While conservative heat has for three years focused on the past business activities of President Biden's son Hunter, a key Senate Republican told CBS News this week that newly obtained banking records raise similar concerns about first brother James Biden.
"We have people with the Biden name, dealing with Chinese business people that have a relationship to the Communist Party," Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge. "I think James Biden was very much a part of this."
Bank records released by Republican senators this week indicate James Biden's company, the Lion Hall Group, received payments from a Chinese-financed consulting group in 2018, before his brother Joe announced he was running for president. Grassley says that same year James Biden and the president's son, Hunter, received monthly retainers totaling $165,000 — $100,000 to Hunter and $65,000 to James.
In a September 2020 report with Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, Grassley alleged Hunter, James, and James's wife Sara tapped into a line of credit Hunter set up with a Chinese business executive to purchase more than $100,000 in airline tickets, hotels and restaurants.
Newly released records from Republican investigators show what appears to be the 2017 application for that $99,000 line of credit bearing the signatures of Hunter Biden and the Chinese executive.
"These records we got are the first records that have ever been made public on this issue. Nobody else has them," Grassley said.
CBS News has also learned more than 150 financial transactions involving either Hunter or James Biden's global business affairs were flagged as concerning by U.S. banks for further review. Some of those concerns included large wire transfers. Such banking reviews could point to deeper problems — or they could prove innocuous. Information shared with CBS News does not indicate the outcome of the banking reviews.
In 2019, a bank handling business for members of the Trump family flagged multiple transactions for similar reviews, according to reports in The New York Times. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said at the time that company officials were not aware of the flagged transactions.
James Biden's name surfaced last year in connection to a separate international business venture, which he abandoned after a White House ethics review flagged it for potentially involving conflicts of interest.