“Where’s the money?” That was President Joe Biden’s response when asked last week about allegations that he had “sold out the country,” a response that he then clarified as a joke. It’s no joke any more though.
In the wake of a whistleblower report of a $5 million bribe allegedly accepted by then-Vice President Biden to influence policy in Ukraine, Republican lawmakers are now demanding transparency from the president regarding the substantial income he reported on his 2017 taxes.
The questions are long overdue. I first asked, “Where Is Hunter Biden’s Money?” just before the 2020 election, noting that civilian Biden had reported $9.5 million in income for fiscal year 2017 — almost twice as much as he had earned in the prior 19 years combined. A subsequent piece last year analyzed the accepted premise that this money had come from his book deal with Flatiron Books.
What I found was that “a notable $8.7 million gap exists between (his income tax-reported) $9.5 million net income in 2017 and the $809,709 of disclosed income in that year from book tour and related speaking events,” and “since his disclosure covers only part of 2017, we lack the insight into other income that may explain it.”
We lack the insight because this money flowed to Joe and Jill Biden by way of two S-corporations that they set up shortly after he left office in 2017, CelticCapri Corp. (his) and Giacoppa Corp. (hers). Despite claims that their tax returns had been released, the truth was that they only released their individual returns — not the upstream S-corporations’ returns. Without those documents, it’s simply impossible to know the sources of this anomalous income. What can be ascertained with basic math is that his dismal book sales could not have yielded that kind of money.
As I noted, “For analysis purposes, consider that his book had a retail price of $27 for hardcover and $18 for paperback, and assume a reasonable mix of sales so the average price was $23 (with no discounting). On 300,000 books sold, gross revenues would’ve been just under $7 million. As an author, Biden would’ve likely received about 12 percent of that using a blended royalty rate (15 percent hardcover and 7.5 percent paperback typical from publishers), yielding about $800,000 in income. Round it up to $1 million if you prefer. Double it. It’s still not close to $8 million.”
Members of Congress Push for Explanation
So the question of sources now looms large. How exactly does a former vice president rake in such a large amount of money without any logical explanation, without any functioning business, and without expertise in anything — except politics? Republicans in Congress are now interested in finding the answer.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., commented, “Biden should disclose (the source of the revenue) and every member of the press ought to hound him until he does.”
Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., also voiced concern about the unexplained income in light of the alleged pay-for-pay scheme, saying, “the fact that there are credible claims signaling that a foreign national bribed the president of the United States with cash in exchange for influence over U.S. policy decisions is appalling. The American people deserve to know who paid the Bidens and what exactly they were paid for.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said “the president seems to find selling out our country funny. We don’t. If he’s serious about proving our allegations wrong, he should release his family’s unredacted bank records and show the American people where all this money is coming from. The FBI can’t protect him forever.”
They have so far though.
The FBI and Democrats Protect Biden
The FBI’s motto of “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity” has been wilting under the heat of the bureau’s own improprieties. Without fail, it has only been reliable in eschewing all matters related to the Bidens, including ignoring Hunter’s laptop, allowing a false claim that it was disinformation to propagate, hiding the FD-1023 whistleblower report regarding the alleged bribe from the owner of Burisma after falsely assessing that report as disinformation, refusing to release the FD-1023 document to Congress when its existence was made known, finally allowing it to be viewed but only in redacted form (despite it being unclassified), and, within all of this smoke screening, obscuring the fact that Joe is “the Big Guy” — a mobster-like moniker that seems to follow him around the globe from China to Ukraine.
Congressional Democrats aren’t interested in investigating any of this either. Instead, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., has repeatedly pushed the lie that the DOJ had long ago closed the investigation into the bribery claims within the FD-1023, despite former Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement to the contrary. And after pushing the case for releasing former President Donald Trump’s tax returns all the way to the Supreme Court (which granted their release), there’s no indication that Democrats will show the same desire to see Biden’s returns — meaning the full returns, inclusive of upstream entities.
Push for Special Counsel
Having had enough, a group of Senate Republicans is now demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate the president’s role in his family’s overseas business deals — including the allegation of the $5 million bribe.
Under federal code, the attorney general is to appoint a special counsel “when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted” and “the investigation or prosecution … would present a conflict of interest for the Department (of Justice)” and “under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel.” If a sworn allegation from a “highly credible” source of a seven-figure bribe of a top elected official isn’t sufficient to meet that standard, then what is? And if the long list of cover-ups, document denials, and general nose-thumbing at Congress doesn’t indicate a partisan conflict of interest, then what does? Where are you, Garland?
Even with honest effort, it will take tenacity and perseverance to put this financial puzzle together. The Burisma executive purportedly told the informant that he had paid the Bidens through so many different bank accounts that it would take at least “10 years” to unravel the money trail. That may be true, but there is now evidence from both ends to pursue — evidence of both a source and a recipient.
If a new special counsel can work at the speed at which Jack Smith pursued the indictment of Trump, then it should not take long to connect any dots. Look inside the two S-corporations owned by Joe and Jill and follow the money to see where it leads — “a bunch of malarkey” or a criminal indictment and impeachment.