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AG Garland grilled on Biden's apparent involvement in Hunter's business dealings

"Do you have any reason to dispute the evidence that indicates that President Biden was involved with and using money from Hunter Biden's business deals?" Garland was asked.

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Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) grilled the Biden administration's Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday about President Joe Biden's apparent involvement in his controversial son Hunter Biden's shady overseas business dealings.

"Do you have any reason to dispute the evidence that indicates that President Biden was involved with and using money from Hunter Biden’s business deals?" the Tennessee senator asked Garland at a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Garland declined to disclose details and maintained to Hagerty that a special counsel was not necessary, citing a probe into Hunter Biden by the US attorney's office in Delaware that he said can move forward without political interference.

Hagerty referenced the New York Post's reporting about Hunter Biden's closest business partner Eric Schwerin visiting the White House and the vice president's residence at least 19 times between 2009 and 2015 while Biden was vice president.

"Schwerin's visits to meet with Joe Biden or his staff cast further doubt on the president's claim to be uninvolved with his son’s business pursuits in countries where he held sway. Previous reporting showed that Hunter Biden introduced his dad to business associates from China, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine — including at the vice president’s residence in Washington," according to The Post.

The meetings reportedly included a sitdown with Biden in the West Wing. Visitor logs from the White House of former President Barack Obama reviewed by The Post cast doubt over Biden's claims he was not aware of his son's operations.

"There are emails and photographs that show that President Biden, while he was vice president, met several of Hunter Biden's business associates, including a Burisma executive—that's the energy company that paid Hunter Biden a million dollars per year to sit on its board—and the Russian billionaire who paid Hunter's firm $3.5 million around the same time," Hagerty told Garland.

The GOP lawmaker noted: "All of this is while President Biden was running portions of the United States foreign policy, including Ukraine."

Hagerty also cited prior reports on Hunter Biden's financial role in the family. "I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years," Hunter Biden said of his family's expenses in January 2019. "It's really hard. But don't worry, unlike pop, I won't make you give me half your salary."

"There's evidence that Hunter Biden paid for Joe Biden’s living expenses while he was vice president," Hagerty said, naming a 2010 email entitled "JRB Bills" that "discusses paying for the upkeep of Joe Biden's large lakefront home."

Another 2010 email from a Biden confidant to Hunter Biden said, "Your dad just called me he could use some positive news about his future earnings potential."

"So it seems President Biden was serving as vice president and running US foreign policy at the same time that his son Hunter Biden was raking in money from shady foreign business deals," Hagerty continued during questioning. "And this was money that was being diverted to benefit Vice President Biden."

Garland insisted it was department policy not to comment on the claims.

Hagerty pointed to comments made by White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who said at the beginning of April on ABC News: "Of course the president’s confident that his son didn’t break the law. But, most importantly, as I said, that's a matter that’s going to be decided by the Justice Department, by the legal process."

"It's something that no one at the White House has involvement in," Klain said.

This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Klain if any ethical lines were crossed. "The president is confident that his family did the right thing," Klain responded. "But, again, I want to just be really clear, these are actions by Hunter and his brother. They're private matters. They don't involve the president. And they certainly are something that no one at the White House is involved in."

Hagerty also brought into question remarks issued by White House communications director Kate Bedingfield alleging that Biden did not lie at a 2020 presidential debate when he maintained his son's innocence.

NBC News journalist Kristen Welker, who moderated the final debate, pressed Bedingfield at a late March press briefing about the accuracy of Biden's argument that "nothing was unethical" about his son's questionable financial deals abroad.

"We absolutely stand by the president's comment," Bedingfield said. "And I would point you to the reporting on this, which referenced statements that we made at the time, that we gave to The Washington Post, who worked on this story. But as you know, I don't speak for Hunter Biden so there's not more I can say on that."

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