House Republicans subpoena DOJ for materials related to Special Counsel Hur interview of Joe Biden

House Republicans have subpoenaed Special Counsel Robert Hur for the transcript and any recordings of President Biden’s interview from the investigation into the president’s mishandling of classified documents.

Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry — House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan and House Ways & Means Committee Chair Jason Smith — requested the materials related to Biden's October 2023 interview be turned over to Congress earlier this month and set a deadline of Feb. 19. That deadline was not met, but the Justice Department said it was "working to gather and process" responsive documents. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND TRANSCRIPT OF BIDEN’S INTERVIEW WITH SPECIAL COUNSEL AS PART OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

The subpoena, reviewed by Fox News Digital, compels the Justice Department to produce all documents and communications, including audio and video recordings, related to Hur's interview of Biden. 

The subpoena also covers all documents and communications, including audio and video recordings, related to Hur's interview of the ghost writer of Biden's memoir, Mark Zwonitzer; documents identified as "A9" and "A10" in the Appendix A of Hur's report, which relate to then-Vice President Joe Biden's Dec. 11, 2015 call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk; and all communications between or among representatives of the Department of Justice, including the Office of Special Counsel, the Executive Office of the President, and President Biden's personal counsel referring or relating to Hur's report.  

BIDEN, NOT SPECIAL COUNSEL HUR, BROUGHT UP SON'S DEATH IN QUESTIONING

Fox News Digital obtained a letter the Republicans sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, notifying the department of the subpoena, and taking issue with the fact that the DOJ, earlier this month, "offered no timeframe by which it expected to make any productions or, indeed, any commitment that it would produce all of the material requested." 

"The Oversight and Judiciary Committees, in coordination with the Ways and Means Committee, are investigating whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment against President Biden for consideration by the full House," they wrote. "The Committees are concerned that President Biden may have retained sensitive documents related to specific countries involving his family's foreign business dealings." 

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT HUR TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY AT HOUSE HEARING ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED RECORDS PROBE

The Republicans are also seeking information on "whether the White House or President Biden’s personal attorneys placed any limitations or scoping restrictions during the interviews with Special Counsel Hur or Mr. Mark Zwonitzer precluding or addressing any potential statements directly linking President Biden to troublesome foreign payments."

"Additionally, the Judiciary Committee requires these materials for its ongoing oversight of the Department’s commitment to impartial justice and its handling of the investigation and prosecution of President Biden’s presumptive opponent, President Donald J. Trump, in the November 2024 presidential election," the letter states. "The documents requested are directly relevant to both the impeachment inquiry and the Judiciary Committee’s legislative oversight of the Department." 

DOJ DEFENDS SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT ON BIDEN'S MEMORY: 'CONSISTENT WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENT,' NOT 'GRATUITOUS'

Hur, who released his report to the public earlier this month after months of investigating, did not recommend criminal charges against Biden for mishandling and retaining classified documents and stated that he wouldn't bring charges against Biden even if he were not in the Oval Office.

Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan and other countries, among other records related to national security and foreign policy, which Hur said implicated "sensitive intelligence sources and methods."

Hur did not recommend any charges against the president but did describe him as a "sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory" — a description that has raised significant concerns for Biden's 2024 re-election campaign.

Judge rules no bail release for FBI informant accused of lying about Biden business ties

A California federal judge on Monday denied a bail release to ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who stands accused of lying about the Biden family's business ties.

U.S. District Judge Otis Wright ordered that Smirnov would remain in detention ahead of his trial, concurring with prosecutors who argued he presented a high flight risk. Lawyers for Smirnov argued that he had already invested significant funds into his efforts to defeat the charges, indicating he had no intention to flee.

"He didn’t try to run. He didn’t try to move money," defense lawyer David Chesnoff said of Smirnov's conduct in recent days.

Wright was unconvinced, however, telling Smirnov that he was "not satisfied there are conditions … that will satisfy my concern whether you will flee the jurisdiction."

FBI REPORTEDLY INVESTIGATING CONTROVERSIAL DEMOCRATIC MAYOR WHO SCHMOOZED WITH BIDEN LAST MONTH

Prosecutors pointed to Smirnov's wide range of connections and a bank account held under his girlfriend's name that contains $3.7 million.

HUNTER BIDEN WAS PAID $100K A MONTH THROUGH CHINESE FIRM VENTURE, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIED

"He cannot be trusted," prosecutor Leo Wise told Judge Wright.

The defense countered that they were willing to pay for 24/7 private security to ensure Smirnov did not flee. They also committed to renting an apartment in Los Angeles for the duration of the trial, rather than returning to his home in Las Vegas, but the judge dismissed the effort.

Smirnov, 43, has been transferred to California from Nevada for his trial. Prosecutors have charged him with peddling lies "that could impact U.S. elections," highlighting his alleged lies about a supposed multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving the Bidens and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Prosecutors say Smirnov falsely told his handler that Burisma executives paid then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter $5 million each around 2015. The claim became a part of the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

He is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The charges were filed in Los Angeles.

Fox News' Louis Casiano and David Spunt contributed to this report.

Tim Scott rips ‘two-tiered standard’ between treatment of Trump, Biden on border executive action: video

FIRST ON FOX — Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott slammed what he called a "two-tiered standard" concerning President Biden mulling executive action to handle the border crisis, and how former President Trump was treated during his presidency when he attempted to do the same thing.

"Well, there's no question that there's a two-tiered standard in our national media. The way they cover President Trump versus the way that they use kid gloves to cover Joe Biden. There's no question about that," Scott said during a Thursday interview with Fox News Digital when asked about reports that Biden is weighing executive action to crack down on asylum-seeking.

"More important, however, is that when we had President Trump in office, we actually had a basically sealed southern border. Crossings were around a thousand a day. Under President Biden in December, we had 10,000 crossings on average per day," he added. "That contrast should be what the media is covering."

TRUMP VP AUDITIONS: SCOTT RAMASWAMY HIT TRAIL IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON BEHALF OF FORMER PRESIDENT

An administration source told Fox earlier this week that Biden is considering executive action to restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum amid historic numbers of border crossings facing the country, but that it’s one of "several" plans being looked at.

An administration official also stressed that there have been no final decisions on what actions, if any, could be taken and that exploring policy options does not mean they will come to pass.

One of the options reportedly on the table is use of 212(f) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows the president to restrict certain categories of foreigners who are deemed "detrimental to the interests of the United States." Trump attempted to use it but was blocked by a federal court, a ruling later upheld by the Supreme Court.

HISPANIC HOUSE DEMS ACCUSE BIDEN OF LEAVING THEM IN DARK ON POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE ACTION AT BORDER

The former president also faced sharp criticism from Democrats and members of the liberal media for attempting to use executive action on immigration, including being called "xenophobic" and "racist."

Biden has yet to face the same widespread level of criticism, although some of the more progressive Democrats have lashed out at the idea of Biden reverting to the previous administration's approach.

"Democrats CANNOT solve immigration problems by adopting Trump-like policies," Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., wrote in a post on X, while Rep. Jesús García, D-Ill., claimed, "President Biden would be making a grave mistake if he moves forward with this policy."

DEMOCRAT IN CRUCIAL SENATE RACE UNDER FIRE FOR PAST AMNESTY, SANCTUARY CITY ‘SUPPORT’ AS BORDER CRISIS SPIRALS

The possible executive action by Biden comes just under two weeks after the House of Representatives narrowly voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis.

During a gaggle with reporters after casting his vote in the South Carolina primary earlier in the day, Scott told Fox that he "certainly" supported Mayorkas' impeachment, and he praised the House for having the "courage" to take such action. However, he admitted the task likely wouldn't go anywhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

"The best way to eliminate Mayorkas being the secretary is to actually fire Joe Biden," he said. "If we really want to change the trajectory of the country as it relates to immigration — illegal immigration — we have to do so by having someone, a commander-in-chief, who respects our borders, who wants to close our borders."

Fox News' Adam Shaw and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Joe Biden allegedly considered joining board of CCP-linked company, witness testifies from prison

EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden was allegedly considering joining the board of a joint venture created by Hunter Biden and his business associates with ties to the Chinese Communist Party after he left the vice presidency.

Joe Biden's involvement would bring "political access in the United States and around the world," a former business associate of the first son testified from prison Friday.

Fox News Digital exclusively obtained Jason Galanis’ opening statement delivered Friday morning to congressional investigators from an Alabama prison as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

Galanis is serving a 14-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to securities fraud based on bonds issued by a company affiliated with a Native American tribe in South Dakota. The funds were reportedly supposed to be used for certain projects but were instead used for his personal finances. He was sentenced in 2017.

HOUSE INVESTIGATORS HEADING TO PRISON TO INTERVIEW EX-HUNTER BIDEN BIZ ASSOCIATE AMID IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Galanis said he worked with Devon Archer and Hunter Biden between 2012 and 2015. Their business together, he said, included the acquisition of Burnham & Co, a division of Drexel Burnham Lambert, combined with "other businesses in insurance and wealth management." Galanis testified the three "owned and acquired with total audited assets of over $17 billion."

"Our objective was to build a diversified private equity platform, which would be anchored by a globally known Wall Street brand together with a globally known political name," Galanis testified. "Our goal — that is, Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and me — was to make billions, not millions." 

Galanis testified that "the entire value-add of Hunter Biden to our business was his family name and his access to his father, Vice President Joe Biden.

"Because of this access, I agreed to contribute equity ownership to them — Hunter and Devon — for no out-of-pocket cost from them in exchange for their ‘relationship capital,’" he told investigators.

Hunter Biden served as vice chairman of the Burnham group "and brought strategic relationships to the venture, including from Kazakhstan, Russia and China."

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

"Burnham was the focal point for integrating a ‘Biden family office’ into a large-scale financial company with international influence," he explained, adding that they acquired some of Hunter Biden’s companies like RSP Investments and Rosemont Seneca Advisors.

Galanis testified that, in 2014, he "agreed with Hunter and Devon that the Burnham & Company enterprise would be significantly enhanced by forming a partnership with Harvest Fund Management, a $300 billion Chinese financial services company closely connected to the Chinese Communist Party." Harvest, at that time, had already agreed to be a founding partner of BHR Partners, he explained.

Fox News Digital has previously reported that Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li, who worked for BHR Partners, in China in 2013.

Galanis explained that Henry Zhao, the director of Harvest, was a contact of Hunter Biden’s.

HUNTER BIDEN WAS PAID $100K THROUGH JOINT VENTURE WITH CHINESE ENERGY FIRM, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIED

"Mr. Zhao was interested in this partnership because of the game-changing value-add of the Biden family, including Joe Biden, who was to be a member of the Burnham-Harvest team post-vice presidency, providing political access in the United States and around the world," Galanis testified.

Galanis pointed to a draft email dated Aug. 23, 2014, from Hunter Biden, which states: "Please also remind Henry [Zhao] of our conversation about a board seat for a certain relation of mine. Devon and I golfed with that relation earlier last week and we discussed this very idea again and as always he remains very very keen on the opportunity." 

Fox News Digital obtained that draft email.

Galanis testified that email was "struck from the final version" but "was drafted with an understanding of what had transpired regarding this effort."

Galanis said the email was forwarded to him by Devon Archer with the words: "FYI … example of lean in on Henry from Hunter … this is email drafted for him to send to Henry."

Galanis testified that the words "lean in" were "used often by Devon and Hunter in our business dealings as a term for access to Vice President Biden’s political influence."

"As Devon Archer is mentioned as a direct party to the conversation with the vice president on the golf course, it is clear from his email that Devon believed this was an accurate representation of that conversation," Galanis said in his opening statement.

"I am certain that the phrase ‘a certain relation of mine’ refers to Vice President Biden, and Devon told me about this conversation on the golf course shortly after it happened," Galanis testified. "And it was one of many conversations that I understood the vice president had expressing his willingness to join Harvest board after his vice presidency."

HUNTER DEMANDED $10M FROM CHINESE ENERGY FIRM BECAUSE 'BIDENS ARE THE BEST,' HAVE 'CONNECTIONS'

The draft email does not specifically mention Joe Biden’s name or refer to the "certain relation" as Hunter Biden’s father. However, there is an infamous photo of Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer on the golf course. That photo was taken in mid-August 2014, which would have been a week or so prior to the draft email. News reports indicate the vice president was in the Hamptons at the time.

Galanis went on to testify that Zhao "regularly sought reassurance about what he termed the ‘intangible goods’ that Vice President Biden serving on the Harvest board would bring to the business plan."

"He wanted assurances so that he would not ‘lose face,’" Galanis said. "In my opinion, there was no other reason for this massive Chinese enterprise to have been interested in doing business with Burnham other than the Biden name."

Zhao also worked with Hunter Biden in a separate joint venture with Chinese energy company CEFC.

Zhao is the recipient of a now-infamous text message Hunter Biden sent after requesting a $10 million wire for the joint-venture, SinoHawk Holdings.

FLASHBACK: HUNTER BIDEN IN 2017 SENT 'BEST WISHES' FROM 'ENTIRE BIDEN FAMILY' TO CHINA FIRM CHAIRMAN, REQUESTED $10M WIRE

"I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled," Hunter Biden told Henry Zhao, the director of Chinese asset management firm Harvest Fund Management. "And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction."

Zhao responded, in part, "CEFC is willing to cooperate with the family."

Ultimately, Joe Biden did not take a seat on the board of the joint venture. 

Meanwhile, Galanis testified that he recalls "being with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer at the Peninsula Bar in New York, where Hunter took a call from his father. He told his father things were going well with Henry and Harvest and that he might need a little help getting it across the finish line." 

"Hunter did not put the call on speaker as we were at this bar, but I am certain that Hunter was discussing our business efforts on the Burnham-Harvest partnership and that the vice president was aware of these efforts," Galanis testified, adding that was "not the only time I heard Hunter call his father regarding business matters."

Archer last year testified before the House Oversight Committee that Hunter put his father, who was vice president at the time, on speakerphone while meeting with business partners at least 20 times, and he said Joe Biden was put on the phone to sell "the brand."

Galanis testified that call was "not the only time" he heard Hunter "call his father regarding business matters," pointing to a separate call in which Hunter Biden put his father "on speaker." Galanis said Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina and her husband, the former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, were present for the call, which took place May 4, 2014. 

Fox News Digital has previously reported that Joe Biden attended dinners in 2014 at Cafe Milano in Georgetown in 2014 and 2015 with Baturina and others.

HUNTER BIDEN REQUESTED KEYS FOR NEW 'OFFICE MATES' JOE BIDEN, CHINESE 'EMISSARY' TO CEFC CHAIRMAN, EMAILS SHOW

"Hunter called his father, said hello and ‘hold on, Pops,’ then put the call on speakerphone and said, ‘I am here with our friends I told you were coming to town, and we wanted to say hello,’" Galanis recalled. "The vice president said hello and some pleasantries of ‘Hope you had safe travels,’ and then seemed like he wanted to bring the call to an end by saying, ‘OK then, you be good to my boy.’"

Galanis said Hunter responded by saying, "Everything is good, and we are moving ahead."

"The vice president said something about ‘being helpful,’ and Hunter ended the call by saying that he was going to call his father later," Galanis testified. "I recall being stunned by this call — to actually hear the vice president of the United States speaking on the phone." 

Galanis testified that "it was clear" to him that "this was a pre-arranged call with his father meant to impress the Russian investors that Hunter had access to his father and all the power and prestige of his position." 

Days later, on May 9, 2014, Archer sent Galanis an email, obtained by Fox News Digital, which revealed Baturina was "committed to a ‘hard order’ of $10-20 million in a Burnham investment banking client."

Galanis acknowledged that "in an effort" to build Burnham, he "engaged in unlawful conduct" and "betrayed" the trust of union members’ pension fund money.

"I pleaded guilty. I have had eight years in federal custody to reflect on my actions, and I am profoundly sorry for my role," he said.

Archer was also indicted in the scheme, but Hunter Biden was not. Galanis testified he believed the federal "prosecution strategy was intended to protect Hunter Biden and, ultimately, Vice President Biden." 

Galanis has applied for and been denied home confinement. Galanis said that beginning in January 2023, he was "sexually assaulted" by a member of prison staff at FPC Pensacola. He testified that he was hoping home confinement "would remove me from the danger." 

"I believe that based on the events I have described, much of which is memorialized in writing, I have been the victim of a pattern of retribution by the Department of Justice in order to prevent my home confinement, which would have allowed full and free access to congressional investigators," he said.

Galanis said that from his experiences in the justice system, he believes he is putting himself "at grave risk within the BOP for providing information on these matters concerning the president and his son."

Former FBI informant accused of lying about Bidens’ business dealings to be transferred to California

An ex-FBI informant accused of lying about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's alleged business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company will be transferred to California, where he is expected to face a judge.  

Alexander Smirnov, 43, has been ordered transferred to California where he will appear in court at 9 a.m. Monday local time. He was released by a Nevada judge earlier this week. 

HUNTER BIDEN WAS PAID $100K A MONTH THROUGH CHINESE FIRM VENTURE, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIED

A California judge ordered him arrested again on Thursday after federal prosecutors argued Smirnov, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, was a flight risk. 

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors said Smirnov peddled lies "that could impact U.S. elections" while asking a judge to keep him locked up ahead of trial on charges alleging he lied to the FBI about a phony multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving the Bidens and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Prosecutors say Smirnov falsely told his handler that Burisma executives paid Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, $5 million each around 2015. The claim became central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

FBI REPORTEDLY INVESTIGATING CONTROVERSIAL DEMOCRATIC MAYOR WHO SCHMOOZED WITH BIDEN LAST MONTH

However, federal prosecutors said Smirnov had only routine business dealings with the company starting in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he "expressed bias" against then-presidential candidate Biden. Special Counsel David Weiss said Smirnov's untruths were made in an effort to impact the 2024 presidential election.

He is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The charges were filed in Los Angeles

Smirnov was arrested Thursday at the law offices of his attorneys in downtown Las Vegas. Fox News Digital has reached out to Smirnov's lawyers. 

Fox News Digital's Bradford Betz as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.

House investigators heading to prison to interview ex-Hunter Biden biz associate amid impeachment inquiry

Congressional investigators are set to interview Hunter Biden’s ex-business associate, Jason Galanis, in prison on Friday to gather information on the Biden family’s business dealings and any "access" to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Staff from the House Oversight and Judiciary committees are expected to travel to an Alabama prison, where Galanis is serving a 14-year prison sentence for securities fraud.

JAMES BIDEN SAYS HIS BROTHER 'HAS NEVER HAD ANY INVOLVEMENT' OR ANY 'FINANCIAL INTEREST' IN BUSINESS VENTURES

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan in November requested an interview with Galanis through the Bureau of Prisons.

Comer cited a Wall Street Journal report that "discusses the allegation of the ‘access’ Hunter Biden could provide while his father was vice president, with Mr. Galanis writing in 2014 that Hunter ‘will change your access forever,’" Comer wrote in the letter, requesting that investigators have the chance to "question Galanis about his firsthand knowledge of Hunter Biden’s influence peddling."

"The committees’ investigation requires that we obtain this information," Comer wrote. "Accordingly, we request the Federal Bureau of Prisons make Mr. Galanis available for a transcribed interview with Committee counsel."

Galanis formerly did business with both Hunter Biden and Devon Archer.

DEVON ARCHER: HUNTER BIDEN, BURISMA EXECS ‘CALLED DC’ TO GET UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR FIRED

Galanis pleaded guilty to securities fraud based on bonds issued by a company affiliated with a Native American tribe in South Dakota. The funds were reportedly supposed to be used for certain projects but were instead used for his personal finances. He was sentenced in 2017 to 14 years.

Devon Archer was tied to the scheme and convicted in 2018 for defrauding the Native American tribal entity and various investment advisory clients of tens of millions of dollars in connection with the issuance of bonds by the tribal entity and the subsequent sale of those bonds through fraudulent and deceptive means. 

Archer was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. 

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

Archer testified before the committees last year that Hunter put his father, then-Vice President Biden, on speakerphone while meeting with business partners at least 20 times, and he said Joe Biden was put on the phone to sell "the brand." Archer was on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings along with Hunter Biden.

Galanis' expected testimony comes after James Biden testified that his brother, President Biden, "has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest" in his business ventures.

James Biden's testimony came days after his former business associate, Tony Bobulinski, testified before the committee, telling congressional investigators that Joe Biden was involved in the family's business ventures and testifying that he personally met with him. 

Days before Bobulinski's testimony, another former business associate, Rob Walker, testified that Joe Biden met with the chairman of the Chinese energy firm his brother and son did business with.

After Walker's testimony, the House Oversight Committee said it was able to "now confirm Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son."

Hunter Biden is expected to sit for his deposition on Feb. 28.

Meanwhile, the president last week called for the House impeachment inquiry to be dropped, calling it "an outrageous effort from the beginning."

James Biden ‘contradicted’ himself during testimony on brother’s involvement in family business: GOP lawmakers

GOP lawmakers on Wednesday accused James Biden of contradicting himself during testimony about his brother’s supposed business dealings with the family. 

The president’s brother initially said he was not part of a deal with his nephew Hunter Biden and business associates Rob Walker, Tony Bobulinski, and James Gilliar, according to a source familiar with the interview. 

But when presented with an agreement with his signature on it, Biden changed his story, saying he did not recall signing the agreement, the source said. 

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaking to reporters after the interview said it was "interesting" and that Biden had "contradicted himself." 

That conclusion was shared by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who told reporters: "Let me say this. So there are a lot of things that Mr. Biden is saying that are directly contradicted by documents." 

The lawmakers’ comments come after James Biden’s voluntary private interview on Capitol Hill as part of House Republicans' impeachment inquiry into his brother, President Joe Biden. 

JAMES BIDEN ARRIVES ON CAPITAL HILL TO TESTIFY IN BROTHER'S IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

"I have had a 50-year career in a variety of business ventures. Joe Biden has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest in those activities," the president's younger brother said. "None."

The interview with both Republican and Democratic staff as well as lawmakers lasted more than eight hours. During several breaks, Republicans came out and told reporters, without citing details, that James Biden's responses contradicted his opening statement and that he had made efforts to avoid directly answering investigators' questions.

The interview with James Biden was the latest in a series that GOP lawmakers have conducted recently as they seek to rebuild momentum for an impeachment process surrounding the Biden family's overseas finances that has stalled in recent months.

Wednesday’s testimony comes after a central claim of the GOP investigation was undermined by federal prosecutors, who last week indicted an FBI informant who claimed there was a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving the president, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company.

But Republicans argue that the informant was just one part of their broader investigation and say they intend to push ahead. "It doesn't change the fundamental facts," Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.

The impeachment inquiry, which began in September under the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, has included the recent depositions of several former Biden family associates. 

James Biden says his brother ‘has never had any involvement’ or any ‘financial interest’ in business ventures

FIRST ON FOX: James Biden testified Wednesday that his brother, President Biden, "has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest" in his business ventures, Fox News Digital has learned.

The president’s brother arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning for a closed-door deposition before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees.

Fox News Digital obtained the first brother’s opening statement.

"I have had a 50-year career in a variety of business ventures," James Biden said in his opening statement. "Joe Biden has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest in those activities. None."

James Biden went on to defend his brother, the president, saying that because of his "intimate knowledge of my brother’s personal integrity and character, as well as my own strong ethics, I have always kept my professional life separate from our close personal relationship."

"I never asked my brother to take any official action on behalf of me, my business associates, or anyone else," James Biden said. "In every business venture in which I have been involved, I have relied on my own talent, judgment, skill, and personal relationships—and never my status as Joe Biden’s brother."

He added: "Those who have said or thought otherwise were either mistaken, ill informed, or flat-out lying."

James Biden stressed that Joe Biden "played no role, was not involved with, and received no benefits" from his work with Chinese energy company CEFC, or the healthcare company Americore.

"With my appearance here today, the Committees will have the information to conclude that the negative and destructive assumptions about me and my relationship with my brother Joe are wrong," James Biden said.

So far in the investigation into Biden family businesses, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said he has found that Biden family members, their business associates and their "related companies" received "significant payments from individuals and companies in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Romania."

Comer said the committee has learned throughout its investigation that the Biden family and their business associates brought in more than $24 million between 2014 and 2019 by "selling Joe Biden as ‘the brand’ around the world."

Republicans have also focused on a "$200,000 direct payment" in the form of a "personal check" from James Biden and Sara Biden. That check was labeled "loan repayment." 

"On March 1, 2018, Americore wired a $200,000 loan into James and Sara Biden’s personal bank account — not their business bank account," Comer continued. "And then, on the very same day, James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this same personal bank account to Joe Biden."

"Americore — a distressed company — loaned money to James Biden, who then sent it to Joe Biden," Comer said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

James Biden to testify in brother’s impeachment inquiry behind closed doors

James Biden is expected to testify in the impeachment inquiry against his older brother, President Biden behind closed doors on Wednesday morning.

The president’s brother is set to appear for a deposition before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees Wednesday at 10 a.m.

JOE BIDEN RECEIVED $40K IN 'LAUNDERED CHINA MONEY' FROM BROTHER IN 2017, COMER SAYS

James Biden, also referred to as Jim Biden, had been subpoenaed in November to appear for a deposition as part of the impeachment inquiry — prior to it being formalized by the full House.

James Biden was involved in the Biden family business ventures with his nephew, Hunter Biden.

So far, during the investigation, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said he has found that Biden family members, their business associates and their "related companies" received "significant payments from individuals and companies in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Romania."

Comer said the committee has learned throughout its investigation that the Biden family and their business associates brought in more than $24 million between 2014 and 2019 by "selling Joe Biden as ‘the brand’ around the world."

James Biden is expected to be questioned on whether Joe Biden was involved in the family's foreign business ventures.

James Biden is also expected to be questioned on "loan repayment" checks — one for $200,000 and another for $40,000 — that he wrote to the president.

JAMES BIDEN GIVEN LOAN, DIDN'T PROVIDE SERVICES TO AMERICORE DESPITE PROMISES TO USE LAST NAME, TRUSTEE SAYS

Comer said his panel had uncovered evidence that the president, in 2018, received a "$200,000 direct payment" in the form of a "personal check" from James Biden and Sara Biden. That check was labeled "loan repayment." 

Comer said that James Biden "received $600,000 in loans from Americore — a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator." 

"On March 1, 2018, Americore wired a $200,000 loan into James and Sara Biden’s personal bank account — not their business bank account," he continued. "And then, on the very same day, James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this same personal bank account to Joe Biden."

Comer said James Biden "wrote this check to Joe Biden as a ‘loan repayment.’"

"Americore — a distressed company — loaned money to James Biden, who then sent it to Joe Biden," Comer said.

The White House said the committee found that as a private citizen, the president loaned his brother his own money when his brother needed it, and after reviewing bank records, there is a record that he was repaid. 

Comer also said the president received another $40,000 "loan repayment" from James Biden, which the chairman described as "laundered China money."

COMER RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT $200K 'DIRECT PAYMENT' FROM JAMES BIDEN TO JOE BIDEN IN 2018

Comer said the "money trail" began in July 2017 when Hunter Biden demanded a $10 million payment from a CEFC associate. In a WhatsApp message, he claimed "he was sitting with his father and that the Biden network would turn on his associate if he didn’t pony up the money," Comer explained.

Hunter Biden in the WhatsApp message allegedly told a Chinese business associate from Chinese energy company CEFC that he and his father would ensure "you will regret not following my direction."

Hunter requested the $10 million wire for his joint-venture with CEFC called SinoHawk Holdings. 

"I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled," Hunter Biden told Henry Zhao, the director of Chinese asset management firm Harvest Fund Management. "And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction."

Zhao responded, in part, "CEFC is willing to cooperate with the family."

Comer, citing bank records he and his committee have obtained, said that on Aug. 8, 2017, the $5 million in funds were sent to Hudson West III, a joint-venture established by Hunter Biden and CEFC associate Gongwen Dong. The same day, Hudson West III sent $400,000 to Owasco, P.C.— a separate entity controlled and owned by Hunter Biden, Comer said.

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

Days later, on Aug. 14, 2017, Hunter Biden wired $150,000 to Lion Hall Group, a company owned by James Biden and his wife Sara Biden. By Aug. 28, 2017, Comer said Sara Biden withdrew $50,000 in cash from Lion Hall Group and later deposited it into her and James Biden’s personal checking account.

"A few days later, Sara Biden cut a check to Joe Biden for $40,000," Comer said, referring to the Sept. 3, 2017, check his committee obtained. "The memo line of the check said, ‘loan repayment.’"

James Biden's expected testimony comes days after his former business associate Tony Bobulinski testified before the committee, telling congressional investigators that Joe Biden was involved in the family's business ventures, and testifying that he personally met with him. 

Days before Bobulinski's testimony, another former business associate, Rob Walker, testified that Joe Biden met with the chairman of the Chinese energy firm his brother and son did business with. 

After Walker's testimony, the House Oversight Committee said it was able to "now confirm Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son." 

Meanwhile, the president, last week, called for the House impeachment inquiry to be dropped, calling it "an outrageous effort from the beginning." 

Liberal pundits, urging Biden to withdraw, pushing convention scenario

A growing number of left-leaning pundits are hopping off the Biden train and they’re trying to come up with a plan to enable the president to jump off as well.

The attacks from the right are one thing, but these are Joe Biden’s people, who say he’s been a good president, who say he’s accomplished a great deal, but who say his age renders him either too likely or too certain to lose to Donald Trump. It’s the one problem he can’t fix.

At the same time, a new report says the Resistance is growing frustrated and burned out.

Nate Silver, the data guru and hardly a right-winger, says: "Personally, I crossed the rubicon in November, concluding that Biden should stand down if he wasn’t going to be able to run a normal re-election campaign — meaning, things like conduct a Super Bowl interview. Yes, it's a huge risk and, yes, Biden can still win. But he's losing now and there's no plan to fix the problems."

MEDIA DEEM TRUMP THE NOMINEE, DESPITE HALEY TYING HIM TO PUTIN

After noting that an improving economy hasn’t helped him, Silver says "it’s become even clearer that Biden’s age is an enormous problem for him. As many as 86% of Americans say he’s too old in one poll, though numbers in the 70-to-75% range are more common — still an overwhelming majority in a bitterly-divided country." 

And that wasn’t helped by the special counsel’s report calling him an elderly man with a poor memory.

"But even the most optimistic Democrats, if you read between the lines, are really arguing that Democrats could win despite Biden and not because of him. Biden is probably a below-replacement-level candidate at this point because Americans have a lot of extremely rational concerns about the prospect of a Commander-in-Chief who would be 86 years old by the end of his second term. It is entirely reasonable to see this as disqualifying."

Wait, there’s more. 

FANI WILLIS IS IN A ‘DANGEROUS SPOT’: JACQUI HEINRICH

"I can now point you to moments when he is faltering in his campaign for the presidency because his age is slowing him. This distinction between the job of the presidency and the job of running for the presidency keeps getting muddied, including by Biden himself. And what I think we’re seeing is that he is not up for this. He is not the campaigner he was, even five years ago…The way he moves, the energy in his voice."

Ezra Klein, the uber-liberal New York Times podcaster, also wants the president out. 

"Step one, unfortunately, is convincing Biden that he should not run again. That he does not want to risk being Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a heroic, brilliant public servant who caused the outcome she feared most because she didn’t retire early enough."

Despite what he called the "Kamala Harris problem," Klein says to assume that Biden steps aside. "Then what? Well, then Democrats do something that used to be common in politics but hasn’t been in decades. They pick their nominee at the convention." 

Silver agrees with this scenario as well.

I’m here to tell you, barring a major health scare, that’s not happening. Biden has been running for president since 1987 (I did a long interview with him during that campaign). He finally got the job. He likes being in charge. He’s not going to walk away.

And in fairness, Biden has made adjustments in the last two weeks. He now takes on-camera questions from reporters almost every day, sometimes longer than others. Just yesterday, he walked over to say, in the wake of Alexei Navalny’s murder, he’d be announcing a package of sanctions against Russia on Friday. And he’s given two televised speeches.

Still, liberal Times columnist Michelle Goldberg has been arguing since 2022 that Biden should step aside, and without a major change in strategy, "he should find some medical pretext to step aside in time for a replacement to be chosen at the Democratic convention."

Moderate conservative Ross Douthat says flatly in his Times column that Biden should not be running for re-election.

As if the Times might be in danger of under-covering this issue, the paper also says that "anti-Trump voters are grappling with another powerful sentiment: exhaustion."

"Some folks are burned out on outrage," Rebecca Lee Funk, founder of the liberal activist group Outrage, told the paper. 

A Pittsburgh security guard said  "It’s crisis fatigue, for sure."

DEMOCRATS WIN SEAT, REPUBLICANS WIN IMPEACHMENT, TWO PRESIDENTS CLASH OVER NATO

How about the right? National Review’s Noah Rothman, who thinks Biden will narrowly win, explains the grand voting shift that has the Democrats in trouble:

"Despite his self-set reputation as a lunch-pail-toting nine-to-fiver with familial roots set deep in the carbon-rich soil of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe Biden has presided over the hemorrhaging of his party’s support among non-college-educated voters. The Democratic Party is increasingly dominated by degree-holders…The party is pinning all its electoral hopes on driving up turnout among this relatively affluent, highly educated slice of the electorate. The big problem with that plan is that there just aren’t enough of those voters…

"In 1999, according to Gallup’s historical surveys, working-class Americans identified more as Democrats than as Republicans by 14 points. Today, that has flipped, with the GOP enjoying a 14-point advantage over Democrats among those voters. Democrats have suffered similarly with young voters: Today, only 8% more voters between the ages of 18 and 29 associate themselves with the Democratic Party than with the GOP." 

This is eye-popping for those of us who grew up with the Republicans holding the monopoly on wealthier college graduates and favoring aggressive military intervention abroad.

Rothman concludes: "Even with Trump at the top of the ticket, Democrats appear committed to a strategy that will produce, at best, the narrowest of re-election victories."

On the other side, meanwhile, Nikki Haley gave a South Carolina speech to declare she’s not going anywhere. Plenty of Republicans have "surrendered" to pressure because "they didn’t want to be left out of the club. Of course, many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party…I feel no need to kiss the ring. I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him, my own political future is of zero concern."

But the most important part of her appearance was when she choked up while discussing her husband (who Trump has taken vague shots at). He is a National Guardsman now serving a year-long deployment in Africa after an earlier one in Afghanistan.

"Michael is at the forefront of my mind," Haley said, her voice breaking. "I wish Michael was here today, and I wish our children and I could see him tonight, but we can’t. He’s serving on the other side of the world."

It was a striking moment because Haley is usually so scripted and disciplined. A burst of emotion in 2008 helped Hillary Clinton win the New Hampshire primary. The problem is that the press will write off Haley if Trump clobbers her in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, no matter how long she keeps campaigning.

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A reporter asked Biden yesterday whether he’d rather run against Trump or Haley. He responded, "I don’t care," while walking away.

But given that Haley is 52, I believe he and his advisers very much care. At 77, while projecting a much more vigorous persona, Trump is the one opponent who might help Biden neutralize the issue that most threatens his re-election campaign.