Friday, April 12, 2024
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Joe Biden’s brother defends president as impeachment inquiry continues



James Biden, the president’s brother, testified before lawmakers Wednesday in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The testimony comes as the indictment of a key witness in the inquiry has left Republicans playing defense and Democrats calling for the inquiry to end.

Several media outlets reported Wednesday that during his opening statement, James defended his brother, President Biden, saying the president was not involved in his dealings and did not financially benefit from those deals.

House Republicans on the Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees are leading the inquiry, alleging that the Biden family and associates, with the president’s knowledge, raked in more than $20 million from entities in adversarial nations, including Russia and China.

The president has repeatedly denied that he personally benefited from any alleged overseas deals and dismissed the allegations against him.

“It should be dropped, and it’s just been an outrageous effort,” Biden told reporters last week.

Biden’s defenders now point to a new federal indictment of an FBI informant who provided some of the evidence against Biden. The Department of Justice indicted Alexander Smirnov, the apparent informant in question, saying he lied to the FBI and worked with Russian intelligence.

“I’m restating my call to Chairman Comer, to Speaker Johnson, to fold up the tent to this circus show,” Oversight Ranking Member Jamie Raskin said at a news conference after news of the indictment broke. “It’s really over at this point.”

House Republicans have said with or without Smirnov’s testimony, there are other witnesses and bank records that implicate the president and his family.

House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, addressed reporters Wednesday, arguing that the case was not based on the informant testimony.

“It doesn’t change the fundamental facts,” Jordan said. “There are four fundamental facts. Hunter Biden gets put on the board of Burisma. He is not qualified to be on that board. He gets put on that board and gets paid $1 million  a year. Second, he is not qualified to be on the board. He said so himself. Third, in Dubai on Dec. 4, 2015, the executives at Burisma … asked Hunter Biden, ‘can you weigh in on D.C. and help us with the pressure we are facing from the prosecutor general in Ukraine.

“Hunter Biden makes a call. Devon Archer told us that he made a call to his dad, and three days later Joe Biden goes to Ukraine and conditions the release of American tax money on the firing of the prosecutor applying the pressure to the company that Hunter Biden sat on the board on.”

Jordan said Republicans’ questions to James Biden would be focused on Joe Biden’s time before becoming president, including allegations that he met with Chinese businessmen just before Hunter Biden secured a deal with a Chinese energy company.

Republicans on the committee have released bank records and witness testimony to back up their allegations.

Among the evidence are two checks made out to the president totaling $240,000 from members of his family. Comer alleges money was paid from the overseas dealings and then shuffled through several bank accounts and family members before reaching the president.

Comer’s team has also pointed to witness testimony showing that the president called into dinners where Hunter Biden’s business partners were present .

The Republican-led Oversight Committee also released a statement online raising questions about the informant’s indictment.

“The DOJ and FBI have a lot of explaining to do about their reliance on the informant whose allegations were included in the FBI-generated FD-1023,” Republican leadership of the committee said on X. “Why did they use this informant, who officials claimed was highly credible, since 2010? Why did they pay the informant six figures? Why did the DOJ sit on serious allegations from the informant whom the FBI deemed highly credible for years before investigating the claims?”

While the informant’s indictment was a blow to the impeachment inquiry, Republicans are intent on continuing as they point to the other evidence.

“Hunter and Jim Biden made millions of dollars from domestic and foreign entities while perpetrating an influence-peddling scheme,” Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Texas, wrote on X. “The facts show they then used companies they owned as pass-throughs to funnel money to Joe Biden. The Oversight and Judiciary Committees have exposed $240K in checks to Joe Biden that claim to be ‘loan repayments’ from Jim.

“However, the IRS mandates that any loan between family members be made with a signed written agreement, a fixed repayment schedule, and a minimum interest rate charged,” he added. “Yet Joe Biden has failed to produce this documentation for the supposed loans. Without evidence of such loans being made, it is very possible the Bidens violated tax law or committed even greater crimes.”