Former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter says Joe Biden MUST provide confirmation of his $200,000 loan to his brother James after Republicans disclosed a personal check they claim is evidence of influence peddling by the Biden family.
On Friday, the House Oversight Committee published evidence that the President’s brother James Biden received a $200,000 loan from a healthcare company he was working for in March 2018 – and on the same day wrote a check for the same amount to Joe, designating it as a “loan repayment.”
It is the first evidence of significant direct payments to the President from Biden family members involved in shady international transactions, and it was obtained through a congressional subpoena of James and First Son Hunter Biden’s bank records.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, former White House ethics chief Richard Painter of the Bush administration stated that the President could face “severe consequences” if he is unable to produce proof that the alleged loan is genuine, and demanded that his subordinates produce the receipts.
Painter stated, “What is absolutely critical here is to find documentation of the original loan from the President to his brother, and the President should produce that.”
“If there was no loan, there are serious questions about whether this was income for tax purposes in 2018. That’s really a huge problem,” he continued. “I’ve seen plenty of families make short term loans. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But there needs to be a loan on the other side,” he added.
The White House did not immediately respond to the former White House lawyer’s insistence that documentation of the loan be provided.
Painter also questioned why Biden’s government ethics forms did not reflect payments on the alleged loan. In 2019, Biden was required to file a statement with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) detailing his income, assets, and liabilities dating back to 2017.
According to OGE regulations, Joe was not required to disclose the loan itself on his disclosure documents. However, according to Painter, the interest earned on the loan could be reported as a source of income for the then-presidential candidate. On the tax return he filed in July 2019, Joe reported income ranging from tens of thousands of dollars from speaking engagements dating back to November 2017 to $950 from a retirement account distribution.
However, there were no entries for interest payments made by his brother James, also known as ‘Jim’.
“I think that would have to go on the form, if you got interest from your brother. And it certainly would have to go on the tax forms,” Painter said.
“If it was not a loan, then there would be serious problems over why it wasn’t reported on the 2019 candidate disclosure form, as well as for income tax,” he added.
According to IRS regulations, loans between family members must charge a minimum interest rate to avoid being classified as gifts or income. The minimal rate at the time was approximately 3%, which would amount to $6,000 for a one-year, $200,000 loan.
Joe reported $17,559 in taxable interest on his 2018 tax returns, which were made public by his campaign, but did not specify the source of this interest.
James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, intends to use the impeachment proceedings initiated last month to obtain the President’s bank statements and determine whether Joe received any of Hunter or Jim’s cash from their overseas business ventures, which are currently the subject of a federal criminal investigation.
In a press release issued on Friday, Comer disclosed that Jim wrote the check on March 1, 2018, the same day he received a $200,000 loan from a rural hospital company with which he did business.
“We’re still digging into the evidence subpoenaed from bank accounts belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, and James and Sara Biden – the brother and sister-in-law of the President,” Comer said at the beginning of the video.
“Bank records obtained by the House Committee on Oversight have revealed a $200,000 direct payment from James and Sara Biden to Joe Biden in the form of a personal check,” he continued.
“In 2018, James Biden received $600,000 in loans from Americore — a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator. According to bankruptcy court documents, James Biden received these loans ‘based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’ and that he could obtain a large investment from the Middle East based on his political connections,’” Comer added.
“On March 1, 2018, Americore wired a $200,000 loan into James and Sara Biden’s personal bank account – not their business bank account. And then on the very same day, James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this same personal bank account to Joe Biden.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that James Biden had paid $350,000 to resolve a lawsuit alleging he played a role in Americore’s eventual bankruptcy.
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