NEWS: Disbarred attorney jailed for bribery testifies he gave James Biden $800K in loans, only got half back in new twist
WASHINGTON — A disbarred Mississippi attorney who served prison time for bribery told investigators on the House impeachment inquiry Thursday that he gave first brother James Biden $800,000 in loans, but only got $400,000 back — presenting a new twist in the wide-ranging inquiry.
Joey Langston said in a closed-door deposition that “he does not have any documentation or records of such loans,” according to a source familiar with his testimony.
Langston said he made four loans to James in 2016, one in 2017 and possibly others at additional points in time.
Langston was unsuccessfully trying to overturn his bribery conviction in court in 2016. It’s unclear if he was seeking a federal pardon from then-President Barack Obama during Obama’s final year in office.
The massive financial aid from Langston to the then-second brother introduces a new element of intrigue into the impeachment inquiry into alleged Biden family corruption.
Langston pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to three years in federal prison for being part of a plot to bribe a judge in an asbestos legal fees dispute by promising to arrange favorable consideration for the state jurist for a federal judgeship.
Langston’s alleged co-conspirator in that case, fellow Mississippi attorney Dickie Scruggs, was involved in a second prosecution for attempting to bribe a different judge with $40,000, also in a legal fees dispute.
James Biden was wiretapped by the FBI in 2007 — when his brother was still a senator — as part of its investigation of the second bribery case, the Washington Post reported in December.
Amid the bribery conspiracy James Biden, who was not charged in the case, was in talks with Scruggs and conspirator Tim Balducci about setting up a law firm that would have employed himself, his nephew Hunter Biden and James’s wife Sara.
James Biden’s relationship with the crooked Mississippi attorneys has raised eyebrows in the past.
Then-Sen. Biden went from an opponent of federal legislation to sanction tobacco companies for lying about the addictiveness of their product to a supporter of the idea after Scruggs — the architect of a multibillion-dollar litigation plan — paid James Biden’s lobbying firm $100,000 in 1998, the Washington Post reported.
“I probably wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t the senator’s brother,” Scruggs told the newspaper.
Langston, who testified Thursday to Congress, hosted fundraisers for Joe Biden, ProPublica reported.
Scruggs flew Joe Biden to a fundraiser on his private plane, the Washington Post reported.
The Biden family’s blurring of political and personal business in Mississippi resembles better-known facets of the impeachment probe, which has mostly focused on the foreign ventures during Joe Biden’s vice presidency, as well as what two IRS whistleblowers say was a Justice Department coverup to shield Joe and first son Hunter from an investigation of tax fraud, money laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying.