House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer’s crusade against President Joe Biden has struggled all year, but Republicans’ hopes were boosted last month by a new revelation.
“We found a $200,000 DIRECT payment to Joe Biden,” Kentucky Republican panel said in a message via social networks.
The facts turned out to be far less interesting than the Republican Party hoped. Based on information uncovered by Republicans, Joe Biden – in his personal capacity, two years after serving as vice president – loaned money to his brother James Biden. Then his brother paid him back. In case there was any ambiguity about the purpose of the interest-free repayment, James Biden literally wrote on the check itself: “Loan Repayment.”
As we discussed shortly after, it just wasn’t that interesting. Indeed, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell on California note online shortly after, “(Comer) proves that Joe Biden generously lent his family money and they repaid it responsibly.” Good work, detective!
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, added in a press release: “The more than 1,400 pages of additional banking documents simply show what these witnesses and thousands of pages of prior documents have already established: that the President was not involved in the business ventures of his family members and did not benefit from them.”
Republicans nevertheless continued to treat this as fascinating – honestly, I don’t know why – acting as if the loan and repayment were evidence of something nefarious. These claims never made much sense, and after seeing this report from the Daily Beast, the Republican Party’s line of attack suddenly seems worse.
According to Kentucky land records, Comer and his own brother engaged in land swaps related to their family farming business. As part of a deal – also involving $200,000, as well as a shell company – the more powerful and influential Comer funneled additional money to his brother, seemingly out of thin air. Other recent land swaps were quickly followed by new demands for special tax breaks, state records show. All this is strangely linked to the activities of a family business that seems to have never existed on paper. But unlike that of the Bidens, Comer’s story actually borders on a conflict of interest between his official role in government and his private family business — and it has been going on for decades.
The Daily Beast added that if Comer sincerely believes the Biden family’s dealings cross the line into “shady business practices,” “he may want to consider a parallel investigation into his own family.”
It should be emphasized that this information has not been independently confirmed by MSNBC or NBC News. Additionally, when the Daily Beast reached out for comment from the Kentucky Republican, Comer’s office did not respond.
But it appears that some of Comer’s Democratic colleagues have taken keen interest in the allegations. Swalwell requested online, for example: “Why did lead MAGA investigator James Comer funnel $200,000 to his brother?” What is going on? Will he answer questions and hand over documents?
Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Florida, another Democratic member of the Oversight Committee, raised related points and suggested that the committee “subpoena records” related to Comer’s offers.
I don’t think we’ve heard the last word of this one.