House Republicans downplay meeting with key Biden aide

By | September 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — A close personal aide to Joe and Hunter Biden met with the House Oversight and Accountability Committee earlier this year to answer questions about the Biden family’s finances.

Republicans now say the meeting didn’t matter.

Eric Schwerin, a former business associate of Hunter Biden who also worked as an accountant for Joe Biden, told committee staff in March that the president had no involvement in his son’s business, contrary to Republican claims that led to a impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. Representatives.

Democrats have repeatedly cited the interview this year, but a Republican committee spokesperson he told Fox News last week that the committee “never interviewed Schwerin,” apparently because the session was not transcribed like other witness interviews.

“There was a meeting but it was about the production of documents,” the spokesperson said. “There was never a transcribed interview or deposition.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.), the top Democrat on the oversight committee, rejected the notion that there had been no interview in a letter to committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) on Tuesday.

“I write to express my deep concern about the baffling and increasingly embarrassing efforts by you and your staff to completely misrepresent and deny basic, easily verifiable facts about the eight-month-long investigation that has already taken place,” Raskin wrote.

Raskin suggested that, even without a transcript, the meeting with Schwerin still followed the same protocols as other interviews conducted in Capitol Hill offices.

“Mr. Schwerin spent hours answering substantive questions from Republican and Democratic staff about his relationship with Hunter Biden, as well as the history, structure and operations of Hunter Biden’s various business entities,” Raskin wrote.

A spokesperson for the oversight committee said that Raskin’s letter was barely worth a response and that the committee intended to conduct a transcribed interview with Schwerin anyway.

“The oversight committee never held a transcribed interview or deposition with Eric Schwerin,” the spokesperson said. “The Ranking Member is well aware of the difference between a formal Committee discussion and an informal meeting.”

Hunter Biden received millions of dollars in compensation from foreign nationals, including during his father’s final years as vice president, which ethics efforts and government officials say created the appearance of a conflict of interest. The Republicans looked for evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s affairs and they did Schwerin asked earlierlongtime friend of the Biden family, on the cash flows between father and son that Schwerin apparently controlled.

So far, Republicans have produced no evidence to implicate the president in wrongdoing.

House committees have conducted transcribed interviews with several witnesses this year as part of their investigations into the Biden family. The Ways and Means Committee heard from a pair of IRS agents who said the Justice Department had been slow to pursue its investigation into Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes, while the oversight committee spoke to the former Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer. The transcripts of those interviews became key evidence both for and against the president’s alleged corruption.

Raskin has previously highlighted instances of Republicans offering inaccurate or misleading descriptions of their investigative work, such as Comer’s claims about Archer’s testimony regarding Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian gas company.

Raskin said Schwerin provided exculpatory statements during his interview that Republicans found uncomfortable.

“During the interview, Schwerin explained that, between 2009 and 2017, he performed a variety of administrative and accounting duties for the then-Vice President and Hunter Biden,” Raskin continued. “You further stated that you have the ability to view President Biden’s bank account transactions and that you are unaware of any involvement by President Biden in the financial conduct of the businesses of his family members.”

Schwerin’s attorney confirmed Democrats’ characterization of the meeting to Fox News but declined to comment further.

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