A recent report revealed that James Biden, brother to President Joe Biden, was covertly recorded by FBI agents during a bribery investigation involving a Mississippi attorney in the late 1990s. The attorney, Richard Scruggs, had engaged the consulting services of James and Sara Biden’s Washington, D.C., firm while rallying support for tobacco legislation before Congress in 1998.
According to the report, James Biden, who has not been accused of any significant criminal misconduct, received $100,000 for his firm’s consultancy during the legislative push. Scruggs, who later served prison time for a separate bribery case, acknowledged the influence that James Biden’s familial connection may have had on his decision to hire the firm, though he noted that James never overtly leveraged his relationship with then-Senator Joe Biden.
The legislative effort in question aimed to secure a settlement from tobacco companies, requiring Congress to waive antitrust provisions. Although initially skeptical, then-Senator Biden, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, eventually became a prominent advocate for the bill, which ultimately failed to pass due to what he attributed to an aggressive campaign by the tobacco industry.
The revelation comes amidst a broader investigation into the Biden family’s alleged influence peddling, with current inquiries examining whether James Biden utilized his consulting firm as a conduit for funds within the family. This includes a $40,000 transaction labeled as a “loan repayment” from James to Joe Biden in 2017, which House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer suggests may involve “laundered” money with ties to a Chinese company.
Both James and Hunter Biden have been subpoenaed for testimony by House GOP in the impeachment inquiry but have not complied with the request. The White House has dismissed allegations of impropriety, citing bank records to support the legitimacy of the transaction between the Biden brothers.
The impeachment probe into President Biden’s affairs, which has been formalized by the GOP-led House, continues to unfold as Republicans consider further actions, including a potential contempt charge against Hunter Biden, which would leave the decision to press charges to the Justice Department.
The FBI recordings, part of a separate investigation into Scruggs, did not implicate James Biden in any bribery scheme, but they did capture conversations about a potential partnership with Scruggs’ associates—a venture that never materialized.
These developments add another layer to the ongoing scrutiny of the Biden family’s business dealings, with political and legal implications still being evaluated. The White House maintains that the evidence does not warrant an impeachment inquiry, while some Republicans question the legitimacy of the current investigations.