House GOP Notes ‘First Direct Link’ of Biden to Influence Peddling
The White House dismisses the revelation that a government whistleblower implicates President Joe Biden in a bribery scheme, calling the accusation no different than other investigations of the president’s family “going on five years.”
But this allegation is quite different, noted one member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
“This is the first time there has been a direct link to President Biden and influence peddling,” Rep. Russell Fry, R-S.C., told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
The Daily Signal collected the views of Fry and six other House Republicans who sit on the Oversight and Accountability Committee.
The committee on Wednesday subpoenaed an FD-1023 form from the FBI, an unclassified record that Republican lawmakers say alleges a scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national related to an “exchange of money for policy decisions.”
The House committee’s subpoena gives the FBI a week to produce the information.
Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., issued the subpoena after the unnamed whistleblower made a legally protected disclosure to the office of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
Grassley has a long history of working with government whistleblowers. The FBI document was created or modified in June 2020, about five months before Biden was elected president, according to the subpoena.
“We need to look at what is in the substance of the document and what steps the DOJ and the FBI took to pursue the matter,” Fry added, referring to the Department of Justice.
A whistleblower risked his or her career to bring this information to Grassley, said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., also a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
“Why hasn’t there been any action investigating into this? Was it brushed under the rug like the Hunter Biden laptop?” Burchett asked in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.
What’s not yet clear is where the foreign national is from and what government policy allegedly was changed and when.
It likely was Chinese money flowing through a third party to the “big guy,” Burchett said, referring to an email from a Hunter Biden business associate that talked about 10% of proceeds being for “the big guy.”
One of the Bidens’ former business partners, Tony Bobulinski, has said he is sure that the “big guy” was Joe Biden.
If the bribery allegation in the FBI form is proven, he said, it would be an impeachable offense.
“I think so, because it’s clear there was no break or contradiction. He was vice president and now is president and is compromised by China,” Burchett said.
But, the Tennessee Republican added, the FBI should produce the document before the House takes action.
“Let’s produce the 1023 [form] first. It should be evident from that document, unless it disappears,” he said.
Some Biden family business ventures with foreign entities were discovered in so-called suspicious activity reports obtained from the Treasury Department by the House Oversight panel.
But Americans need the full story, said Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C.
“Nobody is above the law. It’s become abundantly clear that the Biden family used their position of power to personally profit,” Mace told The Daily Signal in a written statement.
“The American people want and deserve answers. It’s time to put all the facts on the table and air the laundry,” Mace said. “No more doing it behind closed doors. Then we will follow the facts wherever they take us.”
In this case, the buck seems to have started with the president, which was evident from the Treasury Department’s suspicious activity reports on the Biden family’s finances, Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., said.
“The Biden crime family investigation, as I promised, will reveal some shocking facts to the American people,” Higgins told The Daily Signal in a written statement. “We will slowly, judiciously, calmly move through evidence of criminal, treasonous guilt. This all ties together with the SAR’s [suspicious activity reports] we’ve been going through. The buck didn’t stop with The Big Guy, that’s where it started. We, the People, shall know the truth.”
Ian Sams, a special assistant to the president in the White House Counsel’s Office, issued a statement to select media outlets on Wednesday evening.
“For going on five years now,” Sams said, “Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically motivated attacks against the president and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests.”
However, when the topic emerged Thursday in a press briefing, White House national security spokesman John Kirby simply referred the matter to the Justice Deparmtent.
Comer’s subpoena asks the FBI for “all FD-1023 forms, including within any open, closed, or restricted access case files, created or modified in June 2020, containing the term ‘Biden,’ including all accompanying attachments and documents to those FD-1023 forms.”
An FD-1023 is an FBI document that memorializes meetings or information gathered from confidential sources, so it could include criminal allegations from a source, even if the information wasn’t verified by the FBI.
“There are two stories here,” Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., told The Daily Signal in a written statement. “The first is the obvious, that there’s a highly credible whistleblower that alleges then-Vice President Biden engaged in a bribery scheme with a foreign national.”
“If the president is compromised by foreign actors, then it’s 100% a threat to our national security,” Burlison added. “I will investigate this allegation to the fullest extent and bring President Biden to account if it turns out to be true.”
The second aspect of the allegation involves the FBI, the Missouri Republican said.
“The FBI has been sitting on this information for potentially years. Why are they sitting on this information? Why is it we’re only learning about this through a whistleblower?” Burlison said. “We know the FBI covered up the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election. We know that there is a history of politicizing the FBI. House Republicans will continue to investigate the corruption inside our federal agencies and ensure that government protects Americans’ rights, not violates them.”
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, applauded Comer and Grassley for pursuing the matter.
“It is unfortunate that the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability must resort to subpoenas to obtain documents related to national security, especially when the integrity of the president of the United States is in question,” Sessions said in a written statement. “The Department of Justice’s unwillingness to properly address legitimate inquiries from members of the House and Senate raises additional interest in the ethical and legal issues that I anticipate will be revealed through this now public process.”
The development proves what many Americans already knew, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., said.
“Joe Biden has never had the interest of the American people in mind; in fact, he’s been exploiting them for his own profit since day one,” Luna told The Daily Signal in a written statement. “As a member of House Oversight, this deserves justice at the fullest extent of the law, and you can be sure I will pursue that.”
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