House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has called on President Joe Biden to account for a $200,000 check he received from his brother, James Biden, in March 0f 2018.
The memo line for the 2018 check described a “loan repayment” by James Biden to his brother. In a letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel on Oct. 26, Mr. Comer called on the president’s legal representatives to show evidence of the underlying loan for which his brother was apparently reimbursing him.
“If Joe Biden did personally loan James Biden an amount that was later repaid by the $200,000 check, please provide the loan documents, including the loan payment, loan agreement, and any other supporting loan documentation,” reads Mr. Comer’s letter to the Biden White House.
This $200,000 check has come under scrutiny amid ongoing Republican investigations into President Biden’s involvement in his family’s various business dealings over the years. Republicans have raised allegations President Biden engaged in influence-peddling throughout his political career, enabling his family members to arrange lucrative business deals while claiming Joe Biden could steer policy to benefit these business deals.
One such business deal James Biden took part in was with a now-bankrupt rural hospital operator called Americore. House Republicans have alleged witnesses to the Americore deal claimed James Biden promised U.S. and international investors access to a future Biden administration and “the highest levels of government,” well before President Biden had officially announced his 2020 presidential run.
According to bank records reviewed by Mr. Comer, Americore paid James Biden about $600,000 in 2018. One $200,000 payment from Americore came through to James Biden on March 1, 2018, the same day he cut the “loan repayment” check for the very same amount to his brother, the sitting U.S. president.
White House Spokesperson Mocks Comer, Insists Check is Self-Explanatory
White House spokesperson Ian Sams previously pushed back on Mr. Comer’s questions about the $200,000 check, insisting the payment was for the exact reason stated on the check and personally mocking Mr. Comer.
“Jamie Comer is pretty desperate to try to distract from Republicans’ speaker mess. It’s a loan repayment from when President Biden loaned his brother money. When he was out of office in 2018, no less. It’s right there on the check!” Mr. Sams wrote in Oct. 20 social media post.
Despite Mr. Sams’s insistence that James Biden’s check corresponded to an actual loan agreement between the president and his brother, Mr. Comer said the House Oversight Committee has seen no indications of the president giving a sizeable personal loan to his brother in any of the Biden family bank records they’ve reviewed.
“Whether it was a loan or not, James Biden’s March 1, 2018, check to Joe Biden aptly demonstrates one way he personally benefited from his family’s shady influence peddling of his name and their access to him,” Mr. Comer wrote. “Even if the transaction in question was part of a loan agreement, we are troubled that Joe Biden’s ability to recoup funds depended on his brother’s cashing-in on the Biden brand.”
NTD News reached out to the White House for additional comment but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.
Loan Might Not Be Legal: Comer
Even if the $200,000 check is exactly what the memo line says—a loan repayment—Mr. Comer raised the potential that this financial arrangement could still run afoul of the law.
“The Internal Revenue Code has specific requirements for delineating and reporting ‘below-market [rate] loans’ from gifts. While there are some exceptions, for example loans of $10,000 or less, the payment in question would not appear exempt from such requirements if it is a loan,” Mr. Comer wrote. “Indeed, there appears to have been no interest paid on the ‘loan’ based upon the White House’s own representations. The current lack of documentation leaves reason to doubt claims that this transaction was repayment for a legal loan.”
Mr. Comer called on the Biden White House to show all applicable documentation and IRS filings corresponding to the alleged loan.