GOP Investigates Payments Between President Biden and Brother for Tax Compliance
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Republicans have initiated an inquiry into payments made between President Joe Biden and his brother, James Biden, in 2017. They are investigating whether these payments were properly accounted for in their taxes. This investigation was prompted by the discovery of bank records that showed James Biden transferred $200,000 and $40,000 from his personal accounts to President Biden in 2017. These transfers occurred after James Biden was involved in business deals related to a financially troubled healthcare firm and a Chinese energy company, and both payments were labeled as loan repayments.
Comer raised concerns about the nature of these payments, particularly whether they were personal loans or involved corporate accounts. If the funds were transferred from a corporate account and then deposited into personal accounts, there could be significant tax consequences. Comer emphasized the importance of clarifying the source of these funds to determine whether tax laws were followed.
This investigation comes at a time when federal prosecutors are already considering criminal tax charges against President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, for alleged failure to pay taxes on foreign business income. Hunter Biden has also faced felony gun charges in Delaware, and IRS whistleblowers have presented evidence to Congress, suggesting he failed to pay taxes on income dating back to 2014 from his involvement with Burisma Holdings in Ukraine and other transactions.
Regarding the payments between the Biden brothers, bank records indicate that money was transferred from an “attorney trust account” to James Biden in the amounts of $200,000 and $40,000 in 2017. Shortly after each transaction, James Biden or his wife wrote personal checks to Joe Biden, which the future president deposited into his personal accounts, marking them as loan repayments.
While Democrats claim that the attorney trust account belongs to Joe Biden and was managed by one of his longtime lawyers, Republicans assert that they lack sufficient information to determine the source of the funds in the trust account. Tax law experts note that distinguishing between a personal and corporate attorney trust account is crucial for assessing potential tax liabilities resulting from these transactions.
If the funds in the trust account were derived from personal sources, and Joe Biden deposited the repayments into his personal account, it might not trigger tax consequences. However, if the trust fund contained corporate funds, and Joe Biden transferred loan repayments into his personal account, tax issues could arise. Chairman Comer expressed his determination to secure the records needed to determine the nature of these transactions and whether they raised tax issues.
This investigation marks a shift in focus for House Republicans, who are now examining possible tax-related concerns involving President Biden. It comes after House Democrats initiated efforts in 2019 to obtain former President Donald Trump’s personal tax records, which eventually reached the United States Supreme Court and led to the release of those records in December 2022.