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Showdown: The most important questions facing James Biden in his impeachment interview under oath

Presidential brother James Biden is expected to appear for closed-door testimony under oath today with the House Oversight Committee as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against his brother.

Published: February 20, 2024 11:00pm

Updated: February 20, 2024 11:20pm

James Biden is set to appear for a closed door, transcribed interview before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday as part of the impeachment inquiry into his older brother, President Joe Biden.

The interview is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM, a source familiar confirmed to Just the News on Tuesday. According to the House Committee on Rules, the testimony will be given under oath, with a possible penalty of perjury should the testimony be found to be false. 

House Republicans have gathered a considerable amount of admissible evidence that the Biden family used the influence of the family patriarch and the family name to secure business deals and payments over the course of Joe Biden’s vice presidency and immediately after he left office.

The inquiry is reaching a climax, as James Biden is the first member of the Biden family to testify. An interview with Hunter Biden is expected later this month, on February 28.

The impeachment inquiry has centered on answering three questions:

  1. How the Biden family traded on their name, especially Joe Biden’s name;
  2. Finding any ways that Joe Biden benefited financially from his family’s deals; and
  3. Whether Joe Biden had any knowledge or involvement in these family deals.

James Biden is uniquely positioned to answer all three of these questions.

Congressional investigators are likely to seek answers about two key deals in which James Biden was closely involved, including evidence of payments to his brother and attempted influence peddling, according to information uncovered by the Oversight Committee, IRS investigators, and the FBI.

The first involves James Biden’s association with the failing healthcare company, the now-bankrupt Americore, for which he reportedly worked to secure investments to keep the rural hospital operator afloat. The second is the Biden family deal with CEFC China Energy which sent Hunter and James Biden millions in exchange for help securing investments in U.S. and foreign energy infrastructure projects.

Paul Fishman, lawyer for James Biden, did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News ahead of the testimony. He previously told The Washington Post that “at no time did Jim involve his brother in any of his business relationships.” President Biden and the White House have maintained similar denials.

James Biden’s dealings with the failing healthcare company appear follow a similar pattern seen in Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. According to a report from Politico on Sunday, Biden frequently invoked his brother’s name and influence in his dealings with the company and even attempted to secure equity and a board seat for his brother in the venture.

One former Americore executive also told Politico that James Biden said, if Americore was successful in finding a good model for rural hospitals, his brother could run on it in a future presidential election.

The impeachment inquiry will likely seek to confirm these reports, especially in light of its previous findings about James Biden’s undefined and undocumented work with Americore and loans he received from the company.

The Oversight Committee first identified Americore as the source of a series of loans to James Biden, some of which, the committee argues, were used to send a payment to his brother Joe Biden. In total, the committee found $600,000 in loans to the younger Biden from the healthcare company.

One of the loans – for $200,000 – was sent to James Biden’s personal bank account by the company. On the very same day, he sent a payment for the exact same amount to his brother, Joe Biden, labeled as a "loan repayment." The committee argues that the transfer from Americore funded the payment to Joe Biden even as the company was in dire financial straits.

According to bankruptcy court documents regarding Americore, James Biden had made representations to the company that “his last name, ‘Biden,’ could 'open doors’ and that he could obtain a large investment from the Middle East based on his political connections.”

Carol Fox, the trustee who represented Americore during its bankruptcy proceedings, told the impeachment investigators in a transcribed interview she could neither determine what role James Biden played nor identify any paperwork backing up the loans made to him from the struggling company in 2018. As a fiduciary representing the Americore estate, Fox sued Biden because he failed to repay the $600,000 total in loans he received even as the company was struggling to stay afloat.

James Biden was also closely involved in Hunter Biden’s relationship with CEFC China Energy, a conglomerate that sought to invest in infrastructure projects across the world, including in the United States.

The Bidens’ work with CEFC would result in millions of dollars in payments to them: including a $3 million “thank you” payment in March 2017, a $5 million loan in August 2017 and a $1 million legal retainer fee to Hunter Biden from CEFC official Patrick Ho after he was indicted on bribery charges, according to documents gathered by Congress and federal prosecutors. Ho would later be found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top officials of Chad and Uganda.

James Biden told the FBI in a 2022 interview that he and Hunter Biden worked to help CEFC secure an investment in U.S. natural gas facilities and that he met with CEFC’s chairman, Ye Jianming, at least one time.

He also told the FBI he “became aware of CEFC in and around early 2017 through” Hunter Biden, according to the summary provided to Congress by IRS Special Agents and whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. Evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop and documents uncovered by the Oversight Committee show that Hunter Biden’s work for CEFC began as early as 2015, during his father’s vice presidency.

Biden associate Rob Walker told the FBI that James Biden was involved in this early work, which investigators believed CEFC paid for after Joe Biden left office to avoid scrutiny. One such payment that came in March 2017, a $3 million transfer to Rob Walker’s LLC, was split between Walker, James, and Hunter Biden, according to bank records obtained by the Oversight Committee.

James Biden was also listed in a proposed equity split related to the joint venture Hunter Biden and his partners were trying to establish with CEFC, according to an email obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop by the New York Post.

Additionally, after CEFC's Ho was arrested in New York on charges of bribery, the first call he made was to James Biden, reportedly trying to contact his nephew, Hunter. This episode revealed just how close the Bidens were to CEFC. The younger Biden was paid a $1 million fee to represent Ho in the United States. Ho was ultimately convicted for his scheme to bribe two African officials to secure favorable energy deals for the Chinese company. The court documents also show that Ho also schemed to evade Iran sanctions and secure illicit arms deals, though he was not charged for these alleged violations.

A recent impeachment witness told the committee James Biden was also a firsthand witness to his brother’s direct involvement in the Biden family business ventures, specifically Hunter Biden’s efforts to form a joint investment company with CEFC China Energy.

Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden business associate, told impeachment investigators last week he met with the Biden family—Joe, Hunter, and James—at a hotel in Los Angeles in 2017 and that the group discussed the proposed venture with CEFC. Though Bobulinski was ultimately cut out of the deal when the Bidens formed a separate joint venture with the Chinese, he met with Joe and James Biden together at least once about the proposed deal.

“I personally met with Joe Biden in Los Angeles in May of 2017 multiple times to discuss the broad contours of business dealings," he said.

In the hotel, before Joe Biden arrived, Bobulinski told the committee, Hunter and James Biden started “coaching” him about the upcoming meeting, which Bobulinski said was “slightly odd.”

“And they sort of coached me to say, ‘We're not going to go into a lot of detail. We'll go into your background. My dad will talk about what he sort of chooses to talk about.’ And I sort of just made that note,” Bobulinski said.

Bobulinski told the committee that he specifically approached James Biden while they were in Los Angeles because he developed concerns about the Biden family being in business with CEFC, given its Chinese connections and Joe Biden’s political status.

“And I was asking him, ‘How are you doing it? It doesn't make any sense. Aren't you guys concerned that if Joe does run for president of the United States in the future that you guys are doing business directly with the Chinese?’,” Bobulinski said, recounting a meeting with James Biden.

“‘How are you guys doing this? It makes no sense to me. Why would you take this risk to yourself, to your family's brand that Hunter screams about, and all that stuff?’, he asked.

“And he looks at me and sort of chuckles and says, 'Plausible deniability’,” Bobulinski recounted, according to the transcript.

Congressional investigators are likely to ask James Biden about this meeting specifically and what James Biden meant by the statement which Bobulinski recounted to investigators.

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