Thursday 23 May 2024

Top House Republican Accuses Hunter Biden Of Lying To Congress

 House Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO), one of the Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, accused first son Hunter Biden of lying while testifying under oath during a deposition in February.

The claim is based on more than 100 pages of documents from whistleblowers the GOP-led Ways and Means Committee voted to release on Wednesday, offering insights into Hunter Biden’s business dealings he discussed with congressional investigators looking into whether the president knew about or was involved in potential influence-peddling schemes. Hunter Biden’s lawyer has dismissed the lying accusation.

Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), the lead impeachment investigator, has previously said the inquiry could lead to “multiple” criminal referrals. While it remains to be seen whether Hunter Biden would be the subject of any citation, Smith said in a statement that lying during sworn testimony “is a felony offense that the Department of Justice has prosecuted numerous individuals for in recent years, and the American people expect the same accountability for the son of the President of the United States.” He also posted to X a threadsummarizing three alleged lies.

“Lie #1: Hunter Biden lied about the recipient of his threatening WhatsApp messages. In the messages, Hunter Biden TWICE mentioned he was with his father – Joe Biden. During the deposition, he claimed that he was probably ‘high or drunk’ and messaged the wrong Chinese businessman with the last name Zhao,” Smith began.

“Phone records provided by the whistleblowers tell a different story. Hunter Biden messaged exactly who he meant to — Raymond Zhao, the individual associated with CEFC China Energy. He knew exactly what Hunter was talking about — and promised to ‘cooperate with the family.’ Raymond Zhao made good on his promise. Not long after Hunter’s infamous message, a company affiliated with CEFC sent $5 million to a company connected to Hunter Biden,” Smith said.

“This lie shows Hunter Biden used his father’s name to shake down a Chinese businessman — and it worked. When confronted by Congressional investigators, Hunter Biden lied,” he added.

“Lie #2: Hunter Biden lied when he claimed he was not the corporate secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, an entity set up with his business partner Devon Archer, and said he didn’t ‘even know there was such a thing,'” Smith said. “Hunter Biden’s own handwriting proved it was a lie. He signed a corporate document in 2014 affirming that he was the acting Secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai.”

Smith continued, “Lie #3: During his sworn deposition on February 28th, Hunter Biden claimed that he would ‘… never pick up the phone and call anybody for a visa.’ Again, new documents released by the Committee prove this was a lie.”

The IRS whistleblowers “provided an email sent by Devon Archer that includes Hunter Biden and Ukrainian associates, stating that ‘Hunter is checking with Miguel Aleman to see if he can provide cover to Kola on the visa,'” Smith said.

“Kola is a reference to the CEO of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, on whose board Hunter Biden served and was paid millions,” he said. “The email also instructs the Ukrainian associates to ‘…send Hunter an email with all Kola’s passport and visa documents…’ This email is hard evidence that Hunter Biden lied to Congress when he claimed he never helped individuals obtain U.S. visas.”

Smith ended his thread on X by saying, “Lying to Congress is a serious offense and we cannot allow our oversight responsibilities to be undermined by anyone. No one is above the law, including the President’s son.”

The documents were provided by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who previously came forward with concerns about the conduct of the federal government’s criminal inquiry into Hunter Biden. The first son has since sued the IRS, accusing Shapley and Ziegler of working to “embarrass and inflict harm” on him with the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information and violating the law. The whistleblowers have asked a federal judge to dismiss the civil lawsuit.

Led by special counsel David Weiss, the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden eventually resulted in a pair of federal indictments on gun and tax charges after a plea deal collapsed last year. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial on gun charges in Delaware is expected to begin on June 3 after a judge rejected a bid to delay the prosecution, but Hunter Biden scored a victory on Wednesday when a judge agreed to push back a trial in California for the tax charges from June 20 to September 5.

Chad Pergram, who is a senior congressional correspondent for Fox News, said in a post to X on Wednesday that Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell responded to the claim about his client lying to Congress during his deposition in February: “Here they go again, grasping at straws and twisting Hunter’s testimony to try to revive an impeachment inquiry that was a complete and utter failure.”

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