Republicans sought to tar Joe Biden six weeks before the 2020 election by releasing new details about his son’s misbehavior, in a report showing that Hunter Biden “cashed in” on his father’s name and position as vice president under President Barack Obama.That didn’t stop Joe Biden from being elected president.
But since 2020, House Republicans have continued to dig into Hunter’s sordid past, alongside federal investigators from the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
And the president’s prodigal son is an even bigger headache for Democrats now, heading into the next presidential election.Republicans have unearthed some new details and connected some more dots.
They’ve provided evidence that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, had dinner with a few key business partners of Hunter’s, and they’ve subpoenaed bank records showing millions of dollars in payments from those partners to Hunter.House Republicans last week put out the latest batch of bank documents alleging that Hunter Biden and others he worked with made over $20 million from foreign business deals after his father was first elected vice president in 2008.“During Joe Biden’s vice presidency, Hunter Biden sold him as ‘the brand’ to reap millions from oligarchs in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said last week.
“It appears no real services were provided other than access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself.
And Hunter Biden seems to have delivered.”Hunter Biden leaves federal court in Wilmington, Del., on July 26, after a plea hearing on two misdemeanor charges of willfully failing to pay income taxes.
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)No evidence so far that President Biden profitedRepublicans have so far failed to deliver on their biggest claims.
They have not shown that U.S.
government decisions were altered to benefit the Biden family, or that President Biden may have received bribes, or that there are direct links between the older Biden and Hunter Biden’s business deals, discussions or payments.Meanwhile, the Hunter Biden saga is unfolding alongside a series of criminal trials in which former President Donald Trump is accused of, among other things, trying to steal the most recent presidential election from millions of Americans who voted for Biden in 2020.Yet Democrats are now forced to admit that Hunter Biden “was addicted to drugs and did a lot of really unlawful and wrong things,” as Rep.
Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”“And we have said, let the justice system run its course.
They’re not saying that about Donald Trump,” Raskin said.The appointment of a special counsel for the Hunter Biden investigation last week by Attorney General Merrick Garland, after a plea deal fell apart, means that Hunter’s shady dealings will remain in the public eye for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, the White House continues to insist that President Biden did nothing improper.Rep.
James Comer, R-Ky., and reporters after a closed-door House Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 20, on the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
(Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)GOP says Hunter and his business associates made over $20 millionComer has focused his committee’s work on peering into Hunter Biden’s business deals.The committee’s latest release last week claimed that more than $20 million went to Hunter Biden and his business partners.
Previous disclosures from Comer’s committee have shown some of that money going to James Biden, the president’s younger brother, and Hallie Biden, the widow of the president’s late son, Beau.Republicans are still trying to connect President Biden to these business deals, but have yet to provide concrete evidence.
They have pointed to two small dinners in D.C., in 2014 and 2015, that Joe Biden attended with Hunter and a few of his business partners.For example, the 2014 dinner at Café Milano was attended by a Russian billionaire, Yelena Baturina, who Republicans claim had paid Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer $3.5 million through a shell company earlier that year.
These payments from Baturina were first reported in the Republican Senate report that was released in the fall of 2020.Republicans have speculated that when the Biden administration placed many Russian oligarchs under financial sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Baturina avoided financial penalties because of her past financial relationship with Hunter Biden and that dinner in 2014.But Archer, who is trying to avoid jail time for defrauding a Native American tribe out of $60 million, told the committee that he never heard Joe Biden discuss business deals in phone calls with Hunter.So Republicans are still leaning on circumstantial evidence and insinuation, even as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dangles the prospect of impeachment proceedings.
Without a smoking gun, it is likely to be difficult for McCarthy to round up enough Republican votes to support opening an impeachment inquiry.Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, after giving a deposition to the House Oversight Committee on July 31.
(Kevin Wurm/Reuters)Did Joe Biden get any of that money?Republicans have little to go on here.The New York Post reported last year on text messages from a laptop that Hunter Biden left in a Delaware computer repair shop, in which Hunter allegedly complained in 2019 to his daughter Naomi about having to “pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years.”“But don’t worry, unlike pop, I won’t make you give me half your salary,” Hunter Biden reportedly texted his daughter.The laptop and its contents were identified as potential Russian misinformation in 2020, but the device and some of its data have since been verified as legitimate by outlets such as the Washington Post.
Although the laptop data shows no signs of having been tampered with, not all of it has been verified, and some of the material has inspired false stories in right-wing media outlets.The only specific details alleging actual expenses paid by Hunter Biden on behalf of his father add up to just under $6,000 for a series of repairs to Joe Biden’s lakefront home in Delaware in 2010.Comer’s Oversight Committee “has not yet subpoenaed bank records of members of the Biden family,” it said in its most recent report.
But Comer said last week that he is planning to subpoena members of the Biden family for testimony soon.President Biden and first lady Jill Biden with Hunter Biden and his sister, Ashley, on May 15 at the University of Pennsylvania graduation ceremony, where Hunter’s daughter Maisy received her degree.
(Amanda Andrade Rhoades/Reuters) View comments