WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s family members received millions in suspicious money transfers before Biden became president, Republicans said Wednesday in their latest effort to portray Biden as hopelessly corrupt.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said bank records obtained through subpoenas showed that the president’s son Hunter Biden, his brother James Biden and his son Beau’s widow, Hallie Biden, received payments totaling more than $10 million from foreign sources, including from individuals aligned with the Chinese Communist Party.
Comer stopped short of saying that the president himself received any payments or that he performed an official act in exchange for his family members receiving the money, but he said the investigation had entered a new phase.
“We believe that there was a return on the investment for the investment that these countries were wiring money to the various Biden family members,” Comer told reporters at a press conference.
Most of the payments detailed in an Oversight Committee report on Wednesday were made while Joe Biden was out of office, but Comer noted that Biden family accounts received several deposits from a Romanian businessman, who has been accused of bribery, while Joe Biden was vice president. Hunter Biden’s connection to the businessman has been previously reported.
“In fact, the money stops flowing from the Romanian nationals soon after Joe Biden leaves the vice president,” Comer said. “This is a pattern of influence peddling.”
Though Comer suggested the payments could be connected to Joe Biden’s official work as vice president, he didn’t allege a specific quid pro quo when pressed by a reporter.
“We know that the vice president during the last year of the Obama administration traveled around the world. He talked a lot about foreign aid in different countries, talked a lot about American policy, American assistance,” Comer said.
White House spokesman Ian Sams blasted Comer in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Comer is asked for a single Joe Biden policy they believe has been unduly influenced. He cannot name a single one,” Sams said. “Incredible.”
Still, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and other members of Comer’s committee suggested someone should be prosecuted.
“The Biden family needs to answer for this,” Mace said, “and the DOJ needs to get off its ass.”
For years, Republicans have fixated on Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings, such as holding a board seat on a Ukrainian energy company despite his lack of relevant expertise. Republican strategists and elected officials have also trawled a laptop formerly belonging to Hunter Biden for incriminating material. But the efforts haven’t yet yielded clear evidence of the president’s involvement in his son’s efforts to trade off the family name.
Comer has been publicly claiming he has evidence of crimes committed by Biden family members since at least last November. However, it’s unclear if the new information he presented Wednesday, which used bank records to lay out a scheme of funneling payments to Hunter Biden and others through a network of shell companies, amounts to a breakthrough in the political case against the Bidens.
Separately, Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) alleged last week that the FBI received a whistleblower tip outlining some sort of bribery scheme related to Joe Biden, but he’s acknowledged that the tip remains unconfirmed. Comer sent the subpoena for relevant documents.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the Oversight Committee’s top Democrat, has characterized Comer’s investigations as an endless fishing expedition for politically useful dirt on the Bidens. He suggested last week that Comer’s tip was likely disinformation from a Russian asset.
“If I could give Raskin some unsolicited advice, sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Comer told HuffPost this week.
Before Comer’s press conference on Wednesday, the White House accused Comer of a “long pattern of making absurd claims that President Biden has made governing decisions not in the interest of America, but of the Chinese Communist Party, using baseless claims, personal attacks, and innuendo to try to score political points.”
Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, have been weighing whether to prosecute the president’s son for allegedly failing to pay taxes. Oversight Committee Republicans suggested Wednesday that the Justice Department has been going easy on him.
“It’s interesting that the Department of Justice has been investigating Hunter Biden for quite some time, and we seem to just never really get anywhere,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said. “I wonder what’s going on at the Department of Justice.”
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