Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden’s first press secretary, speculated that the White House would prefer Hunter Biden keep quiet about a congressional subpoena in the GOP-led House’s impeachment inquiry.
On Sunday, “Meet The Press” moderator Kristen Welker questioned Psaki, who is now an MSNBC host, if Hunter Biden speaking at a press event outside the United States Capitol Building but failing to appear for a scheduled deposition aided or harmed the White House.
“Look, I think if you’re sitting in the White House right now, you’re like, ‘Please, Hunter Biden. We know your dad loves you. Please stop talking in public.’ This is not helpful to any of them for him to be out there,” Psaki said during the exchange on NBC.
JUST IN: Former Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) a.k.a. ‘Circle Back’ says the White House would want Hunter Biden to “stop talking in public” and to “probably go away right now.” WATCH pic.twitter.com/TY1ss5Zddh
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) December 17, 2023
“But, at the same time, the president loves his son,” she added. “That takes precedent over anything else. That is appealing. I’m thinking of the woman in your focus group who talked about family. He loves his son. He loves his family. He’s worried about his mental health. But, yes, the White House would like him to probably go away right now.”
Hunter Biden was summoned to attend a deposition last month as part of the corruption-focused impeachment investigation of his father, which is looking into the Biden family’s financial operations as well as how the Department of Justice handled its criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. Subpoenas have also been issued to others, including the president’s brother, James Biden.
Hunter Biden did be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday when his deposition was planned, but he utilized the occasion to openly demand that House Republicans have a public hearing rather than a closed-door interrogation.
“I’m here today to make sure the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies,” Biden said.
President Biden was “familiar” with what Hunter Biden was going to say at his press event, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, but she declined to provide any more details when asked if the commander-in-chief tried to talk his son out of violating a congressional subpoena.
“Was there ANY attempt by President Biden to talk Hunter out of [defying a congressional subpoena]?”
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: “Um, look, he’s proud of his son” pic.twitter.com/fSIa7vpQOh
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 13, 2023
House Republicans have signaled that they are willing to have Hunter Biden testify at a public hearing if he is deposed first. Hunter Biden will now face contempt of Congress proceedings, according to impeachment investigators.
Shortly after the first son’s news conference, the House voted on a party-line vote to formally approve the impeachment inquiry, which Republicans believed would add legal weight to their subpoenas.
President Biden, who is running for re-election next year, issued a long statement in which he accused House Republicans of “attacking me with lies” and “choosing to waste time on this baseless political stunt” that was “not supported by facts.”