The President’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired

by | Oct 23, 2023


Below is my column in The Hill on the recent discovery of a $200,000 payment to Joe Biden from his brother James Biden. The investigation into the massive influence peddling operation of the Bidens has revealed a consistent pattern of corruption. Frank, James, and Hunter all were in financial distress at different points with few discernible skills or success to offer the market. What they had was access to Joe Biden and all three are accused of cashing in on that access. Few deny that the Bidens engaged in open influence peddling. It is also undeniable that Joe Biden knew that they were influence peddling given the coverage and contacts over the years. Now, the House is pursuing the personal financial records of the Bidens after a taunting invitation of Joe Biden to show him the money.

Here is the column:

“Where’s the money?” That laughing quip from President Joe Biden was his surprising reaction to the disclosure that a trusted FBI informant had conveyed an alleged bribe worth millions, paid to Joe Biden by a Ukrainian businessman.

Biden seemed almost to morph into the Cuba Gooding Jr. character in “Jerry Maguire,” getting Tom Cruise’s character to chant “show me the money” over and over again. Much like in the movie, the pundits and politicians picked up the refrain, insisting that nothing matters unless critics can show a direct payment to Jill or Joe Biden among the millions sent to Biden family members. At the same time, they opposed any investigation by the House.

Now, the House Oversight Committee committee has released evidence of one such transfer that might even satisfy Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The payment occurred in 2018, after the president’s brother, James Biden, received $200,000 from a company called Americore. James has long been criticized for raw influence peddling, and Americore was one of the companies where he had reportedly suggested access to sell to his brother.

On March 1, 2018, Americore wired James the money to his personal rather than his business account. On the very same day, James wrote a check in that same amount to the personal bank account of his brother Joe, who had left office as Vice President and was widely discussed as a possible candidate for the presidency.

James listed the money as a “loan repayment.”

“Loans” have long been a source of controversy with the Bidens. IRS whistleblowers, for example, detailed how Hunter took massive payments from corrupt foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement. He allegedly neither paid them back nor paid taxes on the money.

Even if Joe Biden did loan almost a quarter of a million dollars to his brother, it would raise concerns over whether this disbursement came while he was vice president. The payments could have given Joe Biden an interest in not just the influence peddling of his brother but also the viability of this company.

The White House has insisted that it was a loan to his brother that was repaid. But if there is no evidence of an actual loan, it would constitute a payment from an influence-seekling company to Joe Biden.

At a minimum, the payment shows the fluidity of the accounts and finances of the Biden influence-peddling operation. While I have long criticized influence peddling by both Republicans and Democrats for decades, the Bidens constitute a class to themselves. The House committees have now traced millions of dollars passing through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts to Biden family members, even grandchildren.

This operation has become undeniable in recent months. Devan Archer admitted under oath that they were selling the “Biden Brand” and suggested that these companies were seeking influence and access to Joe Biden.

While the media long dismissed this corruption scandal, it recently adopted a final line of defense that acknowledged that Hunter and his associates were selling influence, but it was a mere “illusion” of influence.

That is why the president and his allies in the media began to channel Cuba Gooding Jr.

It is important to note that it is not necessary for Joe Biden to directly receive money to constitute either a crime or an impeachable offense. As I stated in my testimony at the first Biden impeachment hearing, payments to Joe Biden’s family would be considered a “benefit” to him under standard criminal case law.

Nevertheless, Biden’s taunt to show him the money would ordinarily send the media into a frenzy — much like Gary Hart’s invitation for reporters to follow him to see if he was philanderer. They followed him directly to a ship called “Monkey Business,” and that ended with a career-ending photo of Hart with Donna Rice on his lap.

Few in the media were eager to follow the money after Joe’s taunt for the very reason that they were eager to follow Hart — they are fairly certain what they would find.

There have long been allegations of cross-benefits and payments involving Joe Biden. That includes a deal with the Chinese to pay for an expensive office for the use of Joe and Jill Biden, as well as use of shared accounts and credit cards (including one card used by Hunter to pay for a prostitute). There were also references to taxes and house costs being paid out of these accounts for Joe and Jill Biden. Indeed, Hunter Biden complained that he was being forced to fork out half of his earnings to his father.

That brings us back to the latest transfer. At a minimum, the payments show that Joe Biden was aware that his brothers and his son were in dire need of funds throughout these years. Frank Biden, the president’s younger brother, evaded efforts to force him to pay damages for his involvement in a reckless driving death in California. The surviving daughters of the victim in that crash wrote repeatedly to then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) to ask for his help in getting Frank to accept responsibility and pay up. Just before running for Vice President, Biden coolly responded: “As you are aware…Frank has no assets with which to satisfy the judgment. The senator regrets that this is where matters stand and that he cannot be more helpful.”

In Hunter’s case, he was so financially desperate that he threatened a Chinese figure to send him money or else his father would take action. In one message, Hunter told a Chinese businessman that his father was sitting next to him to make sure the payment came through.

Hunter’s financial woes were so bad that James was dispatched (after allegedly speaking with Joe Biden) to offer Hunter a “safe harbor” to avoid disaster.

Now Joe Biden is claiming that he had to give James almost a quarter of a million dollars.

During this entire period, there was a steady stream of coverage about the influence peddling of James, Frank, and Hunter Biden. According to the Oversight Committee, it now appears that James received $600,000 in loans from Americore despite the company’s own financial struggles.

The evidence of money transferred from one of these companies through James to Joe Biden’s personal accounts will likely produce one immediate change: the media is likely to move the goal posts yet again.

Of course, influence-peddling is itself corrupt, and benefits to one’s family are already sufficient for criminal charges (including as with the charges brought against Sen. Bob Menendez). However, now, even money received by Joe and Jill Biden will be deemed insufficient to justify further investigation.

Now, they will argue, there must be a money trail directly from one of the companies, preferably marked down on the books as a “bribe” and not as a “loan repayment.” And even pictures of Joe sitting with Hunter’s clients in restaurants and offices will be insufficient to establish knowledge or involvement.

When it comes to the Biden “Monkey Business,” even a picture of a Burisma executive on the president’s lap would not do. The new demand will be somewhere between an envelope of cash and an outright confession.

Reprinted with permission from


  • Jonathan Turley

    Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, and other schools.

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