Biden impeachment ‘star witness’ sues top Democrat for defamation

One of the Republicans’ star witnesses in the impeachment hearings of Joe Biden is suing House Democrat Jamie Raskin for $20m for alleged defamatory comments that “deliberately and maliciously” besmirched his character.

Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of the president’s son Hunter Biden, was called by House Republicans to testify against the Bidens as part of their probe into the family’s business dealings, seeking to impeach the president.

Mr Raskin has been an outspoken critic of the impeachment proceedings, including writing to Mr Bobulinski’s attorney in February to say that his client’s interview was “chaotic to the point of burlesque”.

"Mr. Bobulinski did not offer any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden," Raskin said in his letter. "He also did not provide any evidence that President Biden was involved in his family’s business dealings."

A criminal complaint seen by The Daily Beast pointed to social media posts by Mr Raskin, in which he sought to discredit Mr Bobulinski’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee, while also appearing to claim he had links to Russian or Chinese agents.

Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (Getty Images)
Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (Getty Images)

The lawsuit claims all of these were “false statements”, also pointing to an interview Mr Raskin had on MSNBC, which he shared on social media “republishing his false statements to an entirely new audience.”

Mr Bobulinski’s attorneys also point to other instances of the Democrat reposting statements from the Oversight Committee Democrats’ X page, including one in which he called the witness “Donald Trump’s political pawn”.

“Then, on March 6, 2024, Defendant issued a statement that House Oversight Democrats posted on X, and Defendant reposted, in which he called Mr. Bobulinski ‘a bitterly frustrated would-be business partner who collaborated with the Trump campaign,’” the lawsuit says, The Daily Beast reported.

Mr Bobulinski’s team argues that he has nothing to do with the Trump campaign and he has never lied to Congress.

On 20 March, Mr Bobulinski said that it was, in fact, Mr Raskin and fellow congressman Dan Goldman who had been lying by sharing multiple social media posts targeting him.

This week’s filing continues those claims, saying that Mr Raskin “has been working in tag-team fashion with fellow Oversight Committee member, Rep. Dan Goldman, in a social media blitz of defamatory posts deliberately and maliciously besmirching the character of Mr. Bobulinski.”

The lawsuit is one of several reportedly filed by Mr Bobulinski in recent months. He is suing former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson for $10m for mentioning his meeting with the former president’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in 2020 in her book.

He is also asking for $30m in a case against Fox News pundit Jessica Tarlov, who issued a correction rather than an apology over claims she made on air that a Trump-associated political action committee had paid for his legal fees. In the case against Mr Raskin, Mr Bobulinski is suing for $20m.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Rakin and Mr Bobulinski for comment.