House Republicans file criminal referrals to Justice Department for Hunter, James Biden

The action comes after both Biden’s were accused by the impeachment inquiry committees of lying during their testimonies.

Published: June 5, 2024 2:00pm

Updated: June 5, 2024 3:56pm

House Republicans have referred Hunter and James Biden to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, accusing the pair of making false statements to Congress during the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

The criminal referrals was filed Monday and come nearly seven months after House Republicans first authorized the impeachment inquiry into the 46th president.

Since then, the three committees leading the probe have uncovered what they term an influence peddling scheme surrounding Joe Biden by his family members, which led to millions flowing into Hunter and James Biden’s coffers from business deals abroad connected to allegedly corrupt oligarchs and individuals with relationships to the Chinese Communist Party.

Hunter is Joe Biden's son and Jim is the president's brother. 

“Our investigation has revealed President Biden knew about, participated in, and benefitted from his family cashing in on the Biden name around the world," says GOP Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who is helping leading the criminal referral process.

"Despite this record of evidence, President Biden continues to lie to the American people about his involvement in these influence peddling schemes. It appears making false statements runs in the Biden family. We’ve caught President Biden’s son and brother making blatant lies to Congress in what appears to be a concerted effort to hide Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s schemes.”

Comer along with two other GOP House committee chairmen – Judiciary's Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Ways and Means' Missouri Rep. Jason Smith – wrote the referral letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, in which they recommend the Bidens be charged charged for false statements. Additionally, they recommended Hunter Biden be charged for perjury

You can read the referral below:

The Republicans identified three instances in which they believe Hunter Biden lied to the committee. 

  • “[F]alsely distanced himself from” one of his companies, Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC, and its bank account that received millions for foreign entities and individuals. Despite this, that bank account transferred funds to him from those foreign sources.
  • Making false statements about holding a position at that same company. Documents released after the first son’s testimony show he signed a document identifying himself as corporate secretary of the enterprise.
  • Misrepresented a text conversation with Chinese company executive “Zhao” with whom he invoked his father’s presence in a threatening text message. Biden claimed he mistakenly messaged the wrong person, however messages released by one of the committees show he continued to speak with that same executive days afterward.

The committee also argue presidential brother James Biden lied in his deposition by:

  • Saying he did not meet with Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski while the group pursued a deal with CEFC China Energy.

However, Hunter Biden contradicted these statements in his own testimony, claiming James Biden was present at a meeting with him and Bobulinski.

“Lying to Congress is a serious crime with serious consequences," Jordan said. "Hunter and James Biden did just that. They lied to coverup President Biden’s involvement in their family’s international influence peddling schemes that have generated millions of dollars. These criminal referrals are a reflection of criminal wrongdoing by the Biden family, and the Department of Justice must take steps to hold the Bidens accountable.”

These new referrals are part of House Republicans’ recent efforts to pivot from investigation to accountability as the November Election Day fast approaches. This new push includes the criminal referrals and efforts to defund part of the Biden administration.

House Republican leadership remains cautious about rushing to impeach President Biden based on the findings of the inquiry.

“In general, the impeachment power is one that we wield very carefully here, as I’ve said so many times. Next to declaration of war, it’s the heaviest power that Congress has. And it needs to be very methodical,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday, according to Roll Call.

“I think President Biden is the worst president in the history of the country, and there may well be impeachable offenses ... There is an investigation process … and the process continues. So I’m not making any commitment on that this morning. We have to let the constitutional process and our constitutional responsibility play out.”

The criminal referrals are likely to face roadblocks at the Justice Department, which is under the authority of President Biden’s handpicked attorney general in Garland.

The agency has hindered aspects of the House Republicans’ investigation thus far, including by refusing to supply an audio recording of President Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur over Biden mishandling of classified documents.

The department also faced allegations that it has retaliated against other impeachment witnesses for cooperating with the probe.

However, Chairman Smith believes the referrals will give the department a chance to prove President Biden’s own claims that no one is above the law.

“President Biden claims no one is above the law. We will soon see his Department of Justice put that principle to the test,” Smith said in a statement. “Congress cannot allow anyone, not even the president’s son or his brother, to stand in the way of its oversight of the executive branch or deny the American people the accountability they deserve.”

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