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden defied a subpoena for a deposition, according to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.
In an op-ed published by The Messenger on Thursday, Turley suggested that contact between father and son about Hunter Biden holding a press conference on Wednesday outside the U.S. Capitol before the younger Biden refused to show up for a scheduled deposition could be grounds for obstruction.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Biden was “familiar” with what Hunter Biden was going to say at his press conference — during which the first son stated that he would appear for a public hearing, but not the deposition. Jean-Pierre declined to offer any more details when pressed on whether the commander in chief tried to talk his son out of violating a congressional subpoena.
With impeachment investigators now saying Hunter Biden will face contempt of Congress proceedings for defying the subpoena, Turley wrote that Jean-Pierre’s remark “suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement.” Turley argued this could be a “breathtaking mistake” for the Bidens.
“One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals,” Turley wrote, referring to a separate criminal investigation into Hunter Biden run by the Department of Justice — a probe that is being looked at as part of the impeachment inquiry.
“In addition, President Biden has enlisted White House staff to actively push challenged accounts of his conduct and attack the House Republicans’ investigative process. Such acts could legally bootstrap prior misconduct into his presidency under abuse-of-power allegations,” he added.
“If this latest allegation is true, the president was speaking with his son about committing a potentially criminal act of contempt,” Turley continued. “Hunter was refusing to give testimony focused not on his own role but on his father’s potential role in the alleged influence peddling. The House can pursue evidence on that conversation and how the president may have supported his son’s effort.”
Much of the rest of the op-ed from Turley, who gave testimony in the impeachment probe earlier this year, made a case for how Hunter Biden may have “opened a new potential front for prosecution” for resisting a subpoena with his “bizarre public display.”