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Could the alleged tapes shake the presidency? — President Biden reacts to bribery allegations

In a press encounter on Tuesday, President Biden appeared amused when questioned regarding purported audio recordings involving him and a Ukrainian businessman allegedly implicated in a bribery incident during his tenure as Vice President.

As he departed a gathering with American diplomats in the East Room of the White House, President Biden was asked by The Post, “Are there tapes that you accepted bribes, President Biden? Is that true?” He halted mid-step, turned around with a noticeable grin, and proceeded to depart without providing a verbal response.

This inquiry is linked to an announcement made by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Monday, who disclosed that a compensated FBI source claimed to possess 15 audio recordings of Hunter Biden, and two of President Biden, described as “insurance”. These recordings were reportedly held by the same Ukrainian businessman alleged to have delivered $5 million in bribes to both the then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter in 2015 and 2016.

Senator Grassley criticized the FBI for withholding information about these tapes from a file reviewed by members of the House Oversight Committee. Whether the FBI is currently in possession of these supposed tapes remains ambiguous.

On Tuesday, as President Biden moved away from the press, he declined a CNN reporter’s request for his response to the arraignment of former President Donald Trump, concerning charges related to the mishandling of classified documents. This occurred amidst allegations from numerous Republicans that President Biden is facing different treatment from the Justice Department, despite being under investigation for similar charges.

The bribery allegations against President Biden originated from an informant file assembled in June 2020, which resurfaced in public discourse this year when a whistleblower approached Senator Grassley. The file suggests that the Bidens received bribes to promote the interests of Ukrainian gas company Burisma and its owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

President Biden attempted to dismiss the allegations of bribery when queried about Representative Nancy Mace’s (R-SC) claim that the file contained “damning evidence” that the President “sold out his country”. His response, punctuated with humor, was “Where’s the money? I’m joking, it’s a bunch of malarkey.”

The Biden family continues to face scrutiny. Hunter Biden has been the subject of an ongoing investigation for alleged tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, money laundering, and lying about drug use on a firearm purchase form. Additionally, IRS whistleblowers have testified to the House Ways and Means Committee about an alleged cover-up in the Hunter Biden case managed by Delaware US Attorney David Weiss.

Several lawmakers have requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to probe deeper into Hunter Biden’s dealings. Some have even suggested extending this investigation to include President Biden’s potential role in his family’s international business engagements.

President Biden maintains that he has never discussed business with his son Hunter or brother James Biden, despite evidence suggesting otherwise from multiple sources, including Hunter’s abandoned laptop, photographs, and personal accounts.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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