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FACT SHEET: James Comer’s Lies Are Routinely Contradicted By Witness Testimony

Feb 7, 2024

Today, House Republicans released the transcript of yet another witness interview debunking their allegations against President Biden and his family. Just weeks into 2024, James Comer has already held depositions with at least six witnesses related to his baseless impeachment inquiry against President Biden – and this isn’t the first (or sixth) time they have been caught in lies about their investigations. At every step of the way, Comer has been called out for his overhyped and misrepresented allegations not supported by evidence. He ignores and cherry-picks witness testimony that contradicts his claims, and even blatantly misrepresents witnesses. The House GOP’s impeachment inquiry has been built on a foundation of cherry-picked phrases, claims that have been proven false, and accusations that are often the opposite of what they describe. After over a year of investigations into President Biden, James Comer has failed to call a single witness who has been able to support his evidence-free claims against President Biden, so much so he is now viewed as an embarrassment to his GOP colleagues for his repeated faceplants.

TIMELINE: James Comer’s Record of Lies and Misinformation Contradicted By Witness Testimony

October – February 2024: Despite Witness Testimony Indicating Otherwise, Comer Overhyped A Loan Repayment Between James Biden and President Biden – While He Was Out-of-Office. In mid-October 2023 Comer overhyped a transaction he discovered between James Biden and President Biden, tweeting, “We have found a $200,000 DIRECT payment to Joe Biden.” Fact checkers quickly debunked his claims, and Comer’s efforts to overhype the transactions drew mockery, with HuffPost calling the revelations a “dud,” and NBC News calling out the loan earmark as a “glaring flaw” in Comer’s allegations. Even Fox News, “largely steered clear.” In late December 2023, Carol Fox, a trustee for Americore testified to the House Oversight Committee, telling the members that she possessed no knowledge that the president was directly involved in those dealings. When House Republicans released the full transcript of Fox’s interview in February, it was revealed that Fox had refuted Comer’s claims about the $200,000 check and confirmed she had no evidence of Joe Biden being involved in any of James Biden’s business dealings, much less receiving money from Americore. Fox testified that Americore was already in a dire financial situation prior to James Biden’s involvement, and James was brought in to help the company secure badly needed financing. She further stated that she had not seen the $200,000 check Comer referenced and had no evidence that Joe Biden received money from Americore, forcing Republicans to turn their line of questioning to mere speculation.

January – February 2024: Depositions With Six Biden Family Friends and Business Associates Exposed Nothing But Comer’s Lies and Lack of Evidence. In  the first few weeks 2024, Comer has held at least six depositions with friends and business associates connected to the Biden family, including James Biden’s former business associate Joseph “Joey” Langston, longtime Biden family bookkeeper Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s longtime business associates Rob Walker and Mervyn Yan, Hunter’s close friend Kevin Morris, and art dealer George Berges. Despite Comer’s lofty claims that these interviews would turn up evidence of wrongdoing, they turned up nothing. Instead, they exposed Comer’s penchant for spreading lies and misinformation in order to further the MAGA agenda instead of pursuing the truth: 

  • Joseph Langston, Former Business Associate of James Biden: President Biden Was Not Involved In James Biden’s Business Affairs. On Feb. 1, a former business associate of President Biden’s brother, Joseph “Joey” Langston, testified before the House Oversight committee. Before the interview, Comer suggested that Langston had information on whether Joe Biden “took any official action or effected any change in government policy because of money or other things of value provided to himself or his family.” Yet Langston reportedly told impeachment investigators that Joe Biden was not involved in and did not profit from he and James Biden’s business affairs, and confirmed that he had not spoken to Joe Biden in more than 15 years.
  • “Whistleblower” and Longtime Biden Family Bookkeeper Eric Schwerin: “I Am Not Aware of Any Role that Vice President Biden, As a Public Official or As a Private Citizen, Had in Any of Hunter’s Business Activities.On Jan. 30, longtime bookkeeper and finance manager for the Biden family Eric Schwerin testified before the House Oversight Committee. During the interview, Schwerin strongly opposed Comers claims, stating, “I cannot recall any requests for Vice President Biden to take any official action on behalf of any of Hunter’s clients or his business deals — foreign or domestic. In fact, I am not aware of any role that Vice President Biden, as a public official or as a private citizen, had in any of Hunter’s business activities. None.” Comer previously claimed Schwerin was a whistleblower, and suggested that the bookkeeper served as evidence of the President’s supposed involvement in Hunter Biden’s business affairs: “when Joe Biden said there was a wall between the government and himself and his family shady business schemes, that’s not true because they had the same bookkeeper, the same guy that did the books and paid all of Joe’s — Joe’s bills and deposited his checks and everything, was the same guy Hunter Biden used.”
  • Rob Walker, Longtime Business Associate Of Hunter Biden: President Biden “Was Never Involved In Any Of The Business Activities We Pursued.” On Jan. 26, Comer and House Republicans interviewed Hunter Biden’s longtime business associate Rob Walker. For weeks, Comer claimed that Walker was an alleged “vehicle” for the Biden family to supposedly funnel funds from foreign countries. Yet during the deposition, Walker testified that President Biden had no involvement in his business affairs: “To be clear, President Biden — while in office or as a private citizen — was never involved in any of the business activities we pursued. Any statement to the contrary is simply false.”
  • Kevin Morris, Hunter Biden’s Close Friend, Exposed James Comer For “Cherry‐Picked, Out-Of-Context, and Totally Misleading Descriptions” of Closed-Door Deposition. On Jan. 18, Hunter Biden’s close friend Kevin Morris gave closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee. After the deposition, Oversight Chair James Comer released a press statement accusing Hunter of trading Morris “access to the Biden White House” in exchange for a small personal loan. In response, Morris’ lawyer blasted Comer’s lies, sending a letter calling out Comer’s “cherry-picked” statements, and demanded that Comer release the full, unedited transcript. As the lawyer reportedly said, “Morris testified that he never thought of Joe Biden’s campaign when loaning money to Hunter Biden and was ‘only focused on helping his client.’” After facing significant backlash, House Republicans agreed to release the full deposition transcript publicly. The transcript further exposed Comer’s lies and misleading claims, with a Washington Post analyst writing, None of this is justified by Morris’s testimony; Comer is instead simply trying to frame Morris’s testimony in negative terms. He does so, presumably, because he knows that his close allies in right-wing media will not read the primary document and because he is signaling how the testimony should be contextualized.
  • Mervyn Yan, Former Hunter Biden Business Associate: “I Never Met, Spoke To, Did Business With” President Biden. A January 2024 interview with former Hunter Biden business associate Mervyn Yan undermined Comer’s allegations against President Biden. Comer claimed that “His testimony raises many questions about the Bidens’ dealings with the Chinese government linked energy firm. Yet before the interview, Yan had told Congress that he had “no contact” with President Biden. He further confirmed that he “never met, spoke to, did business with” President Biden. As CNN reported, Yan “is the latest example of a witness undercutting Republican allegations related to their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.”
  • Art Dealer Georges Bergès Testified He Had No Communication With The White House About Hunter Biden Paintings. In early January 2024, Comer deposed art dealer Georges Bergès for a transcribed interview. Comer claimed that “This is another example of the White House lying to the American people about the shady business schemes of the Bidens.” But even Fox News reported that Bergès’ testimony turned up nothing: “A source familiar with Georges Bergès’ transcribed interview before the House Oversight Committee said Bergès told lawmakers he’s had no communication with the White House, including about Hunter Biden’s paintings. Bergès stated that he never told Hunter Biden who any of the buyers were, the source said.” 

August – September 2023: Comer Was Silent After IRS Whistleblowers Refuted His Claims About So-Called Interference With An Investigation. In September, Comer’s key IRS whistleblower allegations were been debunked by at least six other witnesses brought in for questioning by Oversight Republicans – including whistleblower Gary Shapley’s supervisor at the IRS’ Criminal Investigation division and the division’s director of field operations, three current and former FBI officials, and a longtime bookkeeper for the Biden family. These officials testified that Shapley’s claims are “false and misleading” and that they “don’t remember” hearing US Attorney David Weiss ever say that he lacked the authority to decide whether to bring charges against the president’s son, or that Weiss said he had been denied a request for special counsel status. Shapley’s supervisor also testified he recommended removing him from the Hunter Biden probe “to protect the integrity of the investigation” because he made “unsubstantiated allegations.”

July 2023: Comer’s Star Witness Failed To Prove That President Biden Did Anything Wrong. He Continued To Cite The Witness As Evidence. In late July 2023, a business associate of Hunter Biden appeared before the Oversight Committee to testify at the invitation of James Comer. For weeks in advance, Comer hyped the upcoming interview as bombshell testimony and declared the testimony evidence of a quid pro quo. But Archer’s testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence of a single conflict of interest of President Biden ever doing anything in connection or in relation to Hunter Biden’s business ventures. Yet Comer later hyped a portion of testimony by Hunter Biden’s business associate Devon Archer suggesting that Joe Biden supposedly joined Hunter on speakerphone while speaking with business associates up to 20 times – even though Archer’s testimony referred to approximately 20 instances over the span of a decade in which Hunter indicated Joe Biden was merely present, and Archer did not testify that President Biden was directly involved in business discussions beyond “the weather” and “fishing.” For months after the deposition, Republicans continued to point to the interview as justification for their impeachment probe, despite the lack of evidence.

  • Comer Lied About Skipping The So-Called Bombshell Testimony That Contradicted His Unsubstantiated Allegations About President Biden. Comer himself could not be bothered to show up for Archer’s testimony despite hyping the upcoming interview for weeks in advance as bombshell testimony. Yet even Oversight committee staffers were unwilling to cover for Comer’s lies, refusing to say if Comer phoned-in and saying he was in “constant contact” with staff during the interview. One GOP source even said, “It was like following a general into battle, but the general decided to stay home instead of fight.”

July 2023: Comer’s Top Whistleblowers Testified That There’s No Evidence President Biden Interfered In IRS/DOJ Investigations Into Hunter Biden. Comer Ignored That Part. James Comer has spent the bulk of his investigation hyping up two IRS whistleblowers that he claimed had damning evidence about interference in Hunter Biden investigations. Despite his lofty claims, these two IRS whistleblowers – Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler – themselves testified, under oath, that neither President Biden nor his Attorney General interfered in the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice’s investigation into Hunter Biden. But Comer’s takeaways from the hearing failed to mention that, instead writing that “IRS whistleblowers provided evidence of the Justice Department’s politicization and misconduct in the Biden criminal investigation.”

April 2023: James Comer Blatantly Misrepresented Whistleblowers, Then Refused to Produce Evidence Substantiating His Claims. For months, Comer talked to the press about four individuals he claimed were “whistleblowers.” Problem is – they weren’t whistleblowers and there were only two people. As Ranking Member Raskin wrote to Comer in a letter obtained by the Washington Post: “The two individuals your staff specifically identified as the individuals they understood to have been referenced during your March 6 Fox News interview, are not whistleblowers… your repeated statements about ‘four people’ suggest that either you have intentionally misrepresented the Committee’s investigative progress to your conservative audience or that key investigative steps have been deliberately withheld from Committee Democrats.”

February 2023: In His First Oversight Hearing As Chair, Comer Pushed a “Factually Unsupported Narrative” About The ‘Twitter Files’, Contradicting His Own Witnesses. After one of the GOP House Oversight Committee’s first hearings, newly minted Oversight Chair Comer pushed “a factually unsupported narrative about the federal government secretly colluding with Twitter,” despite “no real evidence to support this weighty and consequential claim.” One of the Republicans’ own witnesses, former Twitter Deputy General Counsel James Baker, told the committee, “I am aware of no unlawful collusion with, or direction from, any government agency or political campaign on how Twitter should have handled the Hunter Biden laptop situation.” Another witness, ‘Twitter Files’ author Matt Taibbi, could not substantiate Comer’s claims either: “there is no evidence – that I’ve seen – of any government involvement in the laptop story.