Republicans Fail to Find Any Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden in Floundering Biden Family Probe
Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, issued the following statement after Committee Republicans released cherry-picked bank records and mischaracterized information about Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to distract from their failure to find any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden:
“Once again Chairman Comer has failed to provide factual evidence to support his wild accusations about the President. He continues to bombard the public with innuendo, misrepresentations, and outright lies, recycling baseless claims from stories that were debunked years ago. Unable to implicate the President directly, Committee Republicans have resorted to using cherry-picked bank records, misrepresentations about confidential and unverified bank reports known as SARs, and baseless conspiracy theories to attack the President’s family, including his grandchildren. As Republicans use their oversight powers to advance this tiresome and aging smear campaign, they refuse to honor their public commitment to investigate former President Trump and former senior White House advisor, Jared Kushner, their hundreds of LLCs, and the billions of dollars they collected directly from autocratic and corrupt foreign governments. If they’re in search of presidential corruption by foreign powers, the undisputed champion is their own guy.”
A new memo released by Committee Democrats details Committee Republicans’ efforts to mischaracterize the unverified tip information contained in SARs in an attempt to support their unfounded allegations.
In a press conference and report released today, Committee Republicans highlighted cherry-picked information from bank records and misrepresentations about SARs as part of their latest effort to promote tired, debunked, and baseless conspiracy theories about President Biden and members of his family.
Bank records reviewed by Committee Democrats do not indicate any wrongdoing by President Biden nor do they show any connection to policy decisions.
None of the bank records reviewed by Committee staff allege, or even suggest, any potential misconduct by President Biden, nor do they show President Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s business relationships. Chairman Comer’s public claims ignore evidence provided to the Committee by Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s former business associate and then-Vice President Biden’s former financial adviser, whom Chairman Comer has championed as a key witness. In a March 2023 interview with Republican and Democratic Committee staff, Mr. Schwerin told Committee staff he was not aware of any involvement by President Biden in the financial conduct of the President’s relatives’ businesses, much less any transactions into or out of the then-Vice President’s bank account related to business conducted by any Biden family member.
Republicans are recycling old news and long-debunked conspiracies.
Committee Republicans’ report largely echoes old reporting, including the 2020 report by Senate Republicans, in a failed attempt to implicate President Biden in wrongdoing. Further, in a misleading effort to advance their narrative, Committee Republicans fail to note that Biden family members have no ownership interest in multiple of the business entities referred to in their memorandum.
Chairman Comer has attempted to pass off Hunter Biden’s legal work on behalf Gabriel Popoviciu as new evidence. However, Hunter Biden’s legal work on behalf of Popoviciu while he was counsel at the law firm Boies Schiller has long been known, and there is no evidence that President Biden took any official actions influenced in any way by Hunter Biden’s representation. Chairman Comer has also ignored the fact that months after being hired as President Trump’s personal attorney while also representing Popoviciu, Rudy Giuliani publicly called on Romanian authorities to stand down on anti-corruption efforts.
Additionally, Committee Republicans have repackaged old information about the business relationship between Hunter Biden, a private citizen, and a private Chinese energy company at a time when his father did not hold public office. For example, the $3 million transfer in March 2017 to Robinson Walker LLC that was shared between Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their business partner James Gilliar was made public in 2020. Republicans also discuss the relationship between Vuk Jeremic and CEFC that was disclosed as far back as 2018. Despite Committee Republicans’ claims, years-old reporting confirms that Mr. Jeremic did not introduce Hunter Biden to Ye Jianming, and Hunter Biden did not meet with Mr. Ye when Joe Biden held office.
SARs reviewed by the Committee do not implicate President Biden.
As detailed in Committee Democrats’ memo, although SARs are unverified tips and not evidence of misconduct, Committee Republicans have continued to mischaracterize them as “bank violations.” Notwithstanding this fact, Committee Republicans have not identified a single SAR concerning any transaction involving President Biden.
Many of the SARs upon which Committee Republicans have relied on to make false accusations were filed by financial institutions because of erroneous or unfounded claims. For example, several SARs were filed after Senate Republicans issued a widely-discredited report on Burisma and the publication of an inaccurate Federalist article.
Although Committee Republicans have repeatedly touted the number of SARs reviewed by Committee staff, more than half of the SARs did not identify any transactions involving any member of the Biden family. In an effort to attack the Biden family, Chairman Comer has recklessly asserted that members of the President’s family, including his then-minor grandchild, were involved in wrongdoing simply because their name appeared in a SAR, even where the SAR contained no suggestion of involvement in any wrongdoing.
Committee Republicans refuse to investigate the Trump family’s financial ties to foreign governments.
Despite their rhetoric about the Biden family, Committee Republicans have shown they are not serious about investigating the potential influence of foreign money in American politics, as they have refused to investigate the billions of dollars former President Trump and former White House adviser Jared Kushner received directly from foreign governments.
Committee Republicans apparently allowed former President Trump’s personal attorneys to act on behalf of the Committee to unilaterally end investigation into Mr. Trump’s inadequate financial disclosures and blatant constitutional and ethical conflicts of interest, including profiting from authoritarian governments like China and Saudi Arabia, while leading American policy affecting those countries. Committee Republicans also turned a blind eye to millions of dollars Mr. Trump received from foreign governments while in office, as well as the more than 500 limited liability companies (LLCs) in more than 20 countries that he continued to own.
Committee Republicans have also turned a blind eye to the blatantly suspicious relationship between Saudi government officials and Jared Kushner, a former senior White House official who shaped pro-Saudi policy on the Middle East, on the grounds that looking into evidence of a quid pro quo would be “politically unsustainable.” Reporting suggests that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, secretly invested billions of dollars in Mr. Kushner’s fund after Mr. Kushner left government service, following private remarks by former President Trump that certain Saudi government officials, including the Crown Prince, were indebted to him and Mr. Kushner for their pro-Saudi policies.
The Committee cannot claim to conduct credible oversight of weaknesses in our government ethics and disclosure laws while it refuses to examine the plethora of actual and potential ethical violations of the previous Administration and misrepresents basic facts to attack President Biden and his entire family.
Click here for Committee Democrats’ staff memo.
Click here to read Ranking Member Raskin’s letter to Chairman Comer.