James Biden secretly negotiated a $140 million settlement deal in 2012 between a U.S. company and the Saudi Arabian government due to his relationship with then-Vice President Joe Biden, court documents reveal.
The revelation represents one more instance of the Biden family business peddling influence while President Joe Biden was an elected official. House Oversight Committee James Comer (R-KY) reportedly already has copies of the court documents and is investigating the scandal as a part of his probe into the Biden family for nine violations, including wire fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering.
In 2011, upon the Saudi’s refusal to pay $140 million to a U.S. construction company Hill International, James Biden was brought in to negotiate the settlement deal between the U.S. company and the Saudi government because the Saudis “would not dare stiff the brother of the Vice-President who would be instrumental to the deal,” affidavits reported by the Daily Mail show.
Notably, James Biden had a prior business relationship with the U.S. company’s subsidiary as executive vice president with a minority stake.
Former U.S. Treasury official Thomas Sullivan, who was working to settle the deal as a private consultant, twice stated in an affidavit that James Biden was hired to negotiate with the Saudis “because of his position and relationship” with then-Vice President Biden. The business negotiation ultimately resulted in a $132 million settlement, court documents reveal.
“[James Biden] stated that he was often sent to meetings to represent Hill because ‘of course, the name didn’t hurt,’” court documents recount Sullivan’s written statement about a sit-down interview with James Biden.
“I asked specifically if he [James Biden] had attended a meeting with the Saudi Ministry of Trade in mid-February 2012 to receive the final payment for the work Hill had performed,” court documents recount Sullivan’s explanation. “He answered that, to the best of his memory, he had been at such a meeting, and that the reason he had attended was ‘because of his position and relationship’ with his brother.”
James Biden began working on the settlement deal in 2011 when the U.S. company asked him to work with its law firm, Lankford & Reed, on the settlement. The U.S. company allegedly asked James Biden to broker the deal with the Saudi government that was failing to pay $140 million.
According to Lankford & Reed partner’s affidavit in May 2022, partner Thomas Lankford confirmed the U.S. company “used [James] Biden as a settlement intermediary in order to capitalize on the influence and orchestration of the settlement by the then Vice-President.”
Due to the U.S. company’s decision to go behind the back of the law firm to collect its money via James Biden, the lawyers hired an investigator to question James Biden and his wife, Sara, about the back-door deal.That interview occurred on July 16, 2017, an affidavit shows.
During the interview, James Biden allegedly confessed that “Of course, the [James Biden] name didn’t hurt” to get the deal done. Sara allegedly said that Joe and James Biden “told each other everything.”
Sara’s statement contradicts Joe Biden’s claims he has never spoken about the Biden family business deals.
In 2020, the new CEO of the U.S. company, the son of the former CEO, denied having any ties to James or Joe Biden. “I have no ties to the Bidens. Jim Biden worked at a Hill subsidiary for a couple of years. That subsidiary did not report to me. I was not in favor of investing in that company,” David Richter told the New Jersey Globe.
“After several years of failure, it was shut down at my insistence, and I’ve never seen or heard from Jim Biden since,” he added.
However, Fox News reported in 2015 that David Richter admitted James Biden was helpful in the deal.
David Richter’s father has denied James Biden’s relationship with Joe Biden played a role in the settlement deal.
It should be noted that before the Saudi deal, James Biden had a previous history with the U.S. company’s subsidiary, HillStone International. The subsidiary hired James Biden in 2010 as executive vice president and gave him a minority stake in the company.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.