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House GOP to question President Biden’s brother James Biden in impeachment probe

Written by on February 21, 2024

Michael Godek/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — James Biden, the president’s younger brother, is scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday — a high-stakes confrontation months in the making that could mark an inflection point in Republicans’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

The GOP-controlled panel says it has gathered scores of bank records and witness testimony as part of its effort to further an unproven theory that President Biden improperly supported and benefitted from his family’s overseas business affairs.

James Biden, 74, is a witness at the center of those allegations. During his closed-door deposition Wednesday, lawmakers will have the opportunity to question him for the first time.

Republicans have accused the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and, to a lesser extent, James Biden, of serving as conduits for Joe Biden to quietly benefit from their foreign business arrangements — allegations the White House has forcefully denied.

In fact, several key witnesses interviewed as part of the probe have shared exculpatory accounts that undercut key tenets of Republicans’ accusations against the president.

Republicans are nonetheless expected to press James Biden on his role in allegedly selling the Biden “brand” and proclivity to invoke his family name in business negotiations, as ABC News has previously reported.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has separately taken a keen interest in two checks collectively worth $240,000 that James Biden sent his brother, Joe Biden, in 2017 and 2018.

Comer has framed those transactions — which occurred after Biden left the vice presidency and before launching his presidential bid — as evidence that he received “laundered” money from James Biden’s business deals, including one with a Chinese energy firm.

But bank records obtained separately by ABC News indicate they were repayments for loans that Joe Biden had made to his brother around the same time. Images of the physical checks support that conclusion, with each of them characterized in the memo line as a “loan repayment.”

After Comer issued a subpoena for James Biden’s testimony last year, his attorney, Paul Fishman, said there was “no justification” for the interview, and reiterated that “Jim Biden has never involved his brother in his business dealings.”

Of the loan repayments, Fishman added at the time that “there is nothing more to those transactions, and there is nothing wrong with them.”

The Republican investigation was dealt a blow last week when special counsel David Weiss filed felony false statement and obstruction charges against a confidential FBI source who accused President Biden and his son of accepting a $10 million bribe from a Ukrainian oligarch — an accusation core to Republicans’ impeachment case that the Justice Department said is false.

Other witnesses — a onetime and tangential business associate of Hunter and James Biden, Tony Bobulinski, and Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer — have supported the committee’s notion that Joe Biden knew more about his family’s business affairs than the president, the White House and other business associates close to the family have let on.

Archer, who collaborated with Hunter Biden on multiple deals, told the committee that while Joe Biden met on a handful of occasions with their foreign business partners and was sometimes put on speakerphone in their presence, none of their discussions extended beyond pleasantries or delved into “commercial business.”

Bobulinski went so far as to suggest that James Biden had created a shell company to protect Joe Biden’s financial stake in the business deal with the Chinese energy company.

“Joe Biden is not on this document. He didn’t sign it,” Bobulinski said in his Feb. 13 interview with the committee. “However, I don’t know if Joe Biden had an ownership [stake in the shell company] … I just know that Jim Biden signed on behalf of it.”

Instead, Bobulinski, whose credibility has been called into question by Democrats after coordinating with former President Donald Trump’s campaign ahead of the 2020 election, suggested that lawmakers put James Biden “under oath” to reveal “the extent” of Joe Biden’s alleged role.

Hunter Biden is expected to appear before the panel one week later on Feb. 28.

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