by Jonathan Turley
In the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan Association faced a run on the bank by customers spooked by rumors of theft and insolvency. George Bailey held back the crowd, explaining as he pointed to individual customers: “You’re thinking of this place all wrong. … The money’s not here. Well, your money’s in Joe’s house. That’s right next to yours.”
As several Republican-led House committees follow the money in the Biden corruption investigation, that scene seems to be playing out in real life. It turns out that a kind of metaphorical “Biden Family Building & Loan” operated under some of the same loose accounting systems, and some of the money may indeed have ended up in “Joe’s house” — Joe Biden’s, that is.
In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released an unclassified FBI record which included allegations to the agency of Biden and his son, Hunter, being paid $5 million each by a Ukrainian energy executive when the senior Biden was vice president. Most of the media has shown an utter lack of curiosity in following the money. However, the House Oversight and House Ways and Means committees have made strides in tracking millions of dollars which they allege were sent to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts.
The Bidens have been criticized for decades for influence-peddling. It is important to note that, while influence-peddling can be done legally, it is uniformly viewed as unethical or corrupt. For the Bidens, it also seems to be something of a family business. While Biden’s brothers and son had few discernible business skills to market, they did have access — to him — to sell. The problem seems to be that they burned through the proceeds as fast as they acquired them.
What is new now, according to House Republicans, is an emerging pattern of how the Bidens turned influence-peddling into the equivalent of the family’s personal savings & loan operation. Money moving between key family members was labeled as a “loan” in at least one instance, and Hunter has claimed other money as “loans” — a framing that not only offered plausible deniability but non-taxable income.
Two IRS whistleblowers, who testified before House investigators in July, highlighted the use of a loan allegedly to evade public disclosure and taxation. Hunter allegedly took large payments from dubious foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement.
This month, House investigators discovered that, in 2018, the president’s brother James received two loans totaling $600,000 from Americore Health, which they described as “a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator.” According to the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, it made the loans “based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’” to new overseas investors. On the day he received the second loan transfer, James Biden sent a check for the same amount — $200,000 — to Joe Biden as a “loan reimbursement.”
Recently, the House Oversight Committee revealed that just after Joe Biden announced his 2020 presidential candidacy, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 loan from a Chinese businessman using the address of his father’s Delaware home. The generous transfer of funds was from Xiangsheng “Jonathan” Li, a Chinese businessman connected to the investment fund Bohai Harvest RST. (President Biden reportedly later wrote a college-admission recommendation for Li’s daughter).
What happened next was vintage Biden family: A Hollywood lawyer, who had just met Hunter at a political gathering, reportedly suddenly took over the repayment of that loan, with no explanation, and later reportedly paid for some of Hunter’s tax bills and living expenses as well. So, it appears that $250,000 went to Hunter, but the loan obligation was shifted to a Democratic political donor
There is also a reference to another loan agreement with a Chinese company for $5.1 million. Notably, the loan was, again, “interest-free.” The source was CEFC China Energy headed by Ye Jianming. Text messages reportedly indicated plans for Joe Biden to meet with Jianming, who reportedly had close ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.