George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley knocked down claims on Thursday that President Joe Biden must have received payment directly to be liable in his family’s overseas business dealings.
Turley suggested that while evidence of the president receiving money from a foreign agent would be the strongest proof, there is no standard in law that suggests Biden would have had to receive a bribe directly to be found guilty of illegal behavior.
“There’s been repeated statements that you need to show that President Biden accepted direct money in order for this to constitute a benefit even under criminal cases, the deal with bribery, extortion, the Hobbs Act. The courts actually have rejected that and said that money going to family members is, in fact, a benefit,” said Turley while he testified in front of the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.
“Obviously, the strongest case is if you have a direct payment, but this idea that you can have millions going to a politician’s family and that’s not a benefit, I think is pretty fallacious,” the legal scholar said.
Professor Jonathan Turley: "This idea that you can have millions going to a politician's family and that's not a benefit, I think is pretty fallacious." pic.twitter.com/C7edZ3Nnu3
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) September 28, 2023
No direct payment to Biden made by a foreign agent has been found, though some evidence has suggested that the president had knowledge of, and may have played a role in, his family’s business schemes.
One of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, Devon Archer, has said that much of the family’s business revolved around selling the “illusion of access” to the Biden family patriarch, who has been one of the top officeholders in the United States government for decades. Archer also said that the president had at times spoken and walked into meetings his son was holding with foreign businessmen.
Earlier this week, House Republicans released evidence that Hunter received more than $250,000 in 2019 from Chinese business partners. The money came in the form of a wire transfer that listed the president’s Delaware address as the beneficiary. At the time, Hunter had been living in California.
The president has denied having any involvement in his son’s or other members of his family’s business dealings with foreign agents. When House Republicans released hundreds of pages of IRS whistleblower documents earlier this week, the White House continued to downplay the evidence against the president.
“House Republicans have again cried wolf and provided no evidence tying President Biden to wrongdoing,” a White House spokesperson told Politico. “Instead of wasting time with media stunts trumpeting half-baked conspiracy theories, House Republicans should realize the clock is ticking — it’s time they stop trying to distract and start focusing on priorities that matter to the American people, like doing their jobs to prevent a government shutdown that would inflict real pain on working families.”