(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican-led House Oversight Committee and the legal team representing President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, have exchanged their first direct communications in the opening salvo of what is expected to be a heated back-and-forth over congressional oversight of the president and his family.
Rep. James Comer, the panel's chairman, confirmed in a tweet that the committee had sent letters requesting "documents, records, and communications" from Hunter Biden as well as from Eric Schwerin, his former business partner, and from James Biden, the president's brother.
"The American people deserve transparency and accountability about the Biden family's influence peddling," Comer said. President Biden has said that he and his son never discussed Hunter's foreign business dealings.
Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, fired back at Comer's request early Thursday. In a letter sent to Comer, he argued that the committee "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and oversight basis for requesting such records from Mr. Biden, who is a private citizen."
"Peddling your own inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation, turns the Committee into 'Wonderland,' and you into the Queen of Hearts shouting, 'sentence first, verdict afterwards,'" Lowell wrote.
Lowell, who claimed Comer has already "shamelessly maligned" his client, also offered to meet with the committee "to see whether Mr. Biden has information that may inform some legitimate legislative purpose and be helpful to the Committee."
The Republican-led oversight panel has made its investigation of the Biden family a centerpiece of its responsibilities in the new Congress. Thursday’s back-and-forth came a day after former Twitter executives testified before the committee that the social media company made a mistake in blocking users from sharing a controversial 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden's laptop.
The president's son also remains the subject of a long-running federal probe into whether he paid adequate taxes on millions of dollars of income, including money he made from multiple overseas business ventures.
The younger Biden has repeatedly said he is cooperating with investigators and remains "100% certain" that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, President Biden dismissed the Oversight Committee's probe in an interview with PBS NewsHour.
"[The] public's not going to pay attention to that," he said. "If the only thing they can do is make up things about my family, it's not going to go very far."
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.