Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who initially championed the claims, has now admitted that he has no knowledge of the existence of audio recordings that purportedly show Joe Biden accepting a bribe.
Throughout the week, Republicans have accused President Biden of accepting a bribe from Ukraine, coinciding with Donald Trump’s arrest for the theft and concealment of classified documents. Their allegations hinge on a set of recordings that supposedly provide evidence for their claims. These alleged recordings were reportedly discovered during the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Biden family, which has so far failed to produce any concrete evidence linking Biden to any wrongdoing.
Last week, House members were given access to a redacted version of an FD 10-23 form, used by the FBI to record unverified information from confidential sources. Grassley demanded the release of the unredacted version, claiming that it mentioned 17 audio recordings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden accepting a bribe from an executive at Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil company where Hunter Biden served on the board for a brief period.
However, during a podcast interview on Wednesday, Grassley openly admitted that he has no confirmation about the authenticity of the tapes.
“I’m oversight of the FBI,” the Iowa Republican said, referring to his work on the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, according to The New Republic.
“I want to know [if] the FBI, are you doing your work? I want to see your work. Have you listened to these tapes? And if you haven’t, why haven’t you? In other words, do the tapes even exist?”
Grassley is not the only Republican questioning the legitimacy of the tapes. Senator Ron Johnson also expressed uncertainty about their existence during an interview with Fox News, stating, “We cannot say for certain whether the tapes exist.” Furthermore, House Oversight Chair James Comer, a leading figure in the campaign against Biden, admitted on Wednesday that he does not know if any recordings, if they exist, are genuine.
Nonetheless, these rumored tapes have formed the basis of almost all the accusations leveled against Biden in recent days, and Republicans are perpetuating a conspiracy theory initially propagated by Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, claiming that the Biden family accepted a $10 million bribe to influence the removal of former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016.
As noted by The New Republic, however, This claim has been widely debunked by Ukrainian officials, U.S. State Department officials, American intelligence experts, and Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.