“Despicable”: White House rips “incredibly ugly and inappropriate” GOP attack on Biden’s dead son

"It says a lot about the chairman, which is not good, by the way," says press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Published March 2, 2023 11:36AM (EST)

Joe Biden talks with his son U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden (L) at Camp Victory on July 4, 2009 near Baghdad, Iraq. (Khalid Mohammed-Pool/Getty Images)
Joe Biden talks with his son U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden (L) at Camp Victory on July 4, 2009 near Baghdad, Iraq. (Khalid Mohammed-Pool/Getty Images)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., on Tuesday questioned why Beau Biden, the late son of President Joe Biden, was never prosecuted in an investigation into illegal contributions to his father's 2008 presidential campaign.

Comer, who has vowed to lead a congressional investigation into the business dealings of Biden's other son Hunter, questioned why prosecutors have not charged Hunter Biden during an interview with former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs — and suggested that the Justice Department should have gone after the president's late son Beau before his death as well.

David Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware, has been investigating Hunter Biden's tax affairs since 2018, and prosecutors are close to wrapping up the case according to recent reports. Authorities have also looked into the president's son for allegedly lying on a gun application form. Comer in the interview questioned why charges had not yet been brought and suggested that Weiss has been too sympathetic to the Biden family. He then brought up Beau Biden, who served as Delaware's attorney general, before passing away in 2015 due to a brain tumor. President Biden has said that he believes the cancer was caused by burn pits Beau was exposed to while serving in Iraq.

"This U.S. attorney had had an opportunity to go after the Bidens years ago," Comer complained. "In fact, it was Beau Biden, the president's other son, that was involved in some campaign donations from a person that got indicted, as well as Joe Biden was involved in some of these campaign donations when he was a senator, and then when he ran for president against Obama."

"But nothing ever happened," the Kentucky lawmaker continued. "So I don't know much about this U.S. attorney other than he's had an opportunity to investigate the Bidens before and he chose not to. We all know that he's just been silent for a long time."

Comer then moved his focus to Hunter Biden, claiming "we know what's on that laptop" and questioned why Weiss still hasn't prosecuted him.

"There's enough to indict Hunter Biden now, there was enough to indict Hunter Biden three or four years ago with what's on the laptop," he said. "So for whatever reason, this U.S. attorney hasn't produced very many results."

The campaign donation that Comer referenced was from Christopher Tigani, a Delaware liquor executive, who contributed to Joe Biden's unsuccessful campaign for president in 2008, according to The Daily Beast.

Tigani pled guilty to campaign finance charges in 2011 because of a donation reimbursement scheme, after which Beau Biden recused himself from a state investigation into the donations and brought on special prosecutor E. Norman Veasey to lead the two-year investigation.

The report found that 19 lawmakers unknowingly received straw donations from Tigani, including Joe and Beau Biden, and ultimately no public officials were ever charged or prosecuted.

"Although some witnesses made vague references or speculated to the effect that candidates or their agents knew about or suggested reimbursements, investigators did not find credible evidence to support a charge," Veasey's report stated.

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Comer's reference to the late Beau Biden on the podcast contradicts his previous statements that he is only interested in investigating President Biden, not his family. Just last week, he told Fox News that "at the end of the day, this is an investigation of Joe Biden." He also told Newsmax last year that he doesn't "care" about Hunter Biden's personal life nor his drug addiction.

During a Wednesday afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to Comer's appearance on the right-wing podcast, calling his comments "ugly" and "inappropriate."

"It's completely inappropriate. It's ugly, the comments that he made. It says a lot about the chairman, which is not good, by the way," Jean-Pierre said, answering a question from a Daily Beast reporter. "To make the statement that he did is incredibly ugly and inappropriate."

"Instead of House Republicans focused on attacking the President and his family, why don't they focus on what the American people put them in office to do, which is to deliver for them," she continued from the podium. She also condemned House Republicans for their various "political stunts."

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield also commented on Comer's "appalling" comments on a Wednesday morning appearance on MSNBC. "It's despicable," she noted. "And frankly, it says quite a lot—none of it good—about Jim Comer."

By Samaa Khullar

Samaa Khullar is a former news fellow at Salon with a background in Middle Eastern history and politics. She is a graduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute and is pursuing investigative reporting.

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Beau Biden Gop Hunter Biden James Comer Joe Biden