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Despite denials, Joe Biden’s $200k check from brother shows direct payment from family business

James Biden's payment is l first direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited directly from his family's business. Testimonial and documentary evidence says there could be more.

Published: October 20, 2023 11:32pm

Updated: October 22, 2023 2:30pm

President Joe Biden has repeatedly claimed that he never had anything to do with his son’s or his brother’s business ventures while he was in public office or remained a public figure.

However, new evidence released Friday by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R.-K.Y., shows that in 2018 Joe Biden received a $200,000 payment from his brother James Biden connected to the failing healthcare company Americore.

In 2020 a Biden campaign official told Politico that Joe Biden never talked with his brother about Americore or expressed support for the business.

Now the public has evidence that Joe Biden received a payment from his brother, funds that Comer alleges were made available by a loan payment to James Biden from the near-bankrupt Americore. This raises questions about what Joe Biden actually knew about the source of these funds he received.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"In 2018, James Biden received $600,000 in loans from, Americore—a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator. According to bankruptcy court documents, James Biden received these loans 'based upon representations 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," Comer said in an Oversight Committee post to X. Comer’s assertion comes from bankruptcy court documents filed by Americore’s trustee against James Biden.

"On March 1, 2018, Americore wired a $200,000 loan into James and Sara Biden’s personal bank account – not their business bank account. On the same day, James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this same personal bank account to Joe Biden," Comer added.

Joe Biden’s family members using the Biden name—or Biden "brand"—for personal or family benefit is a pattern that has emerged repeatedly in the House Republicans' investigations into the Biden family’s extensive business dealings. James Biden’s business with Americore fits the bill.

Since the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden has continuously denied knowledge of or participation in any of his family’s business dealings. “First of all, I have never discussed with my son, or my brother, or anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses period,” Biden said on the campaign trail in August 2019.

The $200,000 check is the first direct evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from his family’s business dealings. However, there is copious circumstantial evidence that the president may have received other, and even more lucrative benefits. Previously uncovered text messages and emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop imply that Joe Biden may have received substantial financial benefits from those business dealings.

For example, in January 2019, Hunter Biden sent a text message that explicitly stated that his father received money from him: “I Hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family [for] 30 years," Hunter Biden texted his daughter in January 2019. "It's really hard. But don't worry, unlike Pop, I won't make you give me half your salary.” Whether it was hyperbole or fact, it's unlikely Hunter Biden said this just for dramatic effect. Other evidence from Hunter Biden’s record make this statement more credible.

In 2010, Hunter Biden’s longtime business associate Eric Schwerin, emailed Hunter about Joe Biden’s mortgage while he was serving as vice president. "Your Dad just called me (about his mortgage)," Schwerin wrote, "and mentioned he'd be out a lot soon and not really back until Labor Day so it dawned on me it might be a good time [to meet with Joe Biden about the memo] (also he could use some news about his future earnings potential!).” At the time, in these pages John Solomon and Seamus Bruner presented this email as evidence that the vice president and his son were commingling finances.

This is far from the only example. Hunter Biden’s text messages also show that he was paying his father’s phone bill. In a 2018 text to his secretary the younger Biden wrote, “My dad has been using most [phone] lines on this [AT&T] account which I've through the gracious offerings of Eric [Schwerin] have paid for past 11 years.”

Based on the costs outlined in Hunter Biden’s emails, an analysis by the Government Accountability Institute and Just the News estimated that these payments over eleven years would result in approximately $25,000 in benefits.

After then-Vice President Biden left office in 2017, Hunter Biden planned to involve him in a multi-million dollar deal confirmed by The Washington Post, with his business partners at CEFC China Energy. In a venture Hunter Biden and his business partners were setting up with the Chinese Energy Company headed by Ye Jianming, the group worked out an equity distribution that benefited the Biden family and their partners.

In an email from James Gillliar—one of Hunter Biden's associates—to Tony Bobulinski—the famed one-time business partner of Hunter Biden who accused President Biden of lying about his involvement in Hunter Biden’s business before the 2020 election—the partners proposed “10 held by H for the big guy ?” Both James Gilliar and Tony Bobulinski confirmed that Joe Biden was “the Big Guy” according to a report by the New York Post.

"I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed his dealings with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden,” Bobulinski said, according to the Post.

After Americore declared bankruptcy, a Chapter 11 trustee sued James Biden, alleging that the company loaned him $600,000 while it was struggling to stay afloat and that he did not pay the company back.

"Instead of complying with his fiduciary responsibilities, Defendant helped Debtors procure an ill-advised bridge loan from a hedge fund that had a deleterious impact on the financial affairs of the Debtor and ultimately forced Debtors into bankruptcy, as he never delivered the promised the large investment from the Middle East," the bankruptcy court document reads. "And worse, Defendant never repaid the Loans to Americore Health, including during the time that Debtors were strapped for cash." 

James Biden contested the trustee's characterization claiming that the money was similar in value to the financial and consulting services he provided for the company. The president's brother ultimately agreed to settle the lawsuit for $350,000 in September of last year.

James Biden also ran into more trouble earlier this month when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against a company for a business deal that directly involved the president’s brother. “The complaint was filed last week in the Southern District of Florida against Third Friday Management and a James Biden associate, Michael Lewitt,” Just the News reported.

The SEC alleged that Lewitt participated in “fraudulent conduct and gross breaches of fiduciary duty.” The SEC also said that Lewitt failed to tell investors that he took $30 million from the fund and put the money in companies that invest in distressed healthcare companies.

The circumstantial evidence that Joe Biden benefited from the far-flung business dealings of his family has steadily built up since the 2020 election. Now, citizens have the first direct, concrete piece of evidence that Joe Biden did, in fact, receive a substantial financial benefit from his brother’s dealings with Americore.

The House Oversight Committee is following the money and it appears that the chase has just begun.