A Democratic representative on Wednesday revealed the fatal flaw in Republicans’ latest attempt to smear Joe Biden: Their supposed informant has already debunked their so-called evidence.
House Republicans have accused the Biden family of corruption for months but have been unable to provide any actual evidence linking Biden or his son Hunter to any wrongdoing. Most recently, House members were allowed to see an FBI document, which the GOP claims includes audio recordings of Biden and Hunter Biden accepting a bribe.
During an Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, Democratic Representative Daniel Goldman said he had been eager to see the FD 10-23, a form the FBI uses to note unverified information from confidential sources. But he soon realized that the document was “just a three-year-old secondhand, hearsay, uncorroborated rehashing of Rudy Giuliani’s bogus allegations that he got from corrupt Ukrainian officials.”
Giuliani and Donald Trump first pushed the conspiracy that the Biden family accepted a $10 million bribe to remove former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016 to stop a probe into Hunter Biden’s role at the oil company Burisma Holdings. Several Republican lawmakers say that not only does the FBI form they saw last week mention this bribe but that a Burisma executive has audio recordings of Biden and Hunter Biden accepting the money. Both Anna Paulina Luna and Marjorie Taylor Greene said that executive is Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.
This claim has been repeatedly debunked by multiple State Department and intelligence experts on Russia and Ukraine.
But Goldman highlighted the main flaw in Republicans’ argument: “You know who else also debunked these allegations? Mykola Zlochevsky”—the same man Republicans claim has the secret incriminating audio recordings.
When Zlochevsky was asked by Politico in 2020 whether Biden had ever assisted Burisma while he was vice president, he said simply, “No.” Zlochevsky also said that “no one from Burisma ever had any contacts with VP Biden or people working for him” while his son was on the company board.
Goldman also pointed out that the FBI, alongside a U.S. attorney appointed by then-President Donald Trump, had reviewed the bribery accusation when it was made in 2020 and found it to be unsubstantiated.
Republicans, led by Oversight Chair James Comer, have insisted that Biden is guilty of corruption, despite repeatedly admitting that they have no evidence, they don’t know if their information is legitimate, and they don’t even really care if the accusations are accurate. Comer barely seems to know how many supposed informants he has, but he still brings up the investigation every chance he gets.
“Chairman Comer has asked, ‘Why is this committee the only committee that’s investigating him?’ And that’s the right question: Why?” Goldman said. “Because everybody else who’s looked at it has found these allegations to be completely bogus. So let’s move on.”