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As pointed out by RealClearInvestigations reporter Paul Sperry on Tuesday, Blinken estimated during a December 2020 interview with Senate investigators that he met with James Biden, one of the president’s brothers, several times over the past couple decades.
“Oh, over the course of the, roughly, 20 years that I’ve worked for the president-elect, hard to say. A dozen,” Blinken said, according to a recently released transcript.
Like Hunter Biden, James Biden has come under scrutiny over the years due to lucrative financial dealings across the globe, as was explored in a 2019 POLITICO Magazine article titled “Biden Inc.” looking into how Joe Biden’s “family fortunes have closely tracked his political career.”
When asked about Joe Biden’s brother, Blinken said his discussions with James Biden did not touch on Hunter Biden’s business dealings. He also denied talking about James Biden’s business dealings in the same line of questioning.
Republican lawmakers have already begun to express doubt about Blinken’s level of honesty during that interview focused largely on a time when Joe Biden was vice president. This is because Blinken said he did not have email communications with Hunter Biden while serving as deputy secretary of state during the Obama-Biden administration, but Fox News reported Blinken did use a personal email account to correspond with Hunter Biden about scheduling a meeting in 2015 when the then-vice president’s son was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
Blinken said he was not aware of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma at the time and claimed the only topic he could remember discussing with Hunter Biden when they ended up meeting at the State Department in July of 2015 was how the death of Hunter Biden’s brother Beau Biden due to brain cancer was affecting the Biden family.
Several members of the Biden family are likely to get mentioned during a press conference House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) plans to hold on Wednesday. Comer urged the Justice Department over the weekend not to indict Hunter Biden, who may soon be charged with tax- and gun-related crimes, until Republicans have a chance to present evidence showing how a “web” of LLCs is being used by foreign adversaries to improperly pay members of the Biden family in exchange for favors.
Earlier this year, Comer announced that subpoenaed financial records dating back to Joe Biden’s time as vice president showed $1 million in indirect payments from a Chinese energy company to his son Hunter Biden, James Biden, daughter-in-law Hallie Biden, and an unknown “Biden,” adding fuel to concerns about influence peddling and business schemes.
A spokesperson for Hunter Biden pushed back on the “baseless right-wing conspiracy,” telling CNN that the president’s son “received his portion of good faith seed funds” as part of a joint venture and then shared this money “with his uncle, James Biden, and Hallie Biden, with whom he was involved with at the time, and sharing expenses.” President Biden, who has sought to distance himself from the business dealings of his family members, rejected the GOP’s findings, too.
Blinken, who served as an adviser to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, has also denied soliciting what became a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials suggesting the Hunter Biden laptop story could be part of a Russian disinformation operation just weeks before the 2020 election after former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said a conversation they had prompted the effort.
“With regard to that letter, I didn’t — it wasn’t my idea, didn’t ask for it, didn’t solicit it,” Blinken said during an interview last week with Fox News. Asked if he accepts that the Hunter Biden laptop story was not Russian disinformation, Blinken said he would not be “engaging in politics” while focused on the job of being the nation’s top diplomat.