House Republican leaders alleged in a Thursday letter that the White House has narrowed its denials about President Joe Biden's involvement in Hunter Biden's foreign business deals.
White House spokesman Ian Sams said on June 23 and June 29 that "the president was not in business with his son." That statement is a "clear shift" from the White House's previous messaging, according to the letter by Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), James Comer (Ky.), and Jason Smith (Mo.).
Joe Biden has repeatedly made broader denials, saying in 2019 that "I’ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings." White House officials said the president stood by the claim.
But growing evidence of Biden's proximity to his son's business dealings has made his blanket denial harder to sustain.
A whistleblower revealed in closed-door congressional testimony on June 22 that Hunter Biden in a 2017 text threatened a Chinese business partner by invoking Joe Biden's name. Photos revealed that Hunter Biden was at his father's house when he sent the text, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Hunter Biden and his father were at the time sharing office space in Washington, D.C., with their Chinese partners, according to emails from Hunter's abandoned laptop.
It was one day after the whistleblower's testimony that Sams first issued the statement about Joe Biden not having done "business with his son."
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on July 5 said in response to a reporter's questioning that what Biden said about not discussing business with his son "stands," though she refused to comment further.
Biden's blanket denial has only become harder to defend in recent weeks.
The House Republicans' letter came on the same day that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) released an FBI report on allegations that a Ukrainian energy executive paid $10 million in bribes to Joe and Hunter Biden. IRS whistleblowers testified this month that the Biden administration's Justice Department stymied their investigation into Hunter Biden.
In the letter, sent to White House lawyers, the lawmakers ask whether the administration is "now admitting President Biden knew of and was involved in Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings" and if the president was "financially compensated for his involvement."
"The American people must have confidence that the President of the United States is not compromised by foreign interests," the Republicans wrote.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.