WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman defended President Joe Biden on Friday in the wake of new allegations unsealed this week that his son Hunter Biden received preferential treatment in a high-profile federal prosecutor’s investigation.
Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, issued a statement Friday saying the White House had no decision-making role in the case and, separately, that Joe Biden has no ties to the operations. your son’s business.
On Thursday, a House committee released transcripts from two top IRS agents who testified behind closed doors this year that U.S. Attorney David Weiss tried to indict Hunter Biden on charges broader than the two misdemeanors related to the taxes for which he agreed to plead guilty. week.
The whistleblowers asserted before the House Ways and Means Committee that these efforts were blocked, alleging widespread misconduct in the investigation. The Justice Department has vehemently denied the charge.
One of the whistleblowers shared WhatsApp messages with the committee that appeared to show Hunter Biden telling a business associate that he was with his father and threatening that the contact would be “sorry” about his failure to respond to a demand for payment.
“As we have said many times before, the president was not in business with his son. As we have also said many times before, the Department of Justice makes decisions in its criminal investigations independently, and in this case, the White House has not been involved,» Sams said Friday. «As the president said, he loves his son and is proud that he accepts responsibility for his actions and is proud of what he is doing to rebuild his life.»
The statement addressed the breadth of the allegations, but did not address the specific new claims that were filed Thursday.
Pressed during the White House press conference on Friday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre largely refused to respond.
«Nothing has changed,» Jean-Pierre said when asked Friday whether the testimony undermines Biden’s claim that he has never discussed his son’s business dealings abroad, a claim reiterated by the president’s two press secretaries in the White House.
Jean-Pierre said the White House had made its response to the allegations «very clear.» “What I can tell you is that I know my colleague has taken care of this. I just don’t have anything else to share,” he said.
Pressed further, Jean-Pierre added: “I appreciate the question. I think my colleague on the White House council has already answered his question, he took care of this, he made it very clear. I just don’t have anything to share outside of what my colleagues have shared.»
White House spokesman John Kirby also declined questions on the subject, telling reporters: «If they’re going to ask about this, I’m not going to address it.»
He repeated: “I am not going to address this issue.”
The White House has defended the investigation as free from any political interference and referred questions to the Justice Department. The Justice Department has also denied the claims.
Hunter Biden was among the guests who attended a state dinner for India’s President Narendra Modi at the White House on Thursday. Another was Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Jean-Pierre defended Hunter Biden’s attendance at the high-profile event, where he said he did not know if Biden spoke to Garland.
«I can’t say if the president had a conversation with the attorney general last night,» Jean-Pierre said.
Regarding Hunter’s attendance, he added: “That’s his son. He is a member of the family. It is not uncommon for family members to attend events at the White House.»
Hunter Biden’s attorney sought to cast doubt on the whistleblower’s claims in a statement Friday, dismissing questions about the integrity of the investigation as a partisan attack and invoking Hunter’s drug addiction to distance the president from threats from your son.
«Any verifiable words or actions of my client, in the midst of horrible addiction, are solely her own and have no connection to anyone in her family,» Chris Clark said, adding that the period covered a time of «turbulence and addiction.» . for the president’s son.
He called the «absurd and profoundly irresponsible» allegations that the investigation «wasn’t thorough, or took shortcuts, or didn’t give my client free rein.»
“Selective, biased and politically motivated leaks have plagued this issue for years. They are not only irresponsible, they are illegal,” he continued, saying the testimony of “a very biased individual” should cast doubt on the whistleblower’s motives.
«It is dangerously misleading to draw any conclusions or inferences based on this document,» he said.