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ROUNDUP: Comer’s Latest Attempt to Smear President Biden Quickly Debunked

Dec 5, 2023

Yesterday, Comer tried, once again, to make something out of nothing. He released yet another video of desperate disinformation with misleading, speculative claims regarding car payments made by Joe Biden on behalf of his son. These already-reported-on payments occurred while President Biden neither held public office nor was a candidate for one, and included three payments totaling less than $5,000. Other records show that the payments were Hunter reimbursing his father for car payments. Comer’s shameless display is just another desperate ploy to distract the public’s attention from the House GOP’s refusal to govern and actually focus on the real issues keeping working families up at night.

The New Republic: Comer’s Logic on Biden Loan Is So Holey You Could Drive a Truck Through It. “Representative James Comer is doubling down on his claim that Hunter Biden repaying his father for a loan is proof that the president is corrupt. Comer, who has spearheaded the investigation into the Biden family, released more of Hunter’s bank records on Monday, claiming they showed illicit payments to his father Joe Biden. In reality, the documents likely showed repayments for a truck. But Comer remained adamant that Hunter paying his father back in any form meant Biden had benefited from his son’s overseas business. ‘You can loan people money. If they pay you back, then you benefited directly from the influence peddling!’ Comer insisted on Newsmax Monday night. The Kentucky Republican also claimed no one in his family repays him after he loans money. ‘When my son needs help, or my daughter, who’s in college, needs it, I just give her money. Nobody ever pays me back!’ Comer said. Comer made no mention of his own business deals with his brother, which reportedly include Comer loaning his brother Chad $200,000 in 2019. His brother repaid him through land swaps. […] Republicans have claimed for months that Biden has benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings, but they have yet to produce any actual evidence of wrongdoing by the president. Ranking Oversight Committee Member Jamie Raskin slammed Comer for pushing the loan repayment as proof. ‘Chair Comer is digging up old public reporting, distorting the facts, and presenting it as ‘breaking news,’ Raskin said on X (formerly Twitter). ‘If Chairman Comer had any actual evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden, he would not repeatedly resort to distorting the facts and recycling Trump-Giuliani conspiracy theories.’” [The New Republic, 12/5/23]

The Washington Post: Comer Mischaracterizes Hunter Biden Car Payment Reimbursement To His Dad. “As House Republicans move toward a floor vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Biden, House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has again mischaracterized evidence of payments from Hunter Biden to his father. […] Joe Biden signed for the truck and had it in his name — at a time when Hunter was in the depths of addiction, had a low credit score and couldn’t make the purchase himself, according to a person close to the Bidens, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private matter. The truck was used only for a limited time, going back to the dealer about a year after the purchase. Other expenses listed in the email verified by The Post included payments for health insurance, college and high school tuition for Hunter Biden’s children, the Yale Club and a storage unit. […] Comer has consistently oversold or misrepresented the committee’s investigative findings as he has argued to initiate impeachment proceedings. Last month, Comer trumpeted a $200,000 loan repayment Joe Biden received from his brother James Biden. Comer sought to paint the personal check in nefarious terms, alleging without evidence that it showed that Joe Biden had indirectly received payments from his family’s foreign business dealings..” [The Washington Post, 12/4/23]

The New Republic: The Huge, Hilarious Mistake In James Comer’s New Biden Corruption Claim. “House Republicans released more of Hunter Biden’s bank records on Monday, claiming they showed illicit payments to his father, Joe Biden. In reality, the documents likely showed repayments for a truck. Republicans have claimed for months that Biden has benefited from his son’s foreign business dealings, but they have yet to produce any actual evidence of wrongdoing by the president. Monday’s revelation appeared to be yet another major miss. […] Republicans repeatedly cite Hunter when arguing that the president is guilty of corruption. House GOP leaders could move this week toward a vote on formally opening an impeachment probe into Biden. But Republicans consistently fail to show that Biden is guilty of anything.” [The New Republic, 12/4/23]

The Daily Beast: Comer’s Latest ‘Evidence’ of Biden Corruption Turns Out to Be Car Payments. In what might just be a new record, House Republicans were able to parade around their latest proof of President Joe Biden’s purported corruption for all of a few hours on Monday before it was unceremoniously debunked. Earlier on Monday, House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced that subpoenaed bank records show Biden had received ‘directly monthly payments’ from his son Hunter Biden’s business account, most notably three ‘recurring payments’ of $1,380 in late 2018. Barring the fact that Joe Biden was not in political office in 2018, The Washington Post and other journalists quickly verified that the $1,380 transfers actually showed Hunter repaying his father for a 2018 Ford Raptor truck. (What’s more, the New York Post reported on their existence more than a year ago.) Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, jabbed at the congressman in a statement confirming as much. ‘There Chairman Comer goes again—reheating what is old as new to try to revive his sham of an investigation,’ he said. ‘The truth is Hunter’s father helped him when he was struggling financially due to his addiction and could not secure credit to finance a truck. When Hunter was able to, he paid his father back and took over the payments himself.’” [The Daily Beast, 12/4/23]

The Washington Post (Opinion): James Comer’s Biden Claims Do Not Deserve The Benefit Of The Doubt. “There has been a consistent pattern displayed over the 11 months since Republicans regained control of the House majority and, with it, the leadership of the chamber’s investigatory committees. The pattern: House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) will make a claim alleging wrongdoing by President Biden and then, in short order, that allegation will be shown to be incorrect or baseless. Thanks to his stewardship of the endlessly wolf-crying effort to impugn the president, Comer’s profile has risen dramatically in the past few months. He’s aided in this by the extensive right-wing media universe, in which his claims are immediately celebrated and through which they propagate quickly. But because more objective audiences have not been paying close attention to the claims he’s made since taking over leadership of Oversight, many observers aren’t aware of the extent of his track record of making false or indefensible claims about Biden. So we should put a fine point on it: Comer’s track record makes it obvious that he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Allegations that he offers should not be granted the baseline assumption that they are true.” [The Washington Post (Opinion), 12/4/23]

MSNBC (Opinion): GOP’s Comer Adds To His Long List Of Embarrassing Anti-Biden Duds. “It was nearly seven weeks ago when House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer suggested he’d finally uncovered real and meaningful evidence against President Joe Biden. At long last, the public was supposed to believe, the Kentucky Republican was ready to deliver the goods. Sure, Comer had made promises he couldn’t keep. And sure, he’d held hearings that undermined his own partisan efforts. And sure, he’d released ostensible ‘evidence’ filled with factual errors. And sure, he’d been caught repeatedly lying. And sure, even other Republicans had grown frustrated by Comer’s flailing crusade. But, in mid-October, the GOP congressman was ready to turn things around with an amazing announcement. What Comer had uncovered was proof that Biden — in his personal capacity, two years after serving as vice president — loaned his brother some money. Then, his brother paid him back. That was it. That was the story. The one thing politicians try to avoid when drumming up a scandal is boring revelations — and this was downright dull. Yesterday, he did it again. […] It’s tempting to compare Comer to the boy who cried wolf, but the parallels are imprecise: The boy in the story who’d destroyed his credibility eventually saw an actual wolf. The Kentucky congressman, in contrast, will almost certainly never present incriminating evidence against the president — apparently because there is no such evidence to find.” [MSNBC (Opinion), 12/5/23]

Mediaite: ‘That’s Bullcrap!’ James Comer Defends Absurd Hunter Biden Car Loan Bombshell — By Making Another Laughable Argument. “House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer hit back at critics of his alleged ‘bombshell’ that Hunter Biden paid back his father, President Joe Biden, roughly $4,000 in loaned car payments. Comer appeared on Newsmax Monday night to discuss a new piece of ‘evidence’ he released claiming that Hunter Biden was funneling money to his father in monthly payments of $1,400. But the least possible investigative effort revealed this wasn’t much of a bombshell; instead, it was previously reported car loan repayments. […] Comer called it ‘bull crap’ before insisting that Biden ‘benefitted [sic] directly’ because his son paid back his loan, which one can only gather is an impeachable offense in his eyes despite it happening in 2018 when Biden was not in office and Hunter Biden was … still his son?” [Mediaite, 12/5/23]

Daily Kos: Rep. James Comer’s Newest ‘Smoking Gun’ Debunked In Record Time. “Rep. James Comer put a considerable amount of product in his hair Monday before recording a video claiming to have new smoking-gun evidence of President Joe Biden’s corruption. Comer, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, dramatically announced that ‘Hunter Biden’s legal team and the White House’s media allies claim Hunter’s corporate entities never made payments directly to Joe Biden. We can officially add this latest talking point to the list of lies. Today, the House Oversight Committee is releasing subpoenaed bank records that show Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden.’ Sounds devastating. Right-wing media outlets excitedly pushed out the details, specifically that Hunter Biden set up ‘recurring payments’ of $1,380 in late 2018. Besides being an extraordinarily small amount of money in the grand scheme of corruption, the thinnest digging revealed that Joe Biden was not president in 2018. In fact, deeper investigation reveals that Biden wasn’t even in any political office at the time! Receipts were then posted that revealed Hunter Biden was paying his father back for helping to cover car payments while he was in between jobs. The three monthly payments totaled $4,140. Selling out our country for three monthly payments of $1,380, eh? Comer’s list of embarrassments and Rep. Jim Jordan’s disastrous failure of an impeachment inquiry continues to float about as high as a whoopee cushion filled with water. In fact, every single smoking gun these guys announce seems to prove that President Joe Biden has been a very supportive father. He sure hasn’t helped his son-in-law get $2 billion in Saudi money, but we all can’t be that good at ‘winning.’” [Daily Kos, 12/4/23]

Mediaite: Comer’s Latest Biden ‘Bombshell’ Appears To Be Nothing More Than Hunter Repaying $4,000 In Car Payments. “But upon closer examination, and after further investigation by journalists and intrepid Twitter/X users, the amount of the deposits from son to father that took place in 2018-2019 was only about $4,000 (to be specific, three payments of $1,380) that were repayment for money Hunter borrowed during a transitional financial patch for a Ford Raptor truck [.…] What this actually proves is that Hunter Biden made good on a loan from his father, and kept track of these repayments on an actual spreadsheet. That doesn’t really paint a picture of a corrupt financial scheme, but if you squint really hard and look through the picture instead of directly at it, then it might look sketchy enough to convince Walmart shoppers.” [Mediaite, 12/4/23]

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Sees Skulduggery in Hunter Biden Paying His Father Back for Truck. “While House Republicans said the money transfers link President Biden, who wasn’t in office at the time, to his son’s business activity in China, Democrats said they merely showed Hunter Biden reimbursing his father for some payments his father was making on a 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor that Hunter Biden was using. […] Joe Biden spent more than two hours in the dealership that day, Keen said, chatting with people and posing for photos. They include a shot of Keen shaking hands with Hunter Biden in front of the truck, as Joe Biden looks on, wearing his signature aviator sunglasses. After about 18 months, Joe Biden’s team contacted the dealership and asked if they would buy the truck back, according to Keen. ‘Joe Biden didn’t want it,’ he said. The dealership agreed, even though the truck was in bad condition, with considerable mileage and cosmetic damage and it needed extensive repairs. It was later resold, Keen said. Messages on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop also support details about the transaction and the monthly repayments from Hunter Biden to his father.” [The Wall Street Journal, 12/4/23]

Raw Story: Morning Joe Mocks Biden Impeachment Probe After Latest ‘Smoking Gun’ Revelation Flops. “MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski needled House Republicans for overhyping their latest revelation in the impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. House Oversight chairman James Comer (R-KY) obtained bank records showing Hunter Biden’s law firm had made monthly payments to his father in late 2018, but those three checks were reimbursement for a pickup truck the elder Biden had purchased and allowed him to use. ‘What kind of car was it?’ Scarborough asked. ‘It could have been a hot rod Lincoln. I don’t know, do you ride around in it in Tennessee, go through the Smoky Mountains? More smoking guns.’ Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also on Monday accused Biden of suppressing media coverage of his son’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election, which would have been before he was president, and the ‘Morning Joe’ co-hosts called out the bad-faith coverage by conservative media of her outlandish allegations. ‘Obsessed,’ Brzezinski said. ‘The fact that Joe Biden was so corrupt, so evil, so powerful that he could suppress this information, his White House could suppress this information, even when he was not in the White House,’ Scarborough said sarcastically. ‘It means he has, like, some X-Men/Avengers, I think it’s more X-Men. He has these X-Men powers where he can warp time or something. Maybe it is more, like, an Avengers multiverse thing – he’s not really present, but he is. I don’t think Ronna knows that. I’m wondering why she said the Biden White House did it when Biden wasn’t in the White House, and nobody corrected her.’” [Raw Story, 12/5/23]