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Comer probing whether Joe Biden’s dealings with brother complied with tax laws

New avenue of inquiry launched as bank records reveal payments back and forth between Biden brothers in 2017.

Published: November 2, 2023 11:00pm

More than four years after Democrats made Donald Trump’s taxes a focus of investigation, House Republicans are turning the tables on Joe Biden.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Just the News that his investigators are probing whether a series of payments in 2017 between the president and his brother, James Biden, were properly accounted for on taxes. 

The inquiry was prompted when the committee received bank records showing that James Biden made payments of $200,000 and $40,000 from personal accounts to President Biden in 2017 after receiving money from business deals involving a financially troubled health care firm and a Chinese energy company. 

Both payments to Joe Biden were marked as loan re-payments. 

“The Democrats say it was a loan. They need to show where the money came from,” Comer told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. “Did Joe Biden write him a personal check? Or did it come from a corporate account?

“Well, if it came from a corporate account, and then they paid him back, and it went into his personal account, then he evaded a significant amount of taxes there,” Comer alleged. “You can't just withdraw money from a corporate account or even an LLC like you do your personal funds or a sole proprietorship. There are major tax consequences from withdrawing money from a corporate account.”

Asked whether his committee was investigating whether Joe Biden complied with tax laws, Comer answered: “Absolutely.”

Federal prosecutors are already weighing federal criminal tax charges against the president’s son, Hunter Biden, alleging he failed to pay taxes for several years on his foreign business income.

The threat of an indictment increased this summer in that probe after a judge rejected a plea deal in which Hunter Biden would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax evasion charges. 

The first son has already been indicted on felony gun charges in Delaware. 

Two IRS whistleblowers have provided substantial evidence to Congress alleging that Hunter Biden failed to pay taxes on income dating all the way back to 2014 from his controversial Burisma Holdings deal in Ukraine and other transactions.

The first son published an OpEd on Thursday in USA Today, saying he took full responsibility for his failures, but also believed he was being criminally prosecuted and politically persecuted because his father is the president, and because of his prior struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

Republican and Democrat congressional investigators say that bank records show money was transferred out of a special account known as an “attorney trust account” to James Biden in the amount of $200,000 and $40,000 in 2017. 

Within a few months of each transaction, James Biden or his wife wrote a personal check back to Joe Biden, which the future president deposited into his personal accounts. Both were marked as loan repayments.

Democrats say the attorney trust account belongs to Joe Biden, and was controlled by one of his longtime lawyers. Republicans say they do not have enough information yet to determine whether the source of funds in the trust account were Joe Biden’s personal funds, or from one of his corporate entities.

Tax law experts, who spoke to Just the News only on the condition of anonymity, said the distinction between a corporate or personal attorney trust account, would be very important for determining whether Joe Biden had tax liabilities as a result of the transaction.

If the trust fund was derived from personal funds, and Joe Biden took the repayment back to his personal account, there may not be a tax consequence, they said. But if the trust fund proceeds were derived from corporate monies, and then Joe Biden put the repayment of the loans into his personal account, there could be a tax issue, they added.

Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, did not immediately return a message Thursday seeking comment. 

Comer told Just the News he’s resolved to obtain the records necessary to make those determinations.

“If he (Joe Biden) used corporate money to loan Jim Biden money and then, you know, he put it back in his personal account, then that's a huge problem,” he said.

The House GOP shift in focus to possible tax issues involving President Biden comes 4 1/2 years after House Democrats first began an effort in 2019 to obtain Donald Trump‘s personal tax records, a quest that eventually reached the United States Supreme Court. Democrats eventually released those records shortly before yielding control of the U.S. House last December.

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