But things could get awkward at Thursday’s dinner, as the president’s son comes up against some of his foremost critics. The list of expected attendees also includes House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has lambasted the results of the Justice Department inquiry and has helped amplify Republican calls for further investigation into Hunter Biden and the Biden family.
“It continues to show the two-tier system in America.” McCarthy said of the plea deal. “If you are the president’s leading political opponent, the DOJ tries to literally put you in jail and give you prison time. But if you are the president’s son, you get a sweetheart deal.”
Making for even more potential discomfort, Attorney General Merrick Garland — who has been caught in the crossfire of Republican attacks on the president’s son — is also on the guest list. Garland has found himself fending off repeated attacks from the GOP, which have only increased in intensity since the news of the plea deal and the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump.
When asked about attending the dinner with Hunter Biden and Garland, McCarthy, who brought his daughter-in-law as his guest, dodged the question.
“I look forward to taking my daughter-in-law for the very first time to the White House,” he replied, according to a pool reporter. “Every state dinner I brought another member of my family.”
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, another dinner attendee who has decried what he has also called a “sweetheart” plea deal, sidestepped the same question from reporters. “It should be an interesting dinner,” he said before praising Modi’s address to Congress on Thursday afternoon.
Several other members of the Biden family are also expected to attend the event, as are a mass of elected officials, White House officials, business leaders and celebrities.