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Comer Investigation of Biden Relatives Swings and Misses on Allegations of Influence Peddling

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House Oversight Committee chair James Comer aired details Wednesday of foreign business dealings by companies that he alleges benefited members of President Joe Biden’s family during and after the years that Biden was Vice President.

Comer provided evidence at a press conference that the companies received more than $10 million from foreign nationals and entities. He and other Republicans described wire transfers from those companies to several of Joe Biden’s relatives, including to his son Hunter Biden, and said that the payments appeared to be unconnected to work done by the family members.

Comer and his GOP colleagues on the House Oversight Committee further alleged that the payments, which included some from a Romanian national and a Chinese entity, constitute a “pattern of influence peddling.” They provided no evidence of President Biden’s knowledge of the transactions and made no attempt to link the payments to any of his official or unofficial acts as a public servant.

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The House Republicans’ press conference comes weeks after Joe Biden formally launched his campaign for a second term and is part of a broader effort to make questions around the business dealings of his son, Hunter, an issue in the 2024 election. Hunter Biden is also reportedly the subject of criminal investigations by the U.S. attorney in Delaware into his tax filings and a statement he made on a form to purchase a handgun.

The declared purpose of the Comer investigation is to probe “the President’s role in his family members’ and business associates foreign and domestic business practices.” To date, Comer has uncovered none.

That isn’t stopping the Kentucky Republican from continuing to try. The chair said he would soon issue a new round of subpoenas to banks and give certain associates of President Biden’s relatives one more chance to voluntarily testify. He added that the Oversight Committee had asked the FBI to hand over by noon on Wednesday investigative records, known internally as an FD-1023 document, that allegedly related to Biden. Comer and Senator Chuck Grassley have said they learned about the document from a “highly credible whistleblower.”

“If the FBI does not comply with our subpoena, then Sen. Grassley and I will discuss the next step,” Comer said.

Comer also specified the nine Biden relatives whom he alleges received payments, including Biden’s son, Hunter, Biden’s brother, James, and others.

The new details build on Comer’s months-long investigation of Hunter Biden and the president’s son’s business dealings in China and Ukraine. The facts so far suggest that Hunter Biden may have tried to profit off of his famous name, but there is no evidence that his dealings influenced his father’s policy decisions or that President Biden ever made any money off of them.

“The DOJ needs to get off its ass and investigate,” South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace said on Wednesday. “If there are anti-corruption laws that need to be made stronger, we will also do that.”

Asked about whether the committee would apply similar investigative pressure to the business dealings of the children of former President Trump, Comer said, “We’re going to look at everything when we get ready to introduce the legislation to ban influence peddling.”

Ahead of the press conference, the White House released a memo accusing Comer of “using baseless claims, personal attacks, and innuendo to try to score political points.” But Comer sees it differently. “I think the American people understand that this stinks and I think they appreciate what we’re doing,” he said.

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