Biden’s brother questioned in Republican impeachment probe

Biden’s brother questioned in Republican impeachment probe
Biden’s brother questioned in Republican impeachment probe

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - James Biden, a consultant and brother of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives for a closed door deposition with the House Oversight Committee at the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Federal Building on February 21, 2024 in Washington, DC. — Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP pic

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 — Joe Biden’s brother was questioned in Congress Wednesday by Republican lawmakers leading an impeachment inquiry against the US president, who they say benefitted from illicit business.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have accused Biden of engaging in corrupt business dealings during his time as vice president with his younger brother James and son Hunter — who is also embroiled in his own, separate legal troubles.

The investigation has dragged on into the 2024 election year despite it failing to produce any clear evidence of wrongdoing by the president, and Democrats have dismissed the probe as political muckraking aimed at denting Biden’s campaign.

James Biden, 74, was questioned about previous financial transactions and loan repayments that Republicans argue incriminate the Democratic president.

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“I have had a 50-year career in a variety of business ventures,” James Biden said, according to a copy of his opening statement reported by The Washington Post.

“Joe Biden has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest in those activities. None.”

Republicans have focused on the president’s son Hunter Biden, saying he leveraged his father’s name while he was vice president under Barack Obama to enrich himself with foreign business deals in Ukraine and China.

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The 54-year-old has also drawn scrutiny for his personal legal issues — including federal gun and tax charges — as well as problems with drug addiction.

The Republicans’ case against the president took another hit Tuesday when court filings revealed that a key FBI informant — who was arrested last week on charges of lying to federal investigators — said he received false information about Hunter Biden from Russian intelligence associates.

Alexander Smirnov, 43, a dual US and Israeli national, was arrested last week and indicted for fabricating claims that Hunter Biden demanded multimillion-dollar bribes from Ukrainian firm Burisma — on whose board he was serving at the time — to protect it from an investigation when Biden was vice president.

House Republicans are facing the prospect that they might not be able to muster their slim majority for an eventual impeachment vote.

Should they prevail in the House, the subsequent trial would take place in the Democratic-led Senate, where it stands almost no chance of leading to a conviction.

Democrats have accused the Republicans of trying to whip up the impeachment process as a political play ahead of the November presidential election. — AFP

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