Raskin blasts GOP’s top Biden impeachment witness Tony Bobulinski over interview with Oversight panel

Written by on February 20, 2024

Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, slammed Tony Bobulinski, one of House Republicans’ top witnesses in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, in a letter first obtained by ABC News.

Bobulinski, a onetime business associate of Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden who has since become a critic of the Biden family, appeared last week before the Oversight Committee, where he reiterated claims he made during the 2020 election that Joe Biden was “an enabler” of several of his family’s overseas business schemes that “sold out to foreign actors who were seeking to gain influence and access to Joe Biden and the United States government.”

“Your client’s interview was chaotic to the point of burlesque as he repeatedly yelled, shouted, filibustered, and hurled outlandish and baseless accusations and insults against Democratic Members and staff,” Raskin wrote in the letter sent on Tuesday to Bobulinski’s attorney as well as Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer.

“Mr. Bobulinski did not offer any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden,” Raskin said in his letter. “He also did not provide any evidence that President Biden was involved in his family’s business dealings.”

The transcript of Bobulinski’s appearance appears to show that when pressed, Bobulinski — who Comer has described as “the one honest, credible guy that was involved with the Bidens” — could not point to direct evidence that Joe Biden was involved in his family’s business dealings.

At one point in the interview, New York Rep. Dan Goldman questioned Bobulinski about a report by The Wall Street Journal that found that text messages and emails that Bobulinski handed over “didn’t show either Hunter Biden or [President Biden’s brother] James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture” that was being discussed.

“Can you point to anything in this text message where Jim Biden discusses Joe Biden at all?” Goldman asked.

Bobulinski responded, “Well, Jim Biden doesn’t actually respond to me in this text message. This is a text message on May 2nd at 11:40 p.m. from myself to Jim Biden that he doesn’t respond to.”

The transcript of the interview also shows that when Republican investigators asked Bobulinski to describe his two interactions with Joe Biden, who was a private citizen at the time, Bobulinski said the meetings did not include any direct discussion of any involvement in the business venture by Hunter Biden, James Biden, or two other partners, James Gilliar and Rob Walker.

In Bobulinski’s retelling, one encounter with Joe Biden focused on Bobulinski’s “background in detail,” the Biden “family’s background,” as well as President Biden’s “appreciation for the military” — but not any specifics regarding any business.

“I shook his hands, and we sat down. And I think the meeting was, you know, 45 minutes to an hour,” Bobulinski said regarding a meeting with Joe Biden in May 2017. “I remember going through my background in detail. I was very proud of it. I think he actually went first out of, you know, obviously, general respect at the time, and, you know, talked about some of the things they had dealt with as a family, their appreciation for the military, and stuff like that.”

Raskin, in his letter, also blasted Bobulinski for accusing “a broad group of individuals and organizations of lying,” including the multiple agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Wall Street Journal, and former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

In Hutchinson’s book, “Enough,” she wrote that she recalled that Bobulinski chose to wear a “ski mask” to conceal his identity during a secretive encounter with Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, at a campaign rally in Rome, Georgia, at which Meadows handed him a “folded sheet of paper or small envelope.”

“Cassidy Hutchinson is an absolute liar and a fraud,” Bobulinski told the panel. “[Meadows] didn’t hand me a single thing.”

Comer, speaking to reporters following Bobulinski’s appearance last week, said that Bobulinski had “articulated under oath that Joe Biden was ‘the brand’ the Bidens sold to enrich the family.”

“Tony Bobulinski testified he believes Joe Biden committed wrongdoing and continues to lie to the American people about his participation in his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Comer said.

In a subsequent statement to ABC News, a House Oversight spokesperson said, “Joe Biden not only knew about his family’s dealings with a Chinese Communist Party-linked energy company, but he also enabled them and participated in them. … We now have evidence revealing Joe Biden met with nearly all of his son’s foreign associates who funneled him millions of dollars, and evidence revealing he benefited from his son’s influence-peddling schemes. Democrats continue to ignore this corruption and smear Tony Bobulinski as they play defense attorney for the Bidens.”

Responding to Raskin’s letter, Bobulinski’s attorney, Stefan Passantino, said, “These dishonest criticisms entirely ignore the facts and substance of Mr. Bobulinski’s actual testimony, delivered under oath before Congress last week. The Democrats are deliberately misleading the American public and obfuscating the facts. Mr. Bobulinski has laid out the facts under oath and remains willing to appear before Congress live, under oath, and next to his former business associates to lay out the facts and the importance of his testimony.”

In his appearance before the panel, Bobulinski repeated previous claims that, while working on the prospective Chinese joint venture, Bobulinski penned an email proposing a 10% cut for the “the big guy,” a reference he said referred to Joe Biden, which Republicans have cited as evidence of the president’s involvement in his son’s overseas work. Others involved in the proposed venture have derided Bobulinski’s proposition as “not serious,” and Walker has testified that nobody responded to Bobulinski’s email after he sent it.

Gilliar, who was also on the email, told the Wall Street Journal in 2020 that he was not aware of “any involvement at anytime of the former vice president” and that “the activity in question never delivered any project revenue.”

Bobulinski told the committee last week that none of his disclosures to JPMorgan Chase had described President Biden — or the “the big guy” — as having any share or role in the venture.

“No ‘big guy’ secretly being involved in the company in your disclosure to JP Morgan?” Republican investigators asked Bobulinski, who replied, “I did not.”

Notably, three days after Bobulinski’s email was sent, a draft agreement setting up the prospective venture showed that each partner would receive 20% — but there is no mention of Joe Biden.


Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Current track