House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R.-Ky.) is calling on the White House to provide documentation that would “clarify the nature” of a $200,000 payment from James Biden to Joe Biden.
On March 1, 2018, James Biden received a $200,000 loan from Americore Health, according to bankruptcy court documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee. Americore was a financially distressed rural hospital operator that had partnered with James Biden in the hope that he could use the family name and political connections to “open doors” for them.
James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this personal bank account to Joe Biden that very same day, according to bank records released by the House Oversight Committee last week. The check was labeled “loan repayment,” but Comer is not convinced this is true and is demanding proof that he lent the large sum of money to his brother.
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— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) October 20, 2023
The White House told the committee last week that as a private citizen, Joe Biden had loaned his brother his own money when his brother needed it, and claimed there is a record that he was repaid.
On Thursday, Comer requested documentation of the alleged loan in a letter to White House Counsel Edward Siskel.
“The White House has claimed Joe Biden loaned James Biden $200,000, and this check was repayment,” Comer wrote. “Records obtained by the committee do show numerous large incoming transactions into the personal accounts of James and Sara Biden from various entities.”
The Oversight chairman obtained the records after subpoenaing the personal and business financial records belonging to both James Biden and Hunter Biden in September.
“Some of these transaction records may have obscured the identity of the true payer, but no records in the committee’s possession state that Joe Biden made a large loan payment to his brother,” Comer wrote.
“If Joe Biden did personally loan James Biden an amount that was later repaid by the $200,000 check, please provide the loan documents, including the loan payment, loan agreement, and any other supporting loan documentation,” Comer wrote.
Comer noted that the Internal Revenue Code has “specific requirements for delineating and reporting ‘below-market [rate] loans’ from gifts.”
“While there are some exceptions, for example loans of $10,000 or less, the payment in question would not appear exempt from such requirements if it is a loan,” Comer said. “Indeed, there appears to have been no interest paid on the ‘loan’ based upon the White House’s own representations.”
Comer said the “current lack of documentation” leaves “reason to doubt claims that this transaction was repayment for a legal loan.”
Comer requested documentation “clarifying the nature of this payment and whether all applicable documentation and IRS filings were properly made.”
“Whether it was a loan or not, James Biden’s March 1, 2018, check to Joe Biden aptly demonstrates one way he personally benefited from his family’s shady influence peddling of his name and their access to him,” he said. “Even if the transaction in question was part of a loan agreement, we are troubled that Joe Biden’s ability to recoup funds depend on his brother’s cashing-in on the Biden brand.”
Last week, Oversight Republicans revealed that James Biden received a total of $600,000 in loans from Americore in 2018.
Americore at the time was facing mounting legal problems related to its failure to pay employees at its Ellwood City, Pennsylvania hospital.
In January of 2019, the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office opened a criminal probe against the company and the U.S. Department of Labor undertook its own probe.
A year later, the FBI raided Americore, seizing boxes of documents, Politico reported in March of 2020. There were concerns at the time that James Biden had fraudulently transferred Americore funds “outside of the ordinary course of business.”
Politico reported at the time that James Biden had not yet paid back the $600,000 Americore loan.