James Comer has touted the fact that Joe Biden loaned his brother $200,000 as surefire evidence of the president’s criminal wrongdoing. But a new report reveals that the Kentucky Republican has done the same thing—and more.
Comer has for months accused Biden of corruption, although he has yet to produce any evidence. In late October, he dropped a so-called “bombshell”: Biden had given his brother James Biden a $200,000 check with the words “loan repayment” on the front.
But as The Daily Beast pointed out in a report published Thursday, “if Comer genuinely believes these transactions clear the ‘shady business practices’ bar, he might want to consider a parallel inquiry into his own family.”
Not only did Comer also lend his brother $200,000, he did it in the sketchiest way possible, according to the report.
Comer co-owns a farming business with his brother. Their late father was also a partner. With this business, Comer and his brother have engaged in multiple land swaps over the years. The Beast details one exchange after their father’s death in January 2019:
Chad Comer bought out his brother’s half of a piece of inherited Kentucky property, paying $100,000, according to deed records in Monroe County. Five months later, James and his wife, Tamara “TJ” Comer, bought the property out in full, this time paying Chad Comer $218,000. The buyout netted Chad Comer an unexplained $18,000 above the total value in July.
In another exchange, Comer gifted his brother his share of two inherited pieces of land, with a share value of $175,000. The cost of the transaction was only $1. Comer’s brother went on to apply for a hefty tax break and then gift Comer a more valuable piece of land in return.
And as Comer likes to say so often, it’s not just about the loan itself. While he was swapping the land from his family’s farming business, Comer held multiple important roles in agriculture oversight. Before coming to Congress, Comer was a member of Kentucky’s state legislature Agriculture Committee for eight years. He also served as the Kentucky agriculture commissioner.
When he was elected to Congress in 2016, Comer was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Two years later, he negotiated the Farm Bill, which increased federal support for American farmers. But after Comer moved his business away from farming, he also shifted his work away from agriculture oversight.
The Beast also found that Comer supposedly runs multiple businesses that do not appear to exist on paper. The company he ran with his father and brother was called Comer Land & Cattle. There are no business filings for a company with that name anywhere in Kentucky.
Comer says he has a personal agriculture company called James Comer Jr. Farms, but the Beast couldn’t find any official records for a business with that name. And when Comer purchased the land from his brother, the deal listed a third party: a shell company called Farm Team Properties, LLC, owned by Comer and his wife.
Comer listed the company on his financial disclosure statement that year, describing it as a “land management and real estate speculation company” valued between $200,000 and $500,000. But when he listed the company on his 2021 financial statement, he valued it between $500,000 and $1 million. The Beast did not find a clear explanation for the massive increase in value.
Given this information, Comer’s accusations against Biden ring particularly hollow. It would seem the wrong politician is being investigated for “shady” business dealings.