FBI secretly taped James Biden as it probed attorney who paid $100K to his consulting firm:

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President Biden’s brother James was secretly recorded by the FBI during a bribery investigation into a Mississippi trial attorney who shelled out $100,000 to his consulting firm in the late 1990s, a report said on Sunday.

Richard Scruggs, the trial attorney, hired James and Sara Biden’s DC consulting firm while seeking to gin up support for tobacco legislation being contemplated by Congress in 1998, the Washington Post reported.

Neither James, 74, nor his brother President Joe Biden, 81, were implicated in any major criminal wrongdoing in the case. But the revelation comes amid an impeachment probe into alleged influence-peddling by the president’s family members.

“I probably wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t the senator’s brother,” Scruggs told the Washington Post about why 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.”

Scruggs, who was later sent to prison over a separate bribery scheme, had been closing in on a deal to push the tobacco companies to cough up billions of dollars in a lawsuit alleging they withheld information that their products were addictive.

Richard ‘Dickie’ Scruggs served roughly five years in prison. NBC

Seeking some $368 billion, Scruggs needed Congress to waive antitrust provisions as part of a settlement deal. Joe Biden in 1997, initially said, he was “not yet convinced that this settlement is a good deal.”

Despite initially being reluctant, Joe Biden, who sat on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee as the ranking member, ultimately became one of its most significant backers.

Ultimately, the bill failed to clear Congress. Biden, at the time, cited an intense campaign by the tobacco industry that he claimed swayed Republicans.

Lion Hall

While seeking support from the then-Delaware senator, Scruggs made multiple $10,000 payments to Lion Hall, James and Sara Biden’s consulting firm, over roughly a year, according to the Washington Post.

Scruggs was unsure if James convinced his brother to back the bill, but told The Washington Post, “I hope he did.”

A lawyer for James Biden was adamant that his “work has never involved speaking with or providing access to his brother.” The lawyer has not responded to requests for additional comment from The Post.

Sara and James Biden’s financial machinations have drawn attention from House GOP investigators. AP

Lion Hall has come into focus for Republican congressional investigators looking into whether the president’s brother has used the company to filter money to the rest of the Biden family.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has flagged a $40,000 check marked as a “loan repayment” from James to Joe in 2017.

Comer alleges that the payment was “laundered” money from the Chinese government-linked CEFC. As evidence, Comer points to a series of transactions to the president’s brother’s account.

James Comer and Jim Jordan have been investigating the Biden family’s business dealings. Getty Images

The White House, however, has forcefully rejected that notion and highlighted bank records that indicate the president did indeed make a loan to his brother.

In November House GOP impeachment inquiry subpoenaed both James and Hunter Biden for testimony this month, but both men skipped it. Hunter Biden offered to testify publicly, but Republicans slapped that down, insisting that he appear behind closed doors.

Last week, the GOP-led House voted to formally authorize the impeachment probe into Biden over the alleged dealings.

Republicans have been mulling the possibility of holding Hunter Biden in contempt, which would then go to the Justice Department to decide whether or not to press charges.

The taping

Years after the tobacco bill hubbub, FBI authorities began to investigate Scruggs over an alleged bribery scheme involving supposed plans to funnel $40,000 to a local judge.

During that investigation, agents recorded phone calls, including ones from James Biden, according to the report. At the time, James Biden was reportedly attempting to create a firm with Scruggs partners.

Although James Biden was never implicated in the bribery scheme, Scruggs and some of his partners were ultimately sent to jail.

A lawyer for the president’s brother insisted he was never aware of that scheme and nascent plans for a partnership “never got off the ground.”

President Biden has reportedly been deeply bothered by the attacks on his family. Corbis via Getty Images

Recordings reviewed by the Washington Post showed much of the recorded calls James Biden was on, discussed the potential partnership.

“I told him we had formalized our relationship with you guys,” lawyer Tim Balducci told him during one call.

“I told him about the real Washington presence, that this was not going to be a bulls––, you know, a shingle hung somewhere in the window,” he added. “That this was a real deal, that Sara was coming on, you know, as a named partner, an equity share in the venture, that we were changing the name of the firm to include her.”

“Hunter was going to be involved, and you were going to be involved.”

Scruggs told the Washington Post that he never really intended to be part of that potential venture.

How Scruggs met the Bidens

Scruggs became chummy with Biden’s brother due to his ties with Steve Patterson, an aide to former Sen. John Stennis (D-Miss.), the Washington Post reported.

Stennis was a segregationist who differed dramatically from Biden during his early days in the upper chamber.

The eventual president became friendly with Patterson in the years that followed, as did his brother James. Patterson reportedly connected James and Scruggs during the 1990s.

“Biden wouldn’t have known anybody in Mississippi if not for me. That’s just a fact. I take ownership of that,” Patterson told the outlet. “Biden loved Mississippi.”

The president has insisted he was not ensnared in the financial maneuverings of his family. AP

The Post contacted the White House for comment. Scruggs was not available for comment.

The White House has contended there isn’t sufficient evidence to launch an impeachment probe and amplified several Republicans who have publicly aired their misgivings about the inquiry.



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