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Republicans are investigating $10 million in foreign payments to Biden family members

By Sarah May
|
May 14, 2023

In its ongoing probe of Biden family business dealings that allegedly brought in at least $10 million, the House Oversight Committee presented evidence Wednesday suggesting that over $1 million was paid to the clan by a questionable Romanian businessman at the same time then-President Joe Biden was lecturing that country's government on the perils of corruption, as the New York Post reports.

Details of the Romanian payments in particular came via a “Second Records Memorandum” released by the panel, which is said to expand on details gleaned from subpoenas and bank records obtained in the course of the investigation to date, according to the Daily Mail.

Romanian Entanglement Alleged

The Post explains that Hunter Biden's relationship with Gabriel Popoviciu has not necessarily gained as much prior media attention than some of his other foreign entanglements, but in the eyes of Republican Oversight Committee chair James Comer (KY-01), it deserves to be brought into the spotlight.

According to the committee's memo, bank records reviewed by members have shown that $3 million made its way from a Popoviciu-controlled entity to Robinson Walker LLC – governed by Hunter Biden business partner Rob Walker – while Joe Biden was serving as vice president in the Obama administration.

From that sum, a bit over $1 million was subsequently transferred to bank accounts linked to Hunter Biden, his girlfriend/former sister-in-law Hallie Biden, and another member of the family who was not named.

The panel's report declares, “The Biden family and associates' activities in Romania bear clear indicia of a scheme to peddle influence from 2015 to 2017. While Vice President Biden lectured Romania on corruption and ethics, Hunter Biden received – through Biden associate Rob Walker – over a million dollars from a company controlled by a Romanian individual accused of corruption.”

Popoviciu Arrangement

According to the Post, Hunter Biden started his relationship with Popoviciu in 2015, through his then-employer, the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm, when the latter was facing corruption charges in Romania.

At some later date, Hunter Biden entered into an outside arrangement with Popviciu and ended up raking in the aforementioned sums of money distributed through various family-linked accounts.

Rep. Kelley Armstrong (R-ND) expressed serious skepticism about any suggestion that the money was related to legal services provided by Hunter Biden, saying, “This is simply not how legal fees are paid. I spent 10 years collecting legal fees...it makes absolutely no sense.”

Perhaps adding to Armstrong's doubts are contemporaneous meetings that took place between Hunter Biden and then-VP Joe Biden during particularly pivotal moments in Popoviciu's corruption case in Romania.

Concealment Scheme Claimed

The House panel further pointed to the structure of the deposits received by the Bidens as evidence of nefarious intent, as the Mail notes.

Funds from the Romanian enterprise – funneled through Robinson Walker – were placed in multiple Biden-associated accounts over a span of 17 different deposits.

As such, the House memo asserts, “It appears from bank records the Bidens were using Robinson Walker, LLC to conceal that the source of these payments was Popoviciu."

The entire process is startlingly similar to the manner in which a sizable chunk of the millions paid to the family by a Chinese-government-linked energy firm was allegedly distributed across a number of Biden family members – including supposed school counselor Hallie Biden.

“Serious Questions” Raised

An Oversight Committee press release underscored the “serious questions” members believe have been raised by the records they have already reviewed.

“The Bidens intentionally sought to hide, confuse, and conceal their influence peddling schemes, but bank records don't lie. The Bidens made millions from foreign nationals providing what seems to be no services other than access and influence,” Comer was quoted as saying.

Noting that the current president's family “set up over a dozen companies when Joe Biden was vice president,” Comer added that they also “engaged in many intentionally complicated financial transactions to hide these payments and avoid scrutiny.”

“The Bidens' foreign entanglements are breathtaking and raise serious questions about why foreign actors targeted the Biden family, what they expected in return, and whether our national security is threatened,” Comer was quoted as saying, assuring the public that the committee will continue seeking bank records and will pursue the “answers, transparency, and accountability” he believes Americans deserve.