Politics

FBI Secretly Recorded Joe Biden’s Brother As Part Of Bribery Probe: REPORT

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) secretly recorded conversations featuring President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, as part of a bribery probe into a Mississippi attorney who once paid $100,000 to James Biden’s consulting firm, according to a new report.

The FBI taped James Biden during a bribery investigation of Mississippi trial attorney Richard Scruggs who paid James Biden’s Lion Hall group $100,000 in 1998 to help obtain his brother’s support for tobacco-related legislation under consideration by Congress, the Washington Post first reported Saturday. (RELATED: IRS Whistleblowers Unable To ‘Verify’ Loans White House Claims Joe Biden Sent To Family Members, Testimony Shows)

“I probably wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t the senator’s brother,” Scruggs told the Washington Post. Then-Delaware Democratic Sen. Joe Biden ended up supporting the tobacco legislation that ultimately failed to pass.

“Jim was never untoward about his influence,” Scruggs added. “He didn’t brag about it or talk about it. He didn’t have to. He was the man’s brother.”

“Jim Biden’s consulting work has never involved speaking with or providing access to his brother for this or any other client,” James Biden’s lawyer Paul Fishman told the Washington Post. The White House did not respond to the outlet’s request for comment. (RELATED: Joe Biden’s Daughter Reportedly Owes Thousands In Unpaid Income Taxes)

US vice president-elect Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with president-elect Barack Obama and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina at Obama’s transition office in Washington,DC on January 14, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Scruggs’ payment to James Biden came during a push to have tobacco companies pay roughly $368 billion in a lawsuit alleging the tobacco companies withheld information about the addictiveness of their products. Congress had to waive antitrust provisions as part of the deal and then-Sen. Joe Biden ended up being a key supporter of the bill.

The legislation failed to pass and Biden blamed a lobbying campaign by the tobacco industry for persuading Republicans to oppose the bill. (RELATED: DOJ Prosecutor Accused Of Protecting Joe And Hunter Biden Departs Her Post)

Scruggs’ downfall came in 2008 because of a bribery scheme involving a plan by Scruggs and his associates to pay $40,000 to a local judge, the Washington Post reported. Neither Joe nor James Biden were implicated in the bribery scheme.

“Jim and Sara were not aware of or involved in any unethical or illegal behavior,” Fishman told the outlet. He clarified that James Biden and his wife, Sara Biden, were discussing the creation of a consulting firm with Scruggs and his associates.

The FBI recordings include James Biden’s conversations about the creation of the consulting firm. He planned to have his wife Sara Biden and Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden involved with the firm.

Other tapes show James Biden discussing business deals such as working with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians on a casino application. Fishman told the Washington Post his client “was discussing a potential opportunity to sell insurance to the Choctaw tribe, but he never pursued that business.”

James Biden and Sara Biden’s Lion Hall Group business account is in the crosshairs of House Republicans as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

House Oversight Committee lawmakers subpoenaed James and Sara Biden’s personal and corporate bank records in September to gather more information about the Biden family’s business dealings.

In October, the House Oversight Committee revealed a $200,000 check James Biden sent to his brother in March 2018 on the same day he received the money from distressed healthcare firm Americore. Bankruptcy court documents show James Biden promised Americore his name could “open doors” and vowed to bring in a substantial investment from the Middle East.

The Oversight Committee followed up by releasing bank records on Nov. 1 tracking how a $40,000 check Sara Biden wrote to Joe Biden in September 2017 originated from Chinese funds sent to Hudson West III, a joint venture between Hunter Biden and Chinese business associates with CEFC, a Chinese infrastructure firm. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Business Relationship With Chinese Firm Began During Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency, Docs Show)

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 26: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives to the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Hunter Biden and his CEFC associates created Hudson West III in August 2017 and Biden proceeded to wire himself $400,000 of the $5 million poured into the business by a Chinese firm. Afterward, Hunter Biden wired $150,000 to the Lion Hall Group, and from there James and Sara Biden wired $50,000 of the funds to their personal bank account.

Sara Biden sent $40,000 of the funds from their personal account to Joe Biden, the bank records indicate. Both checks sent to Joe Biden are classified as loan repayments. The White House has repeatedly insisted that the checks were sent to pay off loans Joe Biden sent his brother. (RELATED: Comer, Jordan To Begin Contempt Of Congress Proceedings Against Hunter Biden After He Defies Subpoena)

Hudson West III directly paid Lion Hall Group roughly $76,000 in 2018, the bank records show. CEFC also paid James Biden through former business associate Rob Walker, who received $3 million from CEFC associates in March 2017 through State Energy HK, a firm affiliated with CEFC, bank records released in March demonstrate.

Walker directed roughly $1 million of the CEFC funds to Biden family members’ LLCs and about a third of the State Energy HK money went to James Biden, the bank records show. The details of the State Energy HK payments were confirmed by a federal indictment against Hunter Biden for nine tax-related charges.

House Oversight Committee lawmakers subpoenaed James Biden and Hunter Biden to appear for closed-door depositions in December. The president’s brother did not appear on the date of his scheduled deposition but his attorney is communicating with the committee about coming in at a later date, the New York Post reported.

Hunter Biden defied the Oversight Committee’s subpoena and did not appear for his scheduled deposition on Dec. 13. Instead, he staged a press conference on Capitol Hill and renewed his offer to testify publicly instead of having the closed-door session.

House Republicans voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry on Dec. 13, strengthening its legal authority.