James Biden Admits 'Loan Repayment' to Joe Was Possible Thanks to Chinese Money

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Last week, First Brother James Biden gave testimony as part of an impeachment inquiry about his financial dealings with China and also with his brother Joe Biden. The NY Post reports that during that testimony, James Biden admitted that the money he used to repay a loan from Joe came to him as part of a multi-million dollar deal with China.


James, 74, insisted that he didn’t believe the company, CEFC China Energy, was controlled by Beijing — claiming that “I just misspoke” when telling the IRS in a 2022 interview that first son Hunter Biden, who was partnering with his uncle, had described CEFC chairman Ye Jianming as a “protégé” of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Where did you believe the source of the money that was going into [Hunter Biden’s company] Owasco, prior to being sent to you, was coming from?” an investigator asked James during the Feb. 21 interview.

“CEFC,” James conceded — following an extended back-and-forth in which the first brother’s attorney Paul Fishman tried to argue that “money’s fungible” before being reminded by a House staffer that James “did not have sufficient funds” to make the $40,000 alleged loan repayment on his own, “so it is traceable.”

The Post story includes a link to a transcript of James Biden's entire testimony. So here's what James says happened as taken from his own testimony. James and Joe both share a law firm called Monzack law firm. In 2017, after Joe left office and made some money from a book but before he was running for president, James asked Monzack if his brother was in a position to loan him money. He said he wanted to do this to prevent putting Joe in an awkward position of being too broke to give him a loan. The answers here labeled "A" are James Biden speaking:


A I told his attorney, Mel Monzack, that I would. I don't even remember having the discussion with my brother to borrow the $200,000.  I asked, because I didn't want to put him in a position that, if he wasn't in the position, that I didn't want to ask him for something was inappropriate.

Q But, to be very clear, those were loans from your brother, Joe Biden. 

A Yes.  But was being held by Mel Monzack, one of his original law partners.  

Q And did you explain to Mel Monzack or your brother exactly where you were going to get the money to pay him back?  

A No.  

There was also another loan of $40,000 which also came to James from the law firm he shared with his brother Joe.

Q Now, bank records that the committee received from PNC Bank on October 17th, 2023, Bates No. PNC00001219, show that, on July 28th, 2017, so about 4 weeks earlier, you received $40,000 to that same account wired to you from the client trust account at Mel Monzack.   

A Yes. 

Q Is that wire transfer your brother loaning you the $40,000?  

A Yes, sir.  

Q So, to be clear, your brother loaned you $40,000 at the end of July 2017.  And you repaid him $40,000 about 4 weeks later in early September --  

A Yes, sir.  

So the news here is that James Biden has finally admitted the money he used to repay that loan came from one of Hunter Biden's deals with a Chinese company. "Fishman" in this exchange is former US attorney Paul Fishman who is acting as James Biden's attorney. As you'll see, Mr. Fishman is doing his best to cloud the issue.


Q Regarding the $40,000 payment that you made, were you aware that the $40,000 was funded from money that was deposited by a CEFC entity?   

Mr. Fishman.  Was -- I'm sorry.  Wasn't it deposited by Owasco -- from Owasco, I think?  

Mr. [redacted] It goes from a CEFC entity to Owasco to a Lion Hall Group into Mr. Joseph Biden -- excuse me -- James Biden's -- 

Mr. Fishman.  Uh-huh. 

Mr. [redacted] -- personal account, and then it is written over to Joe Biden.

Mr. Fishman.  Oh, okay.   

Mr. [redacted] Were you aware the $40,000 that was used to send to Monzack was sourced from a Chinese entity?

Mr. Fishman.  I think, again, I think the money's fungible.  Right?  So I don't know how much goes in that account.  So you can't --  

Mr. [redacted] We've traced it in the Fourth Bank Records Memorandum, and he did not have sufficient funds.  So it is traceable.  

Mr. Fishman.  Okay. 

Mr. Biden.  No. 

Mr. [redacted] Did you at any point talk with Hunter Biden about the source of the funds that you received from Owasco in order to fund the $40,000 payment eventually to Monzack?  

Mr. Fishman.  I'm sorry.  I don't understand the question.  

Mr. Biden.  I don't understand the question. 

Fishman tries to argue that money is fungible and therefore there's no telling where the money used to repay the loan to Joe Biden came from. Unfortunately, records show that there was less than $50 in that particular account until James Biden's wife Sara deposited $50,000 into it. That $50,000 came from $150,000 wired to the Lion Hall Group, James and Sara's company, just weeks earlier. So eventually, James Biden admits the ultimate source of the funds he used to repay the loan to his brother Joe.


Mr. [redacted]  I'm asking him where he believed -- James Biden was receiving money in Lion Hall Group from Owasco, PC, around this timeframe.  Where did you believe the source of the money that was going into Owasco, prior to being sent to you, was coming from? 

Mr. Biden.  CEFC.

CEFC was the Chinese energy company. There's a nice graphic in the NY Post story which summarizes the timeline. 

  • July 30, 2017: Hunter Biden tells an associate at CEFC "I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled."
  • Aug. 8, 2017: CEFC wires $5 million to Hudson West III, a joint venture established by Hunter. Hudson West III wires $400,000 to Hunter Biden's Owasco PC.
  • Aug. 14, 2017: Owasco PC wires $150,000 to Lion Hall Group, the company owned by James and Sara Biden.
  • Aug 28, 2017: Sara Biden takes $50,000 out of the Lion Hall account and deposits it in the couple's checking account.
  • Sep. 3, 2017: Sara Biden sends $40,000 to Joe Biden for "loan repayment."

All of this is made more complicated by the fact that the $40,000 loan James got from Joe on July 28, 2017 came from the lawyer they both shared, Mel Monzack. But the repayment was made directly to Joe Biden.

The whole $40,000 four-week loan and the timing of it does look a bit suspicious but I'm sure Biden will say he had no idea the repayment was coming from a deal with China arranged by Hunter. And also, he was a private person at this time so even if he did know it wouldn't be illegal just ethically dubious. Still, it is noteworthy that at least his brother knew where the money was coming from at the time.


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