Hunter Biden addressed numerous allegations under questioning from lawmakers, transcript shows


(WASHINGTON) — A measured and defiant Hunter Biden provided context for a litany of allegations he faced during six hours with Republican lawmakers Wednesday, according to a transcript released Thursday of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees’ closed-door proceeding as part of their impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden.

The deposition appeared to include no major bombshells as Hunter Biden repeatedly invoked his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction — telling the committee he was “embarrassed” by some of his conduct at the time — while not once invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

The GOP-led committees have yet to present firm evidence linking President Biden to his family’s business arrangements.

In explaining his putting his father on speakerphone in the presence of business associates, Hunter Biden said that he always answers the phone when his dad calls — which he said is often — citing the multiple family tragedies that the Bidens have endured over the years.

“My dad calls me like I’m sure a lot of your parents do, or a lot of you do with your children, and if I’m with people that are friends of mine, I’ll have him say hi,” Hunter Biden said. “It is nothing nefarious, literally.”

Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden’s who is another witness in the probe, said earlier that he witnessed Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone 20 times during their 10-year relationship.

“So that means, over the course of 10 years, twice a year, my dad would call me,” Hunter Biden said, “and I would be in the middle of a dinner, and I always answer his call. I always answer his call, based upon my life’s experience.”

“You understand my relationship with my family,” he said. “When my dad was 29 years old, he woke up one day, went to work, and got a phone call and lost his wife and his daughter. And, in that same accident, he also lost almost my brother and myself. And then, when I was 46 years old, my 47-year-old brother died.”

“And in our family, when you have a call from — I call him or he calls me or I call one of my — his grandkids or one of my children, you always pick up the phone. It’s something that we always do,” he said.

Other topics that Hunter Biden addressed included:

The ‘big guy’ email

When asked about a 2017 email from one of his business associates proposing that Joe Biden accept a share of profits from a prospective deal with a Chinese energy firm — the infamous “10 held by H for the big guy” email — Hunter Biden said the person who sent it, James Gilliar, had no basis for the suggestion.

“I truly don’t know what the hell that James was talking about,” Hunter Biden said.

The college recommendation

Asked about a college recommendation letter his father penned for the son of his Chinese business associate, Jonathan Li, Hunter Biden acknowledged that it happened — but explained that “there was a rule in my family.”

“My dad was often asked to write recommendations for hundreds of people that — I’m sure over the course of the last 50 years,” he said. “But the rule was that, if you were going to ask, that they had to be close friends; you had to know them well.”

“And I knew both Jonathan, and I knew his son, who was applying to universities here in the United States,” Hunter Biden said.

Jared Kushner

Hunter Biden at one point brought up former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, regarding Kushner’s own foreign business dealings in an attempt to draw a contrast with the scrutiny he’s received from the committee.

“Unlike Jared Kushner, I’ve never received money from a foreign government,” he said.
Money for his father

Hunter Biden also reiterated that none of his money went to his father. He said he only sent money to his uncle James Biden and Hallie Biden — but not his dad.

“But it’s all my money, and it’s none to my dad,” he said. “But I am telling you this: is that if you can show me where any money that I’ve ever had went to my father, other than, for instance, the repayment of the $1,300 for a loan for a truck — OK?” he said.

The Beijing meeting

Asked about a 2014 trip he took on Air Force Two to Beijing — during which he reportedly introduced his father to Li — Hunter Biden claimed it was not a meeting, but a rope-line event.

“When we returned from an event to the hotel, there was a rope line, and Jonathan Li was in the lobby of the hotel where I was going to meet him for coffee. In that line I introduced my dad to Jonathan Li and a friend of his, and they shook hands and I believe probably took a photograph,” Hunter Biden said.

“And then my father went up to his room, and I went to have coffee with Jonathan Li,” he said.

On Wednesday, during the early stages of Hunter Biden’s closed-door interview, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz made an appearance before the press and said it is “a mirage to believe” the younger Biden was engaged in legitimate business overseas.

In a statement released Thursday following the release of the transcript, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Oversight Committee’s ranking Democrat, said, “Hunter Biden’s testimony debunked and demolished — once more — all the false claims and conspiracy theories that make up this hopeless impeachment inquiry.”

“It’s time to fold up the circus tent and send all the jugglers, clowns, and elephants home,” Raskin said.

ABC News’ Will Steakin and Christopher Boccia contributed to this report.

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