James Biden in impeachment testimony denies his brother was involved in his business deals

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James Biden told House GOP investigators on Wednesday that his brother, President Joe Biden, wasn’t involved in any of his financial deals.

In a 10-page opening statement obtained by POLITICO, James Biden kicked off what is expected to be an hours-long closed-door interview with lawmakers by trying to draw a hard line between his brother and his decades-long business arrangements. House Republicans had asked the president’s brother to testify as part of their sweeping impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, which has largely focused on deals cut by his brother and son Hunter Biden.

“I have had a 50-year career in a variety of business ventures. Joe Biden has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest in those activities. None. I never asked my brother to take any official action on behalf of me, my business associates, or anyone else,” James Biden told lawmakers and staff from the Oversight and Judiciary Committees.

However, James Biden didn’t directly rebut a growing blitz of public reporting in recent years that have increased scrutiny over his business ventures. That included a recent POLITICO report that James Biden emphasized his ties to his brother as part of his pitch to work at Americore, with one former Americore executive saying James Biden spoke about giving his brother equity in the company.

Instead, James Biden tried to distance himself from those claims broadly, telling investigators in his opening statement that in every business venture “I have relied on my own talent, judgment, skill, and personal relationships — and never my status as Joe Biden’s brother.”

“Those who have said or thought otherwise were either mistaken, ill informed, or flat-out lying,” he said.

He added about his work at Americore specifically: Joe Biden “played no role, was not involved with, and received no benefits from my work with Americore.”

Republicans are now expected to spend hours trying to poke holes in his claims, as they hunt for clear evidence that would link official actions taken by Joe Biden as president or vice president to his family’s business deals.

“I think there’s an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence that shows that Hunter and Joe were selling the brand and Joe Biden was profiting from it, financially. So we’re going to find out if that's true. That’s why we’re here,” Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday during a break in the interview.

So far, Republicans haven’t been able to establish irrefutable evidence Biden committed a crime — a criticism lobbed at the investigation even from some GOP lawmakers. A faction of Republicans believe the investigation has uncovered damaging information, particularly about Biden family members, but not an impeachable offense.

Asked if they were concerned about reports that James Biden name dropped his brother as part of his business deals, Democrats on the committee argued that was a separate issue than the center of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry — which centers on a theory that Joe Biden was involved in and benefited from his family’s financial arrangements.

"I think it's time for Chairman Comer and the Republicans to fold up the circus tent,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, told reporters.

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