Key point: “(Comer) might want to consider a parallel investigation into his own family…unlike the Bidens, Comer’s story actually borders on a conflict of interest between his official role in government and his private family business – and this has been going on for decades.”
Daily Beast: James Comer, like Joe Biden, also paid his brother $200,000
By Roger Sollenberger
- House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) on Wednesday subpoenaed President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, whom Comer implicated in unsubstantiated allegations of “shady business practices” in the Biden family.
- But if Comer sincerely believes these transactions cross the line into “shady business practices,” he might consider a parallel investigation into his own family.
- According to Kentucky land records, Comer and his own brother engaged in land swaps related to their family farming business.
- As part of a deal – also involving $200,000, as well as a shell company – the more powerful and influential Comer funneled additional money to his brother, seemingly out of thin air.
- Other recent land swaps were quickly followed by new demands for special tax breaks, state records show.
- But unlike that of the Bidens, Comer’s story actually borders on a conflict of interest between his official role in government and his private family business — and it has been going on for decades.
- While Comer and House GOP allies have attempted to portray the Biden dealings as evidence of unsavory and possibly impeachable offenses, several news outlets, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, FactCheck.organd the conservative tendency Washington Examiner– have all cast a chill over the idea that the payments are evidence of something other than brother helping brother.
- That didn’t stop Comer. But hypocrisy hasn’t stopped Comer before, either.
- Comer’s investigative efforts have so far failed to demonstrate that Joe Biden’s loans have any connection to family business dealings — much less to actions taken while in elected office. Comer, however, exerted governmental influence directly over his family’s industry for nearly 20 years.
- Comer’s official positions gave him both knowledge and power in the agricultural sector, and he held them while he and his family ran a multimillion-dollar agricultural business.
- But Comer’s family business also has its own curiosities. For example, it doesn’t seem to exist on paper.
- For years, the company that Comer ran with his brother and father has been identified In news reports, official statements, Comer financial informationAnd livestock sale newsletters like “Comer Land & Cattle”. But there is no record of an entity with that name in business filings with the Commonwealth of Kentucky – or apparently with any other jurisdiction.
- In another exchange – this one in April 2019 – James Comer offered his brother, via a $1 transaction, his share of two inherited parcels in Clay County, Tennessee, worth $175,000, according to the deed of sale. The value of James Comer’s share is the value of the entire property in 1994, when the brothers and their father first acquired it for $175,000, according to the deed.
- On the same day that James Comer gave this land to his brother, Chad Comer reciprocated with an apparently more valuable property in Macon County, Tennessee, except that James Comer did not disclose this value when sale.
- Instead, Comer appears to have erased that number, writing “exempt” instead on the deed, then signing below. However, the value of the land can still be determined from deed history in Macon County, where records show their father originally purchased the land for $203,000 in 2015. This means that even though Comer appears to have gained about $30,000 worth in the trade, he hasn’t put it on the public record.
- Although the amount of money involved in these transactions is not even in the millions, they are comparable to the Biden loans. And the larger of those two loans, $200,000, is less than the 2015 value of Comer’s “exempt” purchase.
- It is unclear how Comer first got into the family business. …But what is clearer is that the family business has changed.
- He then moved quickly from active farming to real estate speculation, claiming that he sold lumber off his farm, raised livestock and crops there, and eventually agreed to a “tobacco buyout” from the government .
- What Comer didn’t mention was that he played a government role in the tobacco buyout.
- From 2005 to 2011, Comer served on the state legislature’s Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.
- Comer’s business focus has since shifted to real estate.
- While this may be true in the sense that Comer started small, he also started with the support of his father and brother. He subsequently rose to a position of considerable power and influence over his own industry and, contrary to his own claims, appears to have inherited much.
- “You read those real estate books, “How to Get Rich in Real Estate.” In a way, I’m not rich, but I’ve accumulated wealth that way,” he said.