James Biden, the president’s brother, testifies behind closed doors in impeachment probe

Republicans have focused on James Biden’s business dealings, including loans that Joe Biden made to his brother during a period when he was not in office, and whether the president had any involvement in his brother’s business transactions or used his influence to their benefit. The committees have not provided evidence for their claims.

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James Biden’s interview comes a week before the president’s son Hunter Biden is set to appear for his own transcribed interview on Feb. 28. Hunter Biden’s interview comes after a months long dispute between Republicans and the president’s son over the logistics of his testimony to Congress.

Upon arriving for his interview Wednesday morning, James Biden was asked by NBC News about what he planned to tell the committees and replied, “The truth.”

His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.

In his opening statement, obtained by NBC News, James Biden denied that the president had any involvement in his business ventures nor leveraged his influence to benefit them throughout his 50-year career.

“I never asked my brother to take any official action on behalf of me, my business associates, or anyone else,” he said. “In every business venture in which I have been involved, I have relied on my own talent, judgment, skill, and personal relationships—and never my status as Joe Biden’s brother. Those who have said or thought otherwise were either mistaken, ill-informed, or flat-out lying.”

James Biden also addressed Republicans’ skepticism over the loans that he received from his brother, stressing that the loans were “short-term” and that Joe Biden made them when he was a private citizen.

“I repaid them within weeks. He had no information at all about the source of the funds I used to repay him,” he said, referring to Joe Biden. “The complete explanation is that Joe lent me money, and I repaid him as soon as I had the funds to do so.”

The president’s brother argued that the committee will have the information they need through his compliance with their probe and is enough to put their investigation to rest.

“It is difficult to open my personal and professional life to such intense public scrutiny, but I am doing so to comply with the Committees’ inquiry. And I have nothing to hide,” he said when concluding his opening statement. “With my appearance here today, the Committees will have the information to conclude that the negative and destructive assumptions about me and my relationship with my brother Joe are wrong. There is no basis for this inquiry to continue.”

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A day earlier, prosecutors said that Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI informant charged with providing false information about the president and Hunter Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign, told investigators that some of the information he shared with the bureau came from “officials associated with Russian intelligence.” Smirnov’s testimony was central to House Republicans’ efforts to impeach the president.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., subpoenaed James and Hunter Biden in November. The committee said it obtained financial records that allegedly show that Biden family members had set up more than 20 shell companies, most of which were created when Joe Biden was vice president, in an effort to cover up payments from foreign adversaries. Comer, who has accused the Biden family of engaging in “shady business practices,” has not provided concrete evidence of how the transactions demonstrate wrongdoing or influence peddling by the president.

The committee also has focused on a $200,000 loan that the president gave his brother in 2018, which James Biden’s lawyers say was repaid, adding that the president’s brother never involved him in any of his business dealings.

The White House has repeatedly pushed back on claims of wrongdoing by the president, citing the lack of evidence provided by Republicans to support their allegations against the Biden family.


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