Biden, the White House, and Democrats have continued to say that the president has no links to son Hunter Biden’s business ventures.
As the House draws closer to formalizing the inquiry as an impeachment investigation, the president has doubled down on denials that he was involved with his close relatives’ overseas business deals.
Biden’s continued denials contradict evidence released by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, as well as testimony from two IRS whistleblowers and one of his son’s business partners.
The House Rules Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on sending a resolution on impeachment to the full House floor.
Here’s some fact-checking on Biden’s persistent denials.
‘Never Discussed With My Son’
Last Wednesday, a reporter asked Biden: “Can you explain to Americans amid this impeachment inquiry why you interacted with so many of your son’s and brother’s foreign business associates?”
Biden called the assertions “lies.”
“I’m not going to comment,” he said at first, then added: “I did not. That’s just a bunch of lies. I did not. They are lies.”
House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., responded in a post on X, writing that while Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president he “Dined at Cafe Milano with oligarchs from around the world that sent his son money.”
In 2019, when questions emerged about business ventures by Joe Biden’s son Hunter and brother James, the then-presidential candidate denied he had been involved in discussions about them.
“First of all, I have never discussed with my son, or my brother, or anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses, period,” candidate Biden said on Aug. 28, 2019.
“What I will do is the same thing we did in our [Obama-Biden] administration,” he said. “There will be an absolute wall between the personal and private, and the government. There wasn’t any hint of scandal at all when we were there. And I will impose the same kind of strict, strict rules. That is why I have never talked with my son or my brother, or anyone else in the distant family, about their business interests, period.”
Biden repeated this assertion several times during the presidential campaign that led to his victory over incumbent Donald Trump.
These included a 2014 meeting between Biden, then vice president, and his son’s business associates at Cafe Milano restaurant about 2 miles northwest of the White House, and another meeting at the restaurant in 2015.
The 2014 meeting included billionaire Yelena Baturina, the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who invested in Rosemont Seneca Thornton, one of the younger Biden’s business operations.
Archer also testified that, when vice president, Biden was on speakerphone with his son’s business associates “maybe 20 times.”
The FBI recorded an interview with Rob Walker, another associate of the Biden family, in which Walker said the elder Biden attended a meeting about CEFC, a Chinese energy company that his son was in business with.
Walker is the same Biden associate who once wrote in an email about the split of financial proceeds: “Ten [percent] held by H for the big guy.”
The “H” was presumed to stand for Hunter, and the “big guy” was presumed to be Joe Biden. (One former business partner of the president’s son, Tony Bobulinski, has said he had no doubt that Biden was “the big guy.”)
Gary Shapley, an IRS supervisory special agent who is one of the two whistleblowers, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. At one point, Shapley read from a transcript of the FBI’s interview with Walker.
“We were at the Four Seasons and we were having lunch and he stopped in, just said hello to everybody,” Walker said in the FBI interview of the former vice president’s meeting with CEFC representatives in 2018.
“I don’t even think he drank water,” Walker said. “I think Hunter Biden said, ‘I may be trying to start a company or try to do something with these guys, and could you?’ And I think he was like, ‘If I’m around,’ and he’d show up.”
The FBI agent asked Walker, according to the transcript: “So you definitely got the feeling that that was orchestrated by Hunter Biden to have like an appearance by his dad at that meeting, just to kind of bolster your chances at making a deal work out?”
Walker answered: “Sure.”
The FBI agent followed up by asking: “Any times when he [the elder Biden] was in office, or did you hear Hunter Biden say that he was setting up a meeting with his dad with them while Dad was still in office?”
Walker answered: “Yes.”
According to Shapley’s testimony, evidence showed that on July 30, 2017, Hunter Biden demanded payment of $10 million from CEFC, the Chinese energy company, in a WhatsApp message to CEFC executive Raymond Zhao. In the same message, the younger Biden claimed that his father was seated “next to” him at the time.
“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” the WhatsApp message shows Hunter Biden writing. The younger Biden adds:
“Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang [Jianjun Zang, CEFC’s executive director], or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”
On Dec. 5, the House Ways and Means Committee released 327 emails that showed that while serving as vice president, Joe Biden used aliases to correspond directly with his son’s business associates.
Of those, 54 emails were exclusively between Joe Biden and one of Hunter Biden’s business partners, Eric Schwerin, who was in charge of structuring the Biden family’s various shell companies.
Another 38 emails were sent from White House staffers to an email account in the name of an alias for Joe Biden, with copies to Hunter Biden.
‘No Evidence That President Biden Was Involved’
Democrats and left-leaning news outlets consistently have relied on the line that even if Hunter Biden did something wrong, nothing links that wrongdoing to Joe Biden.
Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, told MSNBC last week: “There is no evidence, none whatsoever, and I don’t care how much they say otherwise, I have looked at it, there is no direct evidence that President Biden was involved in any way, shape, or form in Hunter Biden’s business dealings.”
NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker said on the air Sunday: “Republicans are moving to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden despite there not being a link yet.”
However, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee has produced at least three examples of payments to Joe Biden that were connected to business deals cut by Hunter Biden and other family members.
The committee last week released bank records that showed his son’s company, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden in 2018, each for less than $1,400.
Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said in a formal statement to The Hill that these payments were for a truck.
“The truth is Hunter’s father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck,” Lowell said. “When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself.”
Hunter Biden is under federal investigation, allegedly for using Owasco PC’s corporate account to commit tax crimes. Owasco PC also has links to the Chinese energy company CEFC, where the younger Biden was a partner.
The committee discovered that the president’s brother, James Biden, wrote a $200,000 check in 2018 to him and noted it was a “loan repayment.” The check was cut the same day that James Biden got a $200,000 payment from a rural health care company called Americore Holdings LLC.
The panel also released bank records of a $40,000 check in 2017 to Joe Biden from James Biden and his wife Sara, which committee Republicans say is linked to China’s CEFC.
During a presidential debate with Trump on Oct. 22, 2020, Biden asserted: “My son has not made money, in terms of thing about, what are you talking about? China.”
Money From China
During the Oct. 22, 2020 presidential debate with then-President Donald Trump, Biden said, “My son has not made money, in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.”
Biden pointed to Trump as “the only guy who made money in China.”
On March 20 of this year, a reporter asked Biden about newly released bank records that showed family members made about $1 million from Chinese sources. The president responded: “That’s not true.”
In May, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee released financial records showing that Hunter Biden and other Biden family members received several million dollars from Chinese nationals and companies.
“In 2017 alone, bank records show President Biden’s family and their related companies received millions of dollars from Chinese foreign nationals’ companies,” the committee’s report from March says. “This amount does not include payments from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Romania, Oman, or other foreign business deals the committee is investigating; it also does not include any payments related to Hunter Biden’s interest in BHR Partners or Jonathan Li.”
Li joined Biden and Archer in 2012 to found BHR Partners, also called Bohai Capital, a company linked to the Chinese government.
The same committee report also noted “the Biden family’s troubling receipt of payments from China, particularly the individual Ye Jianming and his company, CEFC, to show what was from 2015 to 2018 a growing interest by people closely tied to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] in cultivating a relationship with the Biden family.”
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.