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Democrats scoff at Biden family influence peddling evidence, reversing standards used for Trump

A fluid definition of “evidence”: While the Oversight Committee has assembled evidence and sworn testimony, Democrats continue to fight the probe while decrying the same standards they used against former President Trump’s foreign business dealings.

Published: February 25, 2024 11:04pm

House Democrats are growing increasingly forceful in their disputation of any evidence uncovered by House Republicans in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. However, their quick dismissal of sworn witness testimony, official documents, and unchallenged reporting that shows the Biden family at the very least traded on their name marks a stark departure from their treatment of former President Trump’s family business while he was in office.

In the face of concrete evidence that indicates President Biden likely had knowledge of, participated in, and may have taken official actions based on his son’s business ventures, the lead Democrats on the Oversight Committee have stridently denied Biden’s link to the deals in any way.

After presidential brother James Biden’s interview before the committee on Wednesday, the lead Democrat on the committee, Jamie Raskin, claimed that the inquiry has failed to prove that Joe Biden was involved in any way.

“He was not involved in any way, and he was not receiving any money from them. He was not a business partner, or a business associate,” Raskin told reporters. “That has been well established, time and time again. And nothing that we’ve heard so far contradicts that in any way.”

Rep. Dan Goldman, another prominent Democrat on the committee who was elected to Congress after his starring role in the first Trump impeachment as majority counsel, has also been one of the most public members to criticize the probe since it began last year.

“Well, the same way we’ve been handling the same inquiry for the last eight or nine months, which is to continue to point out the facts and the truth, and that there is no evidence to link President Biden to anything related to his son,” Rep. Dan Goldman of New York told CNN’s Kaitlyn Collins last fall.

“They have over 12,000 pages of bank records, and none of them trace back to Joe Biden,” he added. “They have looked at suspicious activity reports. None of them link to Joe Biden, which is why you always hear them talk about the Biden family or Hunter Biden, but they are not impeaching the Biden family and they are not impeaching Hunter Biden. This is an inquiry into President Biden, and there is no link, zero evidence to justify this.”

Since Goldman made this statement the impeachment inquiry uncovered bank records showing payments directly to Joe Biden from both his son and brother as well as took witness testimony confirming Biden met with several of his son’s business partners, foreign and otherwise.

Despite this, the Democrats have maintained the same criticisms of the probe. Goldman did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News on Friday to clarify the distinction.

While discounting documents and testimony in the case against Biden, House Democrats approached their investigation into the finances of former President Trump’s vast business empire, which was under the control of his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, with a seemingly different standard.

In fact, in January, the Democrats of the House Oversight Committee released an expansive report titled White House for Sale: How Princes, Prime Ministers, and Premiers Paid Off President Trump.” The report featured the Democrats’ conclusions from a years-long investigation into “President Donald Trump’s receipt of payments from foreign governments and foreign state-owned or state- controlled entities while in office” via his various businesses.

“Shrouded in complexity and secrecy, President Trump’s global corporate empire proved to be a magnet for emoluments from foreign governments and government-sponsored sources across the globe,” the Democrats’ report concluded.

The Democrats explicitly criticized Trump’s decision to pass the “day-to-day” operations of his  businesses off to his two sons, rather than divest completely from them. The report also highlights that he failed to divest from those entities which benefitted “significantly from business with foreign governments” and only pledged that the Trump Organization would not enter new foreign deals.

“This transparently improper arrangement reinforced (rather than severed) his ties to his businesses and enabled him to prioritize his personal interests over those of the nation, as foreign governments and those acting on their behalf quickly began spending money at Trump properties in hopes of gaining the new President’s favor,” the report concluded.

Yet, this description is apt to characterize the very behavior that House Republicans are claiming the Biden family engaged in. Their argument, in short, is that Hunter Biden used his family name and his father’s position as a prominent political figure—the vice president—to solicit payments from foreign sources from Ukraine to China.

The Democrat’s report ultimately found that Trump’s businesses received $7.8 million in payments from foreign governments or government-connected entities while he was president. According to the records, China was the biggest spender, dropping $5.5 million in Trump-owned properties and businesses. Many payments by foreign entities came into properties owned by Trump, including hotels in hotels and commercial properties.

The report alleged that Trump family income from foreign payments to their properties influenced Trump’s decision making as president. In one instance cited by the Oversight Democrats, Trump failed to impose sanctions on the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) despite calls from Congress to do so after the DOJ found the bank had conspired to circumvent sanctions on North Korea. The U.S. branch of the bank is located in Trump Tower on 5th Ave. in Manhattan.

President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also came under scrutiny for business deals in the Middle East while he served as a senior advisor in the administration handling relations with the region, working to broker the Abraham Accords. During the presidency, the Kushner family real estate company received a $30 million investment from Mivtachim, a large financial institution in Israel.

Then after Kushner’s father-in-law left office, a fund headed by the Saudi Crown Prince invested $2 billion in his private equity firm. In August, Raskin asked Oversight Chairman James Comer—who is leading the impeachment inquiry into Biden—to subpoena Kushner for information related to the Saudi investments in his firm.

Comer has drawn a distinction between his investigation of the alleged influence peddling scheme of the Biden family and the business activities of Trump and his family.

“I’ve been vocal that I think that what Kushner did crossed the line of ethics,” Comer said in August. “But it happened after he left office. And Jared Kushner actually has a legitimate business. This money [to] the Bidens happened while Joe Biden was vice president, while he was flying to those countries,” he added.

Comer continued to claim throughout the inquiry that the distinction lie in the services Hunter Biden’s businesses were allegedly providing, which he claims, they could not determine.

“What exactly did the Bidens do?” he told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “I haven’t found a legitimate business yet, Maria. We found a lot of LLCs. They don’t appear to have any assets or any specific purpose.”

In light of the evidence the inquiry has uncovered thus far, the committee plans to continue its investigation, with or without the criticisms from the Democrat members.

“The House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry is based on a large record of evidence, including bank records and witness testimony, revealing that Joe Biden knew of and participated in his family’s business dealings,” a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee told Just the News on Wednesday.

“Witnesses have confirmed Joe Biden was the brand being sold by the Bidens around the world. President Biden continues to lie to the American people about this matter and the American people demand the truth and accountability for any wrongdoing,” she continued. “We will continue to follow the facts to propose legislation to reform federal ethics laws and to determine whether articles of impeachment are warranted.”