Senator Ted Cruz has called on President Joe Biden to release information about the ‘mystery source’ of his $10 million in 2017, the year his vice presidential term ended.
After his term in the Obama White House ended, Biden and his wife Jill signed a lucrative multi-book deal worth $8 million and embarked on a speaking tour that brought in more than $4 million over several years.
However, income from book deals and speaking engagements was routed through two entities known as S corporations, shielding the money from certain taxes and concealing the final source of the Bidens’ publicly released tax returns.
Now Cruz, a Texas Republican, is pointing to a lack of transparency with an FBI memo that Republicans claim was involved in a $5 million bribery scheme while Biden was vice president.
‘You’re looking at a tax return that has $10 million in cash that came from a mystery source,’ Cruz said Friday during his podcast, Verdict with Ted Cruz.
Senator Ted Cruz calls on President Joe Biden to release information about the ‘mystery source’ of the $10 million he made in 2017
After his term in the Obama White House ended, Biden and his wife Jill signed a lucrative multi-book deal worth $8 million and embarked on a speaking tour that brought in millions more.
Biden’s two S corporations, CelticCapri Corp and GiaCoppa Corp, reported income of $9,490,857 and $557,882 respectively in 2017, Biden’s first year as a private citizen after decades in federal elected office as senator and vice president.
That money, which Biden said was from book deals and speeches, was then sent to Biden and his wife as a ‘distribution’ rather than a salary, according to CNBC.
When money is funneled through an S corporation in this way, the recipient does not pay Social Security or Medicare taxes on it, and the source of the money remains obscure.
Cruz claimed the ‘timing’ of the income was suspicious in light of unsubstantiated allegations of a $5 million ‘arrangement’ between then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national to exchange money for policy decisions.
The claim is based on an FBI document seen by members of Congress, which describes an interview with an informant.
The whistleblower claimed that the CEO of Ukrainian gas company Burismar paid $5 million to Joe Biden and his son Hunter in 2015 or 2016 to open an investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
Cruz commented: ‘The whistleblower said that when he was vice president, a senior Burisma executive personally offered him $5 million in cash to make a corrupt deal and make official decisions for Burisma.
Biden’s family income increased from $400,000 in 2016 to $11 million in 2017 as a result of his book deal, which was valued at $8 million.
Biden’s 2017 tax return shows $10 million in payments to two S corporations. This money has long been reported as income from speaking and book deals, but the nature of S corporations hides the exact source of the money and shields it from certain taxes.
‘The year he left the vice-presidency in 2017, he reported more than $10 million in income from two corporations he and his wife set up, and we know nothing, zero, about the source of that income.’
He speculated: ‘What if half of that $10 million was a $5 million payment to Burisma for bribes?’
Cruz called on House Republicans to release CelticCapri Corp and GiaCoppa Corp’s tax returns.
However, this will likely prove futile, as S corporations’ tax returns typically disclose only overall income and expenses, not specific sources of funds.
Biden is hardly the only politician to take advantage of the tax-avoidance and privacy benefits of S corporations.
The technique is known in tax circles as the ‘Gingrich-Edwards loophole’ after Republican Newt Gingrich and Democrat John Edwards, both former presidential candidates who used it.
Joe and Jill Biden’s joint tax returns show the couple earned more than $15 million in the two years since Obama left the White House.
According to Publishers Weekly, Biden and his wife signed a multibook deal with Flatiron Books worth $8 million.
Biden’s first book, an account of his son Beau’s death from cancer, briefly topped the bestseller list in 2017. Jill Biden also published a memoir in 2019.
Biden earned more than $4.29 million in speaking fees, according to public disclosures.
Joe Biden’s basic speaking fee was reportedly $100,000 for a speech, but his disclosures show that some appearances were worth as little as $40,000, while others were as high as $190,000 for a speech at Drew University in New Jersey.
Jill Biden made at least $700,000 on her own speeches, disclosures show.
Joe Biden is a professor at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania and earns $540,000 as a no.
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