Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) signaled support for a public hearing for Hunter Biden in an interview Wednesday with Dan Abrams on NewsNation, saying, “Let him come.”
“I’m an open door kind of guy. I believe in transparency and everything and in government,” Burchett told Abrams on “Dan Abrams Live.”
“I don’t care if he wants to sit in the bathtub and do it; I don’t care,” he continued. “Just get his dag-gum butt before the committee and let’s ask him some tough questions.”
Republicans have been divided over the president’s son’s request that he sit for an open public hearing instead of the closed-door deposition.
House Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) swiftly blasted the request — contradicting earlier comments saying his panel would “drop everything” if the president’s son wanted to testify “in front of the committee.”
“Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else. That won’t stand with House Republicans,” Comer said in a statement, adding that he also “agree[s] that Hunter Biden should have the opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.”
But a number of Republicans have expressed a willingness to have the public hearing, a group that now includes Burchett.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) showed his support for a public hearing this week.
“The American people have a right to see — and also, you know, they should evaluate this for themselves,” Hawley said.
“I mean, if you do this stuff in private … what happens is there’s inevitably bunches of leaks, and then it’s, ‘Well so-and-so said this, and so-and-so said that.’ It’s like, just do it in public, and let the public see. Open the door so y’all can report on it,” he continued.
Burchett compared the drama to the case of former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who demanded a public hearing in front of the House Jan. 6 Committee last year. That request was denied, and he refused to testify, later being convicted for contempt of Congress.
“I just think we need to get to the bottom of this thing and stop messing around,” Burchett said. “We need to fish or cut bait and, right now all we’re doing is cutting bait and the American public’s grown very tired of it. Another reason they don’t trust us, and for good reason.”
The public hearing debate has added fuel to criticisms over the investigation from Democrats, who have painted the Oversight Committee effort as a political attempt to hurt President Biden.
“Let me get this straight. After wailing and moaning for ten months about Hunter Biden and alluding to some vast unproven family conspiracy, after sending Hunter Biden a subpoena to appear and testify, Chairman Comer and the Oversight Republicans now reject his offer to appear before the full Committee and the eyes of the world and to answer any questions that they pose?” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the panel’s ranking member, said in a statement.
House Republicans allege the president and members of his family received sums of money from foreign interests in exchange for government influence.
Burchett said he’s confident the committee will find evidence of Hunter Biden committing tax crimes and said that an ongoing criminal prosecution and investigation into him is “compromised.”
“I suspect we’re going to find more, but at some point, you got to ask yourself, is the Justice Department going to do anything with all this?” he said. “And I submit to you, they’re probably not, because I think they are compromised in this whole deal.”
Hunter Biden currently faces three minor gun charges, as a Delaware-based federal special counsel continues an investigation into tax fraud allegations.