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House Republicans ramp up claims Biden family received money from foreign contacts

A poster titled "China Payments to Bidens" is visible as House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman Rep. James Comer Jr., R-Ky., arrives for a news conference on their investigation into the Biden Family on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik
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AP
A poster titled "China Payments to Bidens" is visible as House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman Rep. James Comer Jr., R-Ky., arrives for a news conference on their investigation into the Biden Family on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

House Oversight Chairman James Comer led Republicans on his panel Wednesday to lay out a series of allegations that President Biden's family has benefited financially from foreign contacts, claims the White House and others deny.

Comer claimed the panel had obtained bank records showing Biden's family, including his son Hunter, received millions from individuals connected with Romania and China.

"We're pretty confident that the president was very knowledgeable of what his family was doing," Comer said at a Capitol Hill press conference while flanked by more than a dozen Oversight GOP members.

The Biden White House and a lawyer for Hunter Biden slammed the claims.

"Congressman Comer has a history of playing fast and loose with the facts and spreading baseless innuendo while refusing to conduct his so-called 'investigations' with legitimacy," said Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations. "He has hidden information from the public to selectively leak and promote his own hand-picked narratives as part of his overall effort to lob personal attacks at the president and his family."

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said Republicans still have "nothing to show" for probes into his client and his business activities for the last five years. Lowell said Republicans have fueled conspiracy theories but found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

"Now comes Rep. Comer who has spent the last five months making wild predictions without proof, asking inane questions out loud and falling short every time – including today," Lowell said. "Today's so-called 'revelations' are retread, repackaged misstatements of perfectly proper meetings and business by private citizens."

Comer and Republican members of his panel said they had obtained new bank records showing more than a dozen transactions connecting the foreign individuals and entities to the Biden family.

Among them, they claimed Gabriel Popoviciu, a Romanian executive, made payments to an entity that later made payments to Hunter Biden and other relatives.

A 2019 New York Times report into Popoviciu documented payments to Hunter Biden in his role then as an attorney and found no evidence of improper actions by then-Vice President Biden. This is in addition to an NBC report that year that probed Hunter Biden's overseas dealings.

House Republicans also spotlighted payments from Chinese energy company, CEFC China Energy, to another entity that later made payments to Biden family members.

However, reports in past years have already documented the failed costly deal between Hunter Biden and CEFC. For example, the Washington Post reported last year that CEFC previously paid Hunter Biden and his uncle $4.8 million during a 14-month period.

NPR's Carrie Johnson contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.