House Republicans issue new report on Joe Biden corruption… that again offers no evidence

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee issued another report Wednesday criticizing President Joe Biden and his family for allegedly corrupt international business dealings, but critics – including the White House – said the report is a political hatchet job that offers no proof that Biden was involved.

The committee, led by Chairman James Comer, said in the report that it plans to continue to investigate Biden to find evidence of corruption, even as it acknowledged that it had no evidence that he financially benefited from the myriad foreign business dealings of his son Hunter.

“During Joe Biden’s vice presidency, Hunter Biden sold him as ‘the brand’ to reap millions from oligarchs in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine,” Comer said in a statement accompanying the release of committee report. “It appears no real services were provided other than access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself. And Hunter Biden seems to have delivered.”

The 19-page report was titled, “Third Bank Records Memorandum from the Oversight Committee’s Investigationinto the Biden Family’s Influence Peddling and Business Schemes.”

Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's former business partner, passes through the security checkpoint as he arrives on Capitol Hill to give closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee in the Republican-led investigations into President Biden's son, in Washington, Monday, July 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA101

Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, passes through the security checkpoint as he arrives on Capitol Hill to give closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee in the Republican-led investigations into President Biden’s son, in Washington, Monday, July 31, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA101

Critics said the report, and Comer’s statement, marked a clear shift in strategy by the committee from one claiming it had the goods implicating Biden in corrupt schemes while he was vice president to one in which it says the lack of any such evidence must mean that he was involved.

“This stunt from Comer is just more of the same – no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden, no new information to tie him to Hunter Biden’s business, and another desperate attempt to keep this bogus investigation alive” said Kyle Herrig, executive director of the non-partisan Congressional Integrity Project. Comer’s fishing expedition continues to reel in nothing in a desperate attempt to distract from Trump.”

The White House said the new Comer committee report is part of a continuing effort by Republicans to smear Joe Biden without any evidence or even information suggesting wrongdoing.

“Today House Republicans on the Oversight Committee released another memo full of years-old ‘news,’ innuendo, and misdirection – but notably missing, yet again, is any connection to President Biden,” said Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for Oversight and Investigations. “Perhaps that is because – as recently as last week – the House Republicans’ own self-proclaimed “hero” witness who was “going to be able to come under oath and tell us exactly what role Joe Biden played” testified that President Biden never discussed these business dealings and was not involved.”

The 19-page memo released by House Oversight Republicans is based on bank records highlighting millions of dollars that Hunter Biden and his business associates received from a wide array of business arrangements overseas while his father was serving as vice president to President Barack Obama.

Few of the details appear to be new. But the memo details what it describes as new and damaging information, including “payments from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan” that occurred during Biden’s vice presidency. “The Committee has now identified over $20 million in payments from foreign sources to the Biden family and their business associates,” the report said.

The report also rehashes prior claims of corrupt dealings related to how Hunter Biden and former business partner Devon Archer allegedly used the business development and policy advisory firm “Rosemont Seneca Entities to bring in millions from oligarchs in Europe and Asia.”

And it mentions other business relationships between Hunter Biden and Archer that it claims were suspicious or corrupt, including payments by a Ukrainian oligarch while they were on the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings LLC.

More: 5 takeaways from Devon Archer’s testimony on Joe and Hunter Biden: ‘There was no business conversation’

The new report is full of references to Archer, and says his recent congressional testimony “supports the Committee’s findings,” which have repeatedly alleged that Joe Biden himself was personally involved in – and benefitted from – Archer’s and Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.

But after months of describing him as a smoking gun who would prove deep corruption within what Republicans described as the “Biden Crime Family,” Archer’s testimony July 31, if anything, appears to exonerate Joe Biden.

For instance, Archer testified that Hunter Biden put his father on the phone with clients before his father was elected president, but that they did not discuss business. He also told lawmakers the vice president was not involved in their financial dealings, despite the contacts, and that he had no knowledge of wrongdoing by Joe Biden.

And while Joe Biden at times has said he had no involvement with his son’s business dealings at all, Archer testified that he did reach out and call his son — but only to check up on him, especially when he was grappling with drug addiction and other problems.

“But, you know, Hunter spoke to his dad every day, right? And so in certain circumstances, when you’re in — you know, if his dad calls him at dinner and he picks up the phone, then there’s a conversation,” Archer testified. “And the, you know, the conversation is generally about the weather and, you know, what it’s like in Norway or Paris or wherever he may be. But that was — yeah, that happened.”

More: ‘How’s the fishing?’ Devon Archer testifies Joe Biden never talked business when put on phone

In their new report, the House Oversight Committee didn’t mention those kinds of details from Archer’s testimony. Instead, it said, “No one in the Biden Administration or in the (House Democratic) Minority has explained what services, if any, the Bidens and their associates provided in exchange for the over $20 million in foreign payments.”

“The Committee plans to gather additional bank records in the near future and continue following the money trail,” it said.

The White House on Wednesday jumped on that discrepancy, saying it was further evidence that House GOP members are trying to unfairly accuse Biden of wrongdoing, potentially as part of an effort to try and impeach him.

“This has been a pattern: time after time, Comer hypes up self-proclaimed bombshell findings about President Biden, and time after time, he fails to provide any actual evidence,” White House spokesman Sams said. “Today’s release is yet another flop.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House GOP claims Biden corruption in new report, critics don’t see it

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