Republicans’ 'untethered' Hunter Biden claims demolished by WaPo fact-checker
A Washington Post fact check on Thursday took House Republicans to task as right-wing lawmakers "over hype" the House Oversight Committee's investigation into President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Kentucky) has been leading the Hunter Biden probe in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Post's Glenn Kessler gives Comer and his GOP colleagues an aggressive fact-check in his August 17 column.
"The House Oversight Committee, led by Comer, has been investigating business dealings of President Biden's son, Hunter, and other family members — and by extension, unverified allegations that the president was involved in his son's business as well," Comer explains. "The Committee has obtained thousands of bank records, and the Republican staff has issued three memorandums summarizing some of the findings. The memos are written in a partisan manner — ignoring or playing down contrary information — but an interesting pattern has emerged."
Kessler continues, "The memos themselves have careful language that is often hedged. Then, Comer and other GOP lawmakers, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), go on Twitter or speak to conservative media using hyperbolic language that goes well beyond what the memos say. Over time, the reporting on the memos in conservative media becomes untethered from the documentation in the reports."
House Republicans, Kessler emphasizes, typically exaggerate the amount of $20 million in payments that went to the Biden family because of Hunter Biden's business activities.
"As for the $20 million in payments," Kessler explains, "Comer and other Republicans invoke this figure often. A close reading of the memos, however, finds that only about $7 million can be directly attributed to Biden family members, mostly Hunter, while the rest went to 'associates,' according to the memos. Yet Comer and other lawmakers misleadingly suggest all of the money went to the Biden family or, as some label it, 'the Biden crime family.' No evidence has emerged that any of these funds can be traced to Joe Biden himself."
Kessler points out that Comer "often suggests that the Biden family used…. so-called shell companies to launder money." But that claim, according to Kessler, is "undercut by the list of 21 companies that appear in" a staff memo.
The term "shell company," Kessler points out, has a dark connotation. But the companies Hunter Biden headed, he adds, "had legitimate business interests."
"Others had clearly identified business investments," according to Kessler. "Digging through the records, we find only three whose business purpose remains vague. One, Rosemont Seneca Global Risk Services, LLC, may not even be related to Hunter Biden, according to an e-mail found in Hunter Biden's laptop. The memos do not list any payments that flowed through these three companies."
Glenn Kessler's full column is available at this link (subscription required).
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