Newly revealed court documents show that James Biden, the younger brother of President Joe Biden, secretly negotiated a $140 million settlement deal in 2012 between a US construction company and the Saudi Arabian government.
The deal was made possible due to James Biden’s relationship with then-Vice President Joe Biden, signifying another instance of the Biden family business being accused of peddling influence while President Joe Biden was an elected official.
The documents were obtained by House Oversight Committee member James Comer (R-KY), who is investigating the Biden family for alleged violations, including wire fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering.
Affidavits show that in 2011, when the Saudi government refused to pay $140 million to Hill International, a US construction company, James Biden was brought in to negotiate the settlement deal due to his connection with then-Vice President Biden. The Saudis were reportedly hesitant to “stiff the brother of the Vice-President who would be instrumental to the deal.”
James Biden had a prior business relationship with the U.S. company’s subsidiary, HillStone International, 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.
Lankford & Reed, the US company’s law firm, hired James Biden to broker the deal with the Saudi government that was failing to pay $140 million. The company allegedly asked James Biden to act as a settlement intermediary in order to capitalize on the influence and orchestration of the settlement by the then Vice-President.
During an interview in 2017 with an investigator hired by the law firm, James Biden allegedly confessed that “Of course, the [James Biden] name didn’t hurt” to get the deal done. Sara, his wife, allegedly said that Joe and James Biden “told each other everything.” This statement contradicts Joe Biden’s claims he has never spoken about the Biden family business deals.
David Richter, the current CEO of the U.S. company, 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,” Richter told the New Jersey Globe.
David Richter’s father has denied James Biden’s relationship with Joe Biden played a role in the settlement deal.