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ROUNDUP: GOP Clown Car: James Comer and Jim Jordan Admit They Have No Proof Whatsoever of So-Called Bribery Tapes

Jun 15, 2023

This week, James Comer and Jim Jordan let it slip that they actually have no proof whether the so-called cataclysmic tapes of President Biden admitting to bribery exist. MAGA Republicans including Senator Chuck Grassley, and Reps. Comer and Jordan have spent weeks hyping up an audio recording that they claimed would put the nail in the coffin and justify their bogus investigations into President Biden, but just as you would expect, their smoking gun turns out to be nothing but a dud. Comer and Jordan continue to prove that their investigations are nothing more than a big fat failure of a clown show. They have zero credibility to conduct such investigations and prove they have the wrong priorities. 

In response, Congressional Integrity Project executive director, Kyle Herrig, issued the following statement: 

“This is the Republican game plan – they claim to have explosive evidence to get news coverage before admitting that they don’t actually have the evidence and can’t verify whether it is real. They have made abundantly clear that they don’t care about actual oversight and the truth but rather trying to get the American people to buy into their lies in an effort to hurt President Biden and Democrats and get their twice-indicted, failed former president re-elected.”

Washington Post: The GOP ‘bribery’ allegations against Biden remain transparently thin. “It also fairly obviously undercuts Grassley’s point. If there were recordings, that would seem to suggest that the FBI would have even more grounds to move forward with a probe — without appearing to have done so. Grassley is arguing that, given the breadth of allegations from the executive, it’s bizarre that the FBI didn’t investigate. The more obvious conclusion is that the claims were not the smoking gun Grassley is presenting. Even Comer pumped the brakes on it. He was asked, during an interview on Newsmax, if the recordings were ‘legit.’ He confirmed that the recordings were mentioned in the 1023 — but ‘we don’t know if they’re legit or not’ and that they were simply claimed to exist by the executive with whom the FBI source spoke.” [Washington Post, 6/13/23]

HuffPost: Republicans Acknowledge Biden Bribe Audio Might Not Exist. “The audio purported to be a compelling new detail about the FBI tip, which Republicans have demanded be made public since learning of it last month… Speaking about the recordings on Newsmax Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said lawmakers ‘don’t know if they’re legit or not, but we know that the foreign national claims he has them.’… ‘We don’t know for sure if these tapes exist,’ Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said on ‘The Chris Salcedo Show’ Wednesday when asked if Republicans would consider impeaching the president… ‘We don’t know really if the tapes exist, we just don’t know that, whether this was just a bluff on the part of, whoever the executive was, I think it was Mykola Zlochevsky, the CEO of the… the corrupt oligarch,’ Johnson said.” [HuffPost, 6/14/23].

Punchbowl News: Top Republicans skeptical about alleged Biden bribery tapes. “We asked the Kentucky Republican how confident he was that these audio recordings between the Bidens and the Burisma executive actually exist… ‘I don’t know that I can answer that right now,’ Comer told us. ‘I would talk to Grassley about it. All I know is it was in the form. That’s all I can say. But the FBI didn’t mention it when they briefed on it.’ Comer isn’t the only Republican steeped in the investigation world that is urging caution on the alleged tapes. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who authored a Senate report on Hunter Biden along with Grassley, told a radio host this week that the claims of tapes should be considered ‘with a grain of salt.’ ‘This could be coming from a very corrupt oligarch who could be making this stuff up,’ Johnson said on the Vicki McKenna Show. ‘You have to suspend your judgment until you know more.’” [Punchbowl News, 6/15/23]

Newsweek: Republican Admits Biden Tapes Might Not Be Smoking Gun. “The source of those claims, Grassley said, was reportedly a redacted FBI FD-1023 form that members of Congress are seeking the public release of—a sort of “tip sheet” that reportedly contains allegations from a ‘credible’ foreign source directly linking the Bidens to crimes. Whether the recordings exist, however, is a place few Republicans seem willing to go… And in an interview on Newsmax on Tuesday, Kentucky Representative James Comer left some room for reasonable doubt around the existence of any audio recordings involving the Bidens—only that someone the FBI interviewed claimed they existed. ‘I can confirm they were listed in the 1023 that the FBI redacted,’ Comer said on the program. ‘We don’t know if they’re legit or not, but we know the foreign national claims he has them.’” [Newsweek, 6/13/23]

Newsweek: More Republicans Cast Doubt on Joe Biden Tapes’ Legitimacy. “Several Republican lawmakers are pumping the brakes on the controversy surrounding the alleged audio recordings of President Joe Biden speaking with a Ukrainian executive who supposedly bribed Biden several years ago… But according to a senior law enforcement official who spoke with NBC News, the accusations contained in the FD-1023 were reviewed by the FBI and a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney when the report was first made in June 2020, and the claims were deemed unsubstantiated. Republicans themselves are also cautioning to take the information contained in the FD-1023 with heavy skepticism, including House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who said during an interview with Newsmax Tuesday, ‘We don’t know if [the tapes are] legit or not.’” [Newsweek, 6/14/23]

Independent: Biden chuckles when asked about bribery allegations from time as vice president. “​​Appearing on Newsmax, Mr Comer was asked if the recordings are ‘legit’. ‘We don’t know if they’re legit or not,’ he said, mentioning that the executive who spoke to the FBI source claimed that the recordings were real. On Fox News, Mr Grassley was asked if the document is ‘damning’ for Mr Biden. ‘There’s accusations in it, but that’s — it’s not for me to make a judgment about whether these accusations are accurate or not,’ he said.” [Independent, 6/15/23]