By Zachary Stieber
President Joe Biden received payments from one of his son’s businesses, according to bank records made public on Dec. 4.
President Biden received the payments starting in September 2018, according to the records, which were obtained and released by the U.S. House Oversight Committee.
The records show that President Biden, who was the former vice president at the time, signed to receive $1,380 on a monthly basis from Owasco PC, one of Hunter Biden’s businesses.
The records also show that one payment was made.
An aide for the House Oversight Committee said the panel has evidence showing that at least three monthly payments were made. The records were obtained through subpoenas for the personal and business bank accounts for Mr. Biden and James Biden, the president’s brother.
“Payments from Hunter’s business entity to Joe Biden are now part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the committee, said in a video statement.
According to an email on Mr. Biden’s laptop computer, Mr. Biden paid his father $1,380 monthly, with the payments labeled as for a Ford Raptor truck.
“The truth is Hunter’s father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck,” Abbe Lowell, one of Mr. Biden’s attorneys, told news outlets in a statement. “When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself.”
Asked about the records, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in Washington she had not seen them.
The records were obtained as part of the House probe into President Biden and his family, which centers on business transactions made while he was vice president and in the time between when he left the government and when he assumed the presidency.
President Biden has made multiple statements about his son’s business dealings that have turned out to be false, including the claim that his son didn’t make money from China. Mr. Biden recently admitted in court that he made money in China.
“Hunter Biden’s legal team and the White House’s media allies claim Hunter’s corporate entities never made payments directly to Joe Biden. We can officially add this latest talking point to the list of lies,” Mr. Comer said.
The payments made from China raised alarms with one bank investigator, who described the payments as coming in with no apparent services offered in exchange, according to other documents obtained and released recently by the House. A second bank official reviewed the payments and said they were satisfactory, based on answers from one of Mr. Biden’s partners.
Mr. Biden used Owasco to take in a number of payments, including his monthly payments from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm on whose board he served, according to emails from his computer. He often used funds from Owasco for personal expenses, including rent for an apartment, according to records.
Mr. Biden started Owasco because of trouble with taxes, investigators said, citing one of Mr. Biden’s former business associates.
“Hunter Biden had a history of noncompliance with his taxes, and he would often get large sums of money and wouldn’t withhold,” Gary Shapley, an IRS whistleblower who investigated Mr. Biden, told Congress earlier this year. “So Owasco PC … the whole purpose was, Eric Schwerin came in to help him with his tax situation so it didn’t continue to be a problem in the future. All of his consulting fees and all that type of stuff would go into Owasco. There would be withholdings from it. So then he didn’t get—when he filed his tax returns, they had withholdings to offset the taxes that he owed for that year.”
Mr. Biden was charged over the summer with intentionally not paying taxes in 2017 and 2018. He was prepared to plead guilty but ended up pleading not guilty after a plea deal fell through.
Owasco took in millions of dollars in 2017 and millions more in 2018, according to Mr. Biden’s tax returns. That included a $1 million payment from Patrick Ho, a Chinese businessman who has since been sent to prison for bribery and money laundering.
“This wasn’t a payment from Hunter Biden’s personal account but an account for his corporation that received payments from China and other shady corners of the world,” Mr. Comer said.
According to IRS whistleblower testimony and documents, federal investigators looked into Owasco as part of the probe into Mr. Biden’s taxes. They found out that Owasco documents were moved from the company’s offices in Washington to a storage unit in Virginia, but an effort to obtain a search warrant for the storage unit was stymied by U.S. Department of Justice official Lesley Wolf, according to Mr. Shapley.
Investigators went to another official and thought they had received clearance.
“Hang up the phone, an hour later I find out that AUSA Wolf and the other prosecutors told defense counsel about the storage unit,” Mr. Shapley said. “So it was off the table.”
Mr. Biden later sued Mr. Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who also works for the IRS, for allegedly violating his rights by communicating concerns about the investigation to Congress.