The House Oversight Committee has secured a February interview with James Biden, the president’s brother, amid its broader inquiry into the Biden family’s financial dealings.
The interview is likely to probe two loans President Biden made to his brother, as well as other business deals James Biden secured alongside his nephew Hunter Biden.
James Biden’s interview, slated for Feb. 21, falls a week before that of Hunter Biden and comes after both men were subpoenaed by the committee.
House Republicans have zeroed in on both Bidens’ business ventures, suggesting their work with overseas companies amounts to influence-peddling and that the loans between the two brothers could be part of a larger bribery scheme.
However, they’ve yet to find a smoking gun to back their bribery theory, and records on file with the committee and reviewed by The Hill show bank accounts belonging to President Biden wired money to his brother, which was shortly paid back.
“We look forward to his testimony,” the committee said in a brief post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, announcing the interview.
While the committee has taken pains to document money flowing in and out of the accounts of Hunter and James Biden, it has had trouble showing any clear improper connection between the men’s work and Joe Biden. All financial dealings between the men are said to be repayments of personal loans.
Republicans have zeroed in on two checks from James Biden to his brother — one for $200,000 and another for $40,000, both written when Joe Biden did not hold a political office.
The $200,000 check from James Biden was characterized as a loan repayment and came after he received a loan from rural hospital operator Americore Health. While James Biden evidently told the company his name could “open doors” in the Middle East, he failed to follow through, and the loan payment appears to have no ties to any work overseas.
Another $40,000 check between the brothers was also described in the check’s memo line as a loan repayment and came after Hunter Biden secured a major deal with a Chinese energy company, then wiring money to his uncle. James Biden used some of those funds to repay his brother. Republicans used this to accuse President Biden of taking laundered money from China.
Democrats have argued the funds show nothing more than a short-term loan between family members made while Biden was a private citizen.
The effort to tie any funding to bribery allegations stems from debunked claims relating to President Biden’s efforts as vice president to remove Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Republicans argue those moves were not because of Shokin’s failure to address corruption, as Biden has said, but rather to benefit his son as he worked on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
But Biden’s actions were in line with those of the international community, and State Department correspondence from the time shows the U.S. withheld aid to Ukraine due to concern about Shokin’s failure to make meaningful reforms.
Shokin was also not prosecuting Burisma; his deputy has said an earlier investigation had gone dormant by the time Biden was involved. The U.S. concern over providing aid to Ukraine was because of Shokin’s failure to be an aggressive prosecutor.