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After months of investigation and many public allegations of corruption against Mr. Biden and his family, the first report from the Office of the Prime Minister of the G.O.P. the investigation revealed no evidence of such misconduct.
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A message from Washington
After four months of investigation, House Republicans, who have vowed to use their new majority to find evidence of President Biden's wrongdoing, acknowledged Wednesday that they have yet to uncover any incriminating material about him, despite their frequent insinuations that he and his family were involved in criminal behavior and corruption.
At a highly publicized news conference on Capitol Hill to outline the preliminary findings of their major investigation into Mr. Biden and his family, top Republicans released financial documents detailing how some of the president's relatives received more than $10 million from foreign sources between in 2015. and in 2017.
Republicans described the transactions as evidence of "influence peddling" by Biden's family, including his son Hunter Biden, and cited somepreviously known, although not at all flattering detailsaffairs of the younger Mr. Biden. Among them is the episode in which he accepted a 2.8-carat diamond from a Chinese businessman. G.O.P. lawmakers have also produced material suggesting that President Biden and his allies have occasionally made misleading statements in their efforts to aggressively dismiss allegations of misconduct by Hunter Biden.
But on Wednesday, Republicans acknowledged that they have yet to find evidence of any specific corrupt practices by Mr. Biden who took office in connection with any of the business deals his son has made. Instead, their presentation emphasized how little progress the G.O.P. lawmakers have done in finding clear evidence of suspicious transactions that they can link to Mr. Biden, their main political rival.
This did not prevent them from accusing the president of serious offenses.
"I want to be clear: this committee is investigating the shady business dealings of President Biden and his family to profit from Joe Biden's public position that threatens our country's national security," said Representative James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky and chairman of the Oversight Committee. He stressed that the president - not just his son - would be the target of his investigation, which he said would now "enter a new phase" in which he would seek certain financial information based on material he had learned from bank records.
Federal prosecutors are investigating Hunter Biden's international business activities as part of a criminal investigation. But the only charges they are considering have nothing to do with his work abroad, according to people familiar with the case. They include tax charges related to his failure to file tax returns for several years and an allegation that he lied about his drug use on a federal form he filled out to buy a gun.
To date, the committee of Mr. Comer issued four subpoenas from banks, obtained thousands of financial records and spoke with several people he describes as whistleblowers. Mr. Comer also hired James Mandolf, a former federal prosecutor with experience investigating foreign corruption, to oversee the investigation.
Here's what we know so far.
Companies linked to Hunter Biden have received more than $10 million from foreign companies, some with criminal ties.
The House Oversight Committee report focused on payments to Hunter Biden-related companies by companies and individuals in Romania and China. Bank records obtained by the commission show the receipt of money by a company linked to Gabriel Popoviciu, who was the subject of a criminal investigation and prosecution for corruption in Romania.
In 2015, Mr. Popoviciu hired Hunter Biden, who is a lawyer while his father was vice president, to help defend against the allegations. That attempt was unsuccessful and in 2016 Mr Popoviciu was convicted on charges of buying land in the northern part of Bucharest, the Romanian capital.
Mr. Comer also targeted John R. Walker, an associate of Hunter Biden who was involved in a joint venture with executives from CEFC China Energy, a Chinese conglomerate that is now bankrupt.
A Shanghai-based company, State Energy HK Limited, which was linked to CEFC China Energy, sent millions to Robinson Walker LLC, a company linked to Mr. Walker, which then made the paymentsTo Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family.
Hunter Biden has established a business relationship with Ye Jianming, the founder of CEFC, who is under investigation by Chinese authorities for suspected economic crime. In 2017, Mr. Ye Hunter gave Biden a 2.8 carat diamond as a thank you for the meeting.
'What would you bribe me for? My father was not on duty," Hunter Biden saidIz to New York in 2019, adding that he gave the diamond to his colleagues. “I knew it wasn't a good idea to take him. I just felt like it was weird.
CEFC had hoped to invest in a Louisiana liquefied natural gas company, but that deal ultimately fell through.
Hunter Biden's representatives at the time characterized his business offerings as providing legal and consulting services.
The payments arrived at the moment whenHunter Biden's life and finances were spiralingamid his drug addiction and following the death of his brother, Beau Biden, from brain cancer. Hunter Biden began a romantic relationship with his brother's widow. His business partner Mr. Walker and his uncle James Biden were involved in international affairs.
Abbe Lowell, jedanHunter Biden's lawyer, said in a statement that House Republicans did not reveal anything new in their report.
"Today's so-called 'disclosures' are rehashed, repackaged false statements about perfectly accurate meetings and affairs of individuals." said Mr. Lowell.
President Biden falsely denied that his son had ties to Chinese companies.
None of the payments described in the report went to President Biden personally, nor did the investigation of Mr. Comera produced any evidence that Mr. Biden ever engaged in any corruption related to his son's business.
But Mr. Biden has made several false or misleading statements on the matter.
During the 2020 presidential debate, Mr. Biden claimed that no one in his family had received money from China.
"My son didn't make a profit from this -- what are you talking about, China," Mr. Biden said, directing the indictment at his opponent, President Donald J. Trump. “The only man who has made money from China is this man. He is the only one. No one else has made money in China.”
This year, Mr. Biden also claimed it was "untrue" that family members had received more than $1 million from a Chinese company.
Aides to Mr. Biden said he spoke the language of the people and generally dismissed claims that his administration had been corrupted by Chinese money.
Families of presidents have long been making money from their surnames.
At his press conference, Mr. Comer acknowledged that Hunter Biden would be far from the first family member of a president or vice president to try to cash in on the family name.
He quoted Billy Carter, brother of former President Jimmy Carter, who visited Libya and received a $220,000 loan; and Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law whose company hasreceived hundreds of millions from the Persian Gulf states.
"This has been a pattern for a long time," Mr. Comer said. "Both Republicans and Democrats have complained that the families of presidents are receiving money."
However, Mr. Comer admitted that he didno interestin the investigation into Mr. Kushner's conduct.
Officials associated with Mr. Biden played a role in falsely discrediting Hunter Biden's laptop.
The report of Mr. Comer's arrival comes as another Republican-led House committee is investigating a related issue. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday released a report on a 2020 letter from 51 former intelligence and security officials examining the material — large parts of which werelater confirmed as authentic— of a laptop left by Hunter Biden at a repair shop in Delaware that suggests they may have been part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Republicans say the letter influenced the public to ignore material on the laptop, which contained evidence of Hunter Biden's drug use and sex life, which they believed would hurt his father's election chances against Trump.
The Judiciary Committee report details the role Antony J. Blinken, now secretary of state and then a Biden campaign official, played in directing the letter, saying a CIA employee had previously been involved in collecting at least one signature.
Intelligence officials claim in their letter that they had no evidence of a Russian disinformation campaign and were merely expressing their opinion.
Mark Zaid, a lawyer representing the seven signatories of the letter, said on Twitter that the report only proves that "private citizens were lawfully exercising the First Amendment" and added that there was "not a single falsehood" in the letter.
"I don't know of any signatories who retracted a single word," Mr. Zaid.
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