House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has addressed Hunter Biden’s attempt to avoid a subpoena for a deposition as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden. While Hunter has offered to testify publicly instead, House Republicans have turned down his offer, as they insist on him complying with a subpoena for a deposition.

During an interview with Fox News this weekend, Johnson emphasized the importance of maintaining precedent in congressional investigations. He pointed out that historically, the deposition phase has always come before public testimony.

“Every investigation of Congress in the modern era, the deposition has come first, and the public testimony follows. Why would we break that precedent now?” the recently-installed speaker questioned.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) joined Johnson in the interview to state that Hunter’s offer is “unacceptable.”

For her and many other Republicans, “the only correct response to a subpoena is a deposition.”

Defending the necessity of closed-door depositions, Stefanik stated that open hearings tend to devolve into political theatrics with limited time for substantive discussion. “An open hearing is five minutes on the Democrat side, five minutes on the Republican side. It becomes a very public press opportunity for the Democrat to politicize. We want to go about this from a legal and factual perspective, and the only way to go about that is through a deposition,” she argued.

Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), who leads the impeachment inquiry and issued the subpoena, has already rejected the terms proposed by Hunter’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, who argued that a public proceeding would prevent selective leaks, manipulated transcripts, doctored exhibits or one-sided press statements.

Comer, while open to the idea of Hunter testifying in an open hearing at a “future date,” stressed the importance of the initial closed-door deposition scheduled for Dec. 13. In a joint statement, he and House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) made it clear that the president’s son will not be getting any special treatment.

“Mr. Biden’s attempt to avoid sitting for a deposition pursuant to the terms of the subpoenas—by offering instead to testify at a public hearing—amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the Committees. Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation,” the statement reads in part.

Speaking with Newsmax, Comer also expressed confidence that Johnson and House Republicans would take necessary steps to hold Hunter in contempt of Congress should he fail to comply with the subpoena.

However, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), issued a statement condemning his Republican counterparts for rejecting the open hearing offer. Raskin accused them of avoiding public hearings, implying a lack of confidence in their case.

“After the miserable failure of their impeachment hearing in September, Chairman Comer has now apparently decided to avoid all Committee hearings where the public can actually see for itself the logical, rhetorical and factual contortions they have tied themselves up in,” he stated.