The so-called “money guy” for Democrat President Joe Biden and his family has just testified before Congress.
On Tuesday, bookkeeper Eric Schwerin testified about his knowledge of the Biden family’s finances during a closed-door interview with House investigators.
Schwerin is seen as a key witness in House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry because of his central role in the tangled financial web linking Biden and his son Hunter.
Schwerin was the financial adviser to Biden during his vice presidency and a frequent visitor at the Obama White House, as well as a founding partner of Hunter Biden’s firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners.
Republicans have described Schwerin as the mastermind behind the Bidens’ shady shell companies.
In particular, they have zeroed in on e-mail exchanges between Vice President Biden and Schwerin in which Biden used pseudonyms.
Many of the e-mails coincided with Biden’s travels to Ukraine, where his son had a lucrative position on the board of energy company Burisma Holdings.
At the time, Schwerin shared input with Vice President Biden’s staff about how to respond to media inquiries concerning Hunter’s position.
Biden’s staff confirmed the then-vice president “signed off” on a statement on the same day that Hunter dined with Burisma executives, who pressed Hunter to tap his connections to help with “government pressure” in Ukraine.
But in a prepared opening statement, Schwerin defended former vice president Biden’s dealings as strictly “ethical” and said he never saw any evidence of wrongdoing.
“Given my awareness of his finances and the explicit directions he gave to his financial advisers, the allegation that he would engage in any improper conduct to benefit himself or his family is preposterous to me,” Schwerin said.
The testimony is likely to be battled over by Republicans and Democrats, who have gone back and forth over the substance of closed-door depositions from Biden associates like Devon Archer.
Archer previously confirmed that Joe Biden spoke with Burisma executives on the phone.
A former business partner of Schwerin’s told Fox News that his prepared testimony was full of caveats that left out “the vast majority of questions about his knowledge and participation in the Biden family’s business schemes.”
In a carefully worded statement, Schwerin told investigators he is “not aware of any financial transactions or compensation that Vice President Biden received related to business conducted by any of his family members.”
Schwerin’s claim appears to be at least partially contradicted by his own e-mails with Hunter, in which he discussed using Hunter’s money to pay his father’s bills.
In a 2010 exchange, Schwerin told Hunter he would be reimbursed with his dad’s tax refund.
“I am depositing it in his [Joe Biden’s] account and writing a check in that amount back to you since he owes it to you.
“Don’t think I need to run it by him, but if you want to, go ahead.”