House GOP brings no evidence of Biden corruption claims to press conference
Republican members of the House Oversight Committee declined to answer when asked if they had information that the president was directly involved in corruption or was implicated in illegal activity related to his family’s business deals.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday failed to provide evidence to back up their previous claims that President Joe Biden was involved in influence peddling and corruption as they appeared at a press conference held on Capitol Hill.
Led by Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the event was, according to a statement issued by the Republicans on the committee, meant “to provide an update on the investigation into the Biden family’s influence peddling to enrich themselves and announce next investigative actions.”
But when asked if the committee was going to be able to prove that the president was “directly involved with corruption,” Comer did not give a direct answer.
“I don’t think anyone in America who’s watching C-SPAN or any other network that’s covering this would think that it’s just a coincidence that nine Biden family members have received money for this influence peddling scheme,” he replied.
Over the course of the event, committee members Reps. Jim Jordan, Nancy Mace, Byron Donalds, Kelly Armstrong, and Andy Biggs made complaints that members of the Biden family, including his son Hunter, have conducted business with foreign nationals. They did not present any evidence that Biden or his family members had been involved in illegal activities.
“Congressman Comer has a history of playing fast and loose with the facts and spreading baseless innuendo while refusing to conduct his so-called ‘investigations’ with legitimacy,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement following the press conference.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member on the Oversight Committee, criticized the press conference in a statement.
“Unable to implicate the President directly, Committee Republicans have resorted to using cherry-picked bank records, misrepresentations about confidential and unverified bank reports known as SARs, and baseless conspiracy theories to attack the President’s family, including his grandchildren,” he said.
Media investigations into Hunter Biden’s businesses have debunked claims that Joe Biden was involved or benefitted from them.
In a March 2022 report, the Washington Post said that it “did not find evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC [China Energy], which took place after he had left the vice presidency and before he announced his intentions to run for the White House in 2020.”
In an October 2020 story on Hunter Biden’s businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.”
Before assuming control of the House in 2023, congressional Republican leaders made clear that investigating Biden and his family would be a priority.
“The Biden campaign, Big Tech, bad actors at the FBI, and legacy media colluded to hide details about Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings just as Americans were making up their minds about the presidential election. @HouseGOP will investigate until we find the full truth,” then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted in August 2022.
Previous corruption-related allegations from Republicans against the Bidens haven’t held up to scrutiny.
In November 2022, Comer alleged that “suspicious activity” claims filed against members of the Biden family were rare and an indicator of possibly illegal behavior. But the U.S. Treasury Department has reported that more than an estimated two million similar claims, known as “suspicious activity reports,” are filed every year.
Suspicious activity reports, also known as SARs, are filed with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by financial institutions. They are often registered when activity in bank accounts deviates from the norm, including unusually large or complex deposits. At that point those accounts can then be investigated for possible illicit activity. An SAR filing is not in itself an indication that anything illegal has occurred.
Data from the Bank Policy Institute shows that only what it terms “a tiny subset” of the few investigations triggered by such reports have resulted in arrests or convictions.
Public polling has shown a majority of voters do not support Republican efforts to investigate Biden and his family.
In a March 16 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for the progressive Congressional Integrity Project, 63% of voters polled said they would prefer the House focus on issues like rising prices and health care, while only 29% thought it should focus on investigating Biden.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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