President Biden likely used his position as vice president in the Obama White House to pad a retirement plan by setting up family members as highly-paid business consultants overseas, according to the top House investigator pursuing the Bidens’ alleged influence peddling.
Mr. Biden’s years as vice president took him to China, Russia, Ukraine, Romania and other countries, including Mexico. In each of the places he traveled, Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, brother James and a small group of associates pursued lucrative business deals.
The unusual sequence of payments for those foreign deals, which ended up in the bank accounts of nine Biden family members, have been exposed in the thousands of bank records House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer has scoured over the past several weeks.
“Everywhere where there are odd payments, the president spent time toward the end of his vice presidency,” The Kentucky Republican told The Washington Times.
The payments to family members show a pattern of influence peddling that Mr. Comre believes is connected to President Biden and his desire to set up himself and his family for his post-White House years, not anticipating that he would eventually become president.
Mr. Comer said the committee is pursuing more records from as many as eight banks that he thinks will expose additional Biden family businesses, deals in other foreign countries and more family members who got a cut of the profits.
“I think there are more companies, more banks and more Bidens,” involved in the foreign business deals, Mr. Comer said.
He will also seek financial records Hunter Biden has been ordered to turn over in an Arkansas court case involving his child support payments to an out-of-wedlock 4-year-old daughter he refuses to acknowledge. Mr. Comer said he wants to determine if Hunter Biden has money stashed in offshore bank accounts.
Earlier this month, Mr. Comer revealed corrupt Romanian businessman Gabriel Popoviciu funneled $3 million to Biden family members and business associates around the same time then-Vice President Biden delivered speeches and met with Romanian leaders regarding corruption in the country. More than $1 million of the funds were transferred to the bank accounts of Hunter Biden, President Biden’s daughter-in-law, Hallie Biden and the president’s younger brother, James Biden.
News of the Romanian payments follow revelations from House and Senate investigators that Biden family members and associates had scored millions in payments from energy firms backed by the Chinese Communist Party two months after Joe Biden’s term as vice president ended.
Four years earlier, in 2013, Hunter Biden traveled with his father aboard Air Force Two to Beijing. The trip raised questions after it was revealed that Hunter Biden accompanied his father to China while he was working to establish a Chinese equity fund in which he ultimately owned a 10% stake.
President Biden has repeatedly said he was unaware of any of the business dealings of his son and brother, and he did not profit from them. But Mr. Comer believes Mr. Biden was not only aware of the business deals but was eyeing them as a way to profit in the private sector through his family when he exited public office.
The payments from Romania took place beginning in 2015 when Mr. Biden’s political life appeared to be concluding and Democrat Hillary Clinton was crowned by the party to succeed President Obama.
“He’s doing what most people do at the end of their political career, which is setting themselves up for the private sector,” Mr. Comer said, describing his theory about Mr. Biden’s diplomatic assignments that coincided with his family’s business ventures.
But in Mr. Biden’s case, son Hunter, brother James and their business associates would orchestrate the deals on his behalf, said the congressman.
“He was setting it up for them to be consultants, which are essentially foreign agents, for some of these countries,” Mr. Comer said. “It would look bad for the vice president to do that. I think he was trying to set it up for his son and brother.”
Mr. Comer said his panel’s subpoenas have netted information showing the Biden family’s alleged influence-peddling scheme may have extended to Mexico, but he declined to provide details.
“We are looking into that,” Mr. Comer said.
Information discovered on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and first reported by the New York Post revealed Hunter Biden and James Biden sought various deals with billionaire Mexican businessman Carlos Slim beginning in 2010, when Hunter Biden met Mr. Slim at a luncheon hosted by his father for Mexican President Filipe Calderon. James Biden, years later, attempted to attach Mr. Slim to a deal with a Mexican oil and gas firm. Hunter Biden, meanwhile, made repeated trips to Mexico and had pursued Mr. Slim for other investments, including one with business associate John Cooper’s online gaming company that he had invested in.
In 2016, Mr. Cooper and Hunter Biden accompanied Vice President Biden on a diplomatic trip to Mexico. Mr. Cooper was photographed in 2015 with Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Carlos Slim and other wealthy Mexican businessmen at the vice president’s mansion in Washington.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment about the path Mr. Comer is pursuing in the investigation or his theory of the president’s motives and involvement.
Mr. Comer said he believes there is evidence to be uncovered that more directly ties President Biden to the business deals that took place while he was vice president and immediately after he left the White House in 2017.
Business associates reference Joe Biden, in emails discovered on the laptop, as “the big guy.” One of the former associates, Tony Bobulinski, who has disclosed text messages and voice mail, said the “big guy” is Joe Biden, and he was to be allotted a cut of a multi-million dollar deal with now-defunct CEFC China Energy Co.
Mr. Bobuliski, who said the Bidens defrauded him and other business associates by taking the profits from the Chinese energy deal for themselves, also claims President Biden is lying when he said he did not know about the deals.
“That is false,” Mr. Bobulinski told reporters in 2020.
Mr. Comer said his investigation is focused on the bank records and working to determine how closely they are tied to President Biden, particularly for deals that involved America’s more dangerous adversaries, including China.
“That evidence — voice mail, text messages, the way these companies were set up — show that they were hiding something,” Mr. Comer said.
“The Bidens may have been trying to hide Hunter Biden’s actions as an unregistered foreign agent, or shield themselves from having to pay taxes on the lucrative payments,” Mr. Comer said. “The third option is it’s because Joe’s doing it, and it’s illegal as hell, and they’re trying to hide it.”
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