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We Fact-Checked Republicans’ “Biden Corruption” Timeline. And It’s Bad.

The timeline is the entire basis of Republicans’ claims against Joe Biden. But a closer look reveals it’s riddled with errors.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
House Oversight Chairman James Comer

Republicans are moving to impeach Joe Biden, after months of accusing the president and his son Hunter Biden of corruption. But they have yet to produce any actual evidence of their claims, and the latest attempt to make their case is no better. Instead, it simply shows their desperation to discredit the president.

The House Oversight Committee has spearheaded the probe into the Bidens. Last month, the committee published a timeline going back as far as 2013 that supposedly shows the extent of the Bidens’ influence peddling overseas. But if you look closely, the timeline is riddled with errors. An analysis by The New Republic found at least 19 mistakes or misleading details—from mixed-up dates to messages and meetings that never happened. And nowhere does the timeline show actual wrongdoing by the president.

When the Oversight Committee released the timeline, it said it contained “important dates as to when Joe Biden knew and lied to the American people about his family’s business schemes.” It has updated the timeline as the investigation continues.

Out of the 106 dates listed in the timeline, only four are instances when Biden met someone related to Hunter’s business dealings. The timeline says that on December 4, 2013, Biden traveled to China with his son and met with Jonathan Li, the CEO of Chinese company Bohai Harvest, or BHR. Hunter later joined the BHR board.

While the timeline makes it sound like Biden went to China specifically to meet his son’s potential colleague, in reality, the then vice president went to Beijing on an official trip on behalf of the White House. He brought his son and one of his grandchildren along, as well as several reporters who noted it was common for Biden to bring family members in tow. While Hunter had business meetings with Li, Biden only met Li once. Hunter arranged for them to shake hands, but the two men did not interact further on the trip.

The timeline also says that Biden met Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, at a dinner Hunter hosted in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2015. The dinner actually took place nearly a month later, on April 16, 2015. Pozharskyi emailed Hunter after the meal to thank him for “giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together.”

But Biden only spoke to one person, a recently retired leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, the whole evening. One dinner attendee, then-president of the World Food Program USA Rich Leach, told The Washington Post that Biden “didn’t even sit down,” but only spoke to Father Alex Karloutsos. Karloutsos confirmed Leach’s account.

Republicans also allege Biden attended a meeting for Chinese energy company CEFC in Washington on May 1, 2017. This information comes from Republicans’ star whistleblower, Gal Luft, who has been charged with acting as a foreign agent for China and of arms trafficking. It is unclear if Biden attended the meeting—texts from Hunter never confirm whether his father put in an appearance, and Biden himself has denied being there—that actually took place on May 3, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Finally, the timeline states that on July 30, 2017, Hunter sent a WhatsApp message to an unspecified Chinese company that he was “sitting here with my father.” Hunter’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, however, has slammed the message and others as “complete fakes.”

Biden’s utter lack of involvement matches testimony from multiple supposed whistleblowers. Republicans have heard testimony from IRS agents, Hunter’s former business partner Devon Archer, and former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. None of them was able to provide concrete evidence that Biden was involved in his son’s business. In fact, both Archer and Parnas said nothing could be further from the truth.

Beyond the tenuous evidence connecting Biden to his son’s work, the rest of the timeline contains sloppy mistakes, including on details mentioned in previous Republican reports about the Bidens’ wrongdoing.

In one instance, the timeline says BHR joined with a Chinese Communist Party–affiliated company on September 1, 2015, to buy the U.S.-based automotive producer Henniges Automotive. The deal actually took place on September 15, 2015, according to a 2019 report by the Senate Finance Committee.

The timeline says Hunter met with the U.S. ambassador to Romania in that country on November 13, 2015. Hunter actually met the ambassador in Washington, D.C. He didn’t travel to Romania until the following year.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Hunter of receiving illicit payments. According to the timeline, he received a payment from his associate Rob Walker on November 11, 2015. It says that Robinson Walker, a company associated with Walker, also made payments to Hunter’s company Owasco P.C. on February 12, 2016, and May 23, 2016.

The reasons for the payments are unspecified, and all three dates are wrong. As the House Oversight Committee already stated in a report from May this year, the payments actually took place on November 9, 2015, February 24, 2016, and August 15, 2016.

Hunter Biden is currently under investigation for tax evasion, and he will likely go to trial. But proof of his guilt or innocence will not be found in the Oversight Committee’s timeline.

The timeline is sloppy work done by a party on a political vendetta. Republicans have already admitted multiple times that they have no proof of wrongdoing by the president. They have said they don’t know whether the information on which their accusations are based is even legitimate. They have also admitted they don’t really care.