By Zachary Stieber
President Joe Biden’s son, other family members, and their associates were paid more than $20 million by Russians and other foreigners while Mr. Biden was vice president, according to bank records released on Aug. 9.
Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakhstan nationals were among those paying the Biden family and their associates, according to the records. Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina, for instance, paid $3.5 million to a company called Rosemont Seneca Thornton, with about a third going to Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer. Another $2.75 million went to an account started just one day prior for Rosemont Seneca Bohai on Feb. 13, 2014.
Mr. Archer testified recently that he and Mr. Hunter Biden co-owned the account.
Ms. Baturina, the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, was among those present at dinners in Washington that Mr. Joe Biden attended, Mr. Archer recently told members of Congress. That included a dinner held within months of the payment.
The White House has not denied the allegations.
Also at the dinner, according to Mr. Archer, was ex-Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov. Mr. Massimov was sentenced to prison time this year for allegedly participating in an attempted coup in his home country. An associate of Mr. Massimov, who met with Mr. Hunter Biden, paid Mr. Hunter Biden the exact amount that was sent to a car dealership in New Jersey for a sportscar for Mr. Hunter Biden, according to the records and Mr. Archer.
Mr. Archer also testified that Mr. Hunter Biden also placed Mr. Joe Biden on the phone about 20 times and that Mr. Hunter Biden, in exchange for payments, delivered the Biden family “brand.”
“During Joe Biden’s vice presidency, Hunter Biden sold him as ‘the brand’ to reap millions from oligarchs in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. It appears no real services were provided other than access to the Biden network, including Joe Biden himself. And Hunter Biden seems to have delivered,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), said in a statement.
The White House, a lawyer who has represented Mr. Joe Biden, and an attorney representing Mr. Hunter Biden in his criminal case did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Comer, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee, has previously released records detailing payments to the Biden family, including Mr. Joe Biden’s brother, from Chinese and Romanian nationals.
The new records came from subpoenas. The committee has so far subpoenaed six different banks, receiving thousands of records, as they probe the Biden family. They have not subpoenaed records of members of the family as of yet. None of the payments so far uncovered have been directly tied to Mr. Joe Biden, though at least one account that received money was held by an unidentified Biden.
The records show that the family and their associates created more than 20 companies, many while Mr. Joe Biden was vice president, and that the way the payments were distributed to various accounts appeared aimed at concealing large payments from foreigners, Mr. Comer has said.
Mr. Joe Biden was vice president from 2009 to 2017.
Mr. Joe Biden falsely said on the campaign trail in 2020 that Mr. Hunter Biden had not made money from China. He also claimed, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in July, after some of the records were released, that the president was “never in business with his son.” She later denied that the statement was a shift from Mr. Joe Biden’s previous claims.
Democrats have largely defended the president. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) noted that, according to Mr. Archer, no business was discussed when Mr. Joe Biden was placed on the phone. Mr. Archer also said that he did not witness Mr. Joe Biden talk business during the 2014 and 2015 dinners.
“This investigation has uncovered ZERO evidence connected to President Biden. In fact, the evidence is clear that President Biden had nothing to do with Hunter’s businesses,” Mr. Goldman said in a recent statement.
The committee said the records have shown “deficiencies … in the current legal framework regarding ethics laws and disclosure of financial interests related to the immediate family members of vice presidents and presidents—deficiencies that may place American national security and interests at risk.”
“The Committee is concerned that foreign nationals have sought access and influence by engaging in lucrative business relationships with high-profile political figures’ immediate family members, including members of the Biden family,” the committee said on Wednesday.
Members are looking at crafting legislation that would address the issue.
“It’s clear Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings and allowed himself to be ‘the brand’ sold to enrich the Biden family while he was Vice President of the United States,” Mr. Comer said. “The House Oversight Committee will continue to follow the money trail and obtain witness testimony to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised or corrupt, and our national security is threatened.”