James Biden: FBI Secretly Recorded Joe Biden's Brother's Calls as They Investigated Attorney Who Paid $100K to His Consulting Firm: Report

A lawyer representing James Biden strongly claimed that his "work has never involved speaking with or providing access to his brother."

The FBI reportedly recorded President Biden's brother James as part of a bribery investigation involving a Mississippi trial attorney who paid $100,000 to his consulting firm in the late 1990s, according to a report on Sunday. James Biden was looking to build a consulting firm with the attorney at the time.

Richard Scruggs, the trial attorney, engaged the services of James and Sara Biden's Washington, DC consulting firm as part of efforts to garner support for tobacco legislation under consideration by Congress in 1998, the Washington Post reported. Neither James Biden, 74, nor his brother, Joe Biden, 81, were implicated in any major criminal wrongdoing in connection to the case.

Secretly Recording James Biden

James Biden
James Biden with his wife Sara Biden X

However, this disclosure surfaces amid an impeachment investigation focused on alleged influence-peddling by members of the president's family. "I probably wouldn't have hired him if he wasn't the senator's brother," Scruggs shared with the Washington Post the reason he forked over cash to James Biden's firm.

"Jim was never untoward about his influence," he added. "He didn't brag about it or talk about it. He didn't have to. He was the man's brother."

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Scruggs sought around $368 billion, requiring Congress to waive antitrust provisions as part of a settlement deal. In 1997, Joe Biden initially expressed hesitancy, stating he was "not yet convinced that this settlement is a good deal."

Despite his initial reluctance, Biden, who held a prominent position as the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, eventually became one of the most significant supporters of the settlement.

However, the bill did not pass Congress. Biden attributed the failure to an intense campaign by the tobacco industry, which he claimed had influenced Republicans.

In the process of seeking support from the then-Delaware senator, Scruggs reportedly made several $10,000 payments to Lion Hall, the consulting firm owned by James and Sara Biden, spanning approximately a year, as reported by the Washington Post.

Although Scruggs was uncertain whether James influenced his brother to support the bill, he expressed hope that such influence had taken place in an interview with The Washington Post.

A lawyer representing James Biden strongly claimed that his "work has never involved speaking with or providing access to his brother." The lawyer did not respond to additional inquiries from The Washington Post.

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden Twitter

Lion Hall has become a focal point for Republican congressional investigators who are examining whether the president's brother used the company to channel funds to other members of the Biden family.

James Comer, the House Oversight Committee Chairman (R-Ky.), raised concerns about a $40,000 check labeled as a "loan repayment" from James to Joe in 2017. Comer alleges that this payment constituted "laundered" money from the Chinese government-linked CEFC, citing a series of transactions to the president's brother's account as evidence.

In the Center of Controversy

The White House has strongly rejected the notion that the $40,000 payment from James to Joe Biden was "laundered" money, highlighting bank records that confirm the president did, in fact, extend a loan to his brother.

Joe Biden

In November, the House GOP's impeachment inquiry issued subpoenas for testimony from both James and Hunter Biden, scheduled for this month. However, neither appeared.

Hunter Biden expressed willingness to testify publicly, but Republicans rejected that proposal, insisting on a closed-door appearance.

Last week, the GOP-led House officially authorized the impeachment probe into Biden concerning the alleged dealings. Republicans are considering the option of holding Hunter Biden in contempt, and if pursued, it would be up to the Justice Department to decide whether to press charges.

Years after the controversy surrounding the tobacco bill, the FBI launched an investigation into Scruggs over an alleged bribery scheme, which involved purported plans to channel $40,000 to a local judge.

During this investigation, phone calls were recorded, including ones from James Biden, who, at the time, was reportedly working on establishing a firm with Scruggs' partners.

Although James Biden was not implicated in the bribery scheme, Scruggs and some of his associates were eventually sentenced to jail.

A lawyer representing the president's brother claimed that James Biden was unaware of the scheme, and any plans for a partnership with Scruggs' associates did not materialize.

Hunter Biden and Joe Biden
Hunter Biden and Joe Biden at the White House Twitter

Richard Scruggs became friends with Biden's brother through his association with Steve Patterson, an aide to former Sen. John Stennis (D-Miss.), as reported by the Washington Post.

It's worth noting that Stennis, a segregationist, had significant differences in his views compared to Biden during his early tenure in the Senate.

The future president developed a friendship with Patterson in the subsequent years, and his brother James also became acquainted with Patterson, who played a role in connecting James Biden and Scruggs during the 1990s.