WASHINGTON — The White House defended President Joe Biden on Friday amid new accusations made public this week that his son Hunter Biden received special treatment in the investigation into his finances.
On Thursday, a House committee made public the transcripts of two senior IRS agents, who came forward to detail what they called a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” and said IRS findings supported more severe penalties.
One of the whistleblowers, Gary Shapley, presented several WhatsApp messages that appeared to show Hunter Biden telling a business partner that he was with his father, and threatening that the contact would “regret” his failure if a payment was not produced.
“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” the younger Biden allegedly said.
Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, issued a statement on Friday saying that the White House had no role in the decisions that were made in the case and Joe Biden has no ties to his son’s business dealings.
“As we have said many times before, the President was not in business with his son,” Sams said in a statement. “As we have also said many times before, the Justice Department makes decisions in its criminal investigations independently. In this case, the White House has not been involved.”
At the White House press briefing on Friday, press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to respond to questions about the alleged misconduct.
“Nothing has changed,” Jean-Pierre said when asked if her position that a claim by Biden that he has never discussed his son’s overseas business dealings is still accurate.
“What I can tell you is I know that my colleague has dealt with this. I just don’t have anything else to share,” she said.
Jean-Pierre said the White House had made “very clear” its response to the allegations.
Still, reporters pressed Jean-Pierre and White House spokesperson John Kirby on the matter but neither provided an answer.
“I appreciate the question,” Jean-Pierre said. “I believe my colleague at the White House counsel has answered his question already, has dealt with this, made it very clear. I just don’t have anything to share outside of what my colleagues have shared.”
“If you’re going to ask about this, I am not addressing it,” Kirby added. “I am not going to address this issue.”
Hunter Biden was one of the many guests to attend a state dinner for President Narendra Modi of India at the White House on Thursday. Attorney General Merrick Garland and his wife also attended.
“That’s his son. He is a family member. It is not uncommon for family members to attend events at the White House,” Jean-Pierre said when asked about the younger Biden’s attendance at the event.