Republicans announced their findings last week and charged Biden and his son Hunter Biden – and eight more family members – with receiving cash from Chinese nationals closely tied with the Chinese Community Party and a Romanian national charged with corruption in his country.
A sum of $10 million raises eyebrows, but members of the investigating House Oversight Committee expect that figure to rise substantially as the probe continues. GOP Representatives Pat Fallon of Texas and Tim Burchett of Tennessee, both guests on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins last week and members of the committee, are convinced major crimes have been committed by the Biden family.
Fallon compared the schemes to Watergate with the notable exception that President Richard Nixon's scandal came to light through investigative journalism and not members of Congress. "Watergate was the press. The difference is we've had to do this ourselves," Fallon said.
Not only has the committee handled the investigation, it has done so alone since the Department of Justice has not investigated the alleged crimes and – according to Burchett – has in fact obstructed the committee.
"I don't know what's more infuriating – that we've outlined this $10 million that we're sure of so far, or the fact that the FBI and the Justice Department have kind of turned a blind eye to this thing. [New York Republican] George Santos has been in Congress four or five months, and they've already gotten him indicted on 13 or 14 federal charges. This [issue with the Biden family] has been going on for years, and we can't even get them to look at it," Burchett said.
The House investigation findings, after being announced in a 35-minute news conference on Wednesday, did not generate the day-long media coverage and analysis that might be expected by charges against a sitting president and his family as alleged by a congressional committee.
Holding the FBI accountable
Burchett says while the Biden family should be held accountable, so should the government agencies that helped them along the way – like the FBI. The cover-up, he predicts, will unfold before the public … and change will come.
"They are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but currently they're the Federal Bureau of Cheerleading for Criminal Activity. It starts at the top, and I think they need to clean house. I think that is what's going to end up having to happen because so much is going to be disclosed as what was covered up in all of this."
The cover-up is about so much more than influence-peddling. For example, the Hunter Biden laptop story and the letter signed by 51 former national security officers claiming the laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign are also big parts of this.
"It just shows how deep it goes," Burchett said.
Fallon said the press conference was held last week because committee members felt they'd reached a stopping point. They had enough information to make public. There's more to be had, they believe, and the investigation continues; but to go after the bank records of the president and his son would risk the investigation grinding to a halt once the "Big Guy" and Hunter get their legal team going.
"We have not subpoenaed Joe or Hunter Biden's bank records yet because they'll just lawyer up, and they're whole job and mission is to put this off until November of 2024," Fallon said.
$10 million may only be tip of the iceberg
For now, the committee has reached the $10 million figure with records from only four of 12 banks it believes the Bidens used and through interviewing just a handful of who the committee believes are known associates of family members.
"I think there's a lot more. Quite frankly, from what I've read and seen, I think this is the tip of the iceberg. It's $10 million. Just a few months ago we could only confirm a million dollars," Fallon said.
Burchett agrees. "I can assure you there's a lot more," he said.
Beyond money, Burchett says the Biden Family scams raise legitimate safety and security questions.
"… What about our national security? Is it being threatened by this?" the Tennessee lawmaker questioned. "You wonder why we didn't shoot down a Chinese balloon; we let it transverse the entire country, and you're trying to figure out what did these foreign countries get for this so-called 'investment' with Hunter Biden?"
Fallon was angered by the FBI's refusal – thus far – to release a document that presumably would prove President Biden traded access and policy influence for cash. The committee learned of the document from a whistleblower who now is protected under federal law. The document was filed with the FBI in 2020.
"If it's nothing there and it's not credible, then release it; and if it's highly credible, what have you been doing sitting on it all this time?" Fallon asked.
While the FBI sits on evidence, Burchett argues the House should respond with the purse strings. "It's very frustrating, but what do we do? We cut off their funds. We tell the FBI, 'Congress has the checkbook.' Let's play hard ball. Let's deal in realities, and I think that's what we need to do," he said.
As the process began, alarm bells for the committee – in its review of only 33% of the involved banks – were triggered by 170 "suspicious activity" reports from these banks. Financial institutions are required by law to generate such alerts when they suspect fraud or money-laundering.
"It was always as I said before: Through these layered companies, they would give the Bidens the money in smaller amounts, in scores of small payments," Fallon explained. "It was up to nine Biden family members – a granddaughter, a niece and a nephew, a daughter-in-law, Hunter Biden's ex-wife, Hunter Biden's current wife and Hunter Biden's mistress. It just doesn't make sense, and it certainly doesn't pass the smell test."
The Texas congressman estimates that the average American might generate one or two unintentional suspicious activity alerts – far fewer than 170.
Could the payments possibly be legit?
According to Fallon, the committee has been unable to find any provided that might begin to justify the payments.
"We can't find it. If the Biden's didn't do anything wrong, if Joe Biden was really clean … he wouldn't have lied in 2019 when he was running for president and said that he'd never met any of Hunter Biden's business associates nor did he know what Hunter Biden was up to. We [now] know that to be categorically false," Fallon said.
The committee also found nothing to link the president or his family with receiving direct payments from China or any other foreign government. However, Fallon doesn't find that surprising.
"There were all these individuals acting on their behest. That's how the Chinese Communist Party works though. They've got their underlings out there influencing business, influencing public opinion, influencing politics, influencing Hollywood elites – and they call them 'friends of China.' There's a big giant list out there, and it includes all sort of different people. The Bidens, I believe, are on that list," Fallon said.
Fallon says the Bidens should release their personal information and clear themselves if they're able.
"If you didn't do anything wrong, then release your bank records voluntarily. Say, 'Heck, I didn't do anything wrong … here you go' – and Hunter should do the same. But they refuse to. In fact, they do the exact opposite."
"If you're doing honest business one, first and foremost, we'll know what your business offers – what service or product it provides. We still don't know what Hunter Biden and the Biden family ever provided anyone." (Rep. Pat Fallon)