An attorney for Kevin Morris, a close friend of Hunter Biden, is accusing House Republicans of misrepresenting his closed-door testimony this week.
Morris, who loaned Hunter Biden money to pay off his overdue taxes, sat for a closed-door deposition on Thursday before the House Oversight Committee as part of the House impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden.
“Kevin Morris’s massive financial support to Hunter Biden raises ethical and campaign finance concerns for President Joe Biden,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY.) said in a statement after Morris’ testimony.
According to Comer, Morris offered to pay “Hunter Biden’s tax liability to insulate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden from political liability.”
In a letter to Comer, obtained by Politico, Morris’ attorney, Bryan Sullivan accused the chairman of releasing “cherry‐picked, out of context and totally misleading descriptions” in his statement about the private deposition.
“When we started today’s interview of my client Mr. Kevin Morris, I specifically pointed out the practice of Republicans in making partial leaks of witness’ statements rather than releasing the actual transcript so the public would know the truth and not your often inaccurate spin and misstatements. I specifically asked that this not to be done with Mr. Morris’ transcript and, if such were done, that the entire transcript be released,” Sullivan wrote.
Witnesses and Democrats have accused House Republicans of misrepresenting closed-door testimony throughout their impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden. In fact, Hunter Biden initially defied a subpoena for a closed-door deposition last month insisting on a public hearing, that way House Republicans could not selectively leak and distort his testimony.
He has since agreed to sit for an interview on Feb. 28 after he was issued a new subpoena and threatened with being held in contempt of Congress.
A House Democratic source told the Hill that Morris testified that, “he loaned money to Hunter when he needed help and never asked, expected, or received anything from the White House, the Administration, the Biden family, nor the President in exchange for his representation, loans, and friendship with Hunter.” The source said Morris also told the committee that “his relationship with Hunter has never been used as a channel to get money to the President.”
But, in his statement Comer said Morris loaned the president’s son $5 million, and he questioned whether he expected to get a favor in return or his money back.
“These ‘loans’ don’t have to be repaid until after the next presidential election, and the ‘loans’ may ultimately be forgiven,” Comer said. “Since Kevin Morris has kept President Biden’s son financially afloat, he’s had access to the Biden White House and has spoken to President Biden.”
However, in his letter Sullivan said that is not true.
“In your statement, you used quotes around the words ‘loaned’ and ‘loans’ to give the impression that Mr. Morris’ loans to Mr. Hunter Biden were somehow not real. To the contrary, Mr. Morris repeatedly testified he actually loaned the money to Mr. Hunter Biden, that these loans were reviewed by lawyers for each of them, that they have proper loan terms such as interest and a term,” Sullivan wrote. “Mr. Morris repeatedly testified that he fully expected that Mr. Hunter Biden would repay these loans and never said that he would forgive the notes.”
Sullivan also said Comer’s statement is misleading and gives “the impression that there is some sort of deeper relationship with President Biden.”
“Mr. Morris testified that he has only had cursory communications with President Biden at public events like Mr. Biden’s daughter’s wedding, and said basic courtesy things as ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ and President Biden making comments about Mr. Morris’ unkempt hair style that lasted a few minutes,” Sullivan wrote.
A spokesperson for the Oversight Committee told Politico that the transcript would affirm Comer’s readout of the testimony and that the committee “intends to release the transcript soon but we do not have it from the court reporter at this time.”
House Republicans have accused Biden of improperly benefiting and being influenced by Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings while serving as vice-president. They are yet to provide any evidence to support their allegations.
Both Biden and his son have denied any wrongdoing.