NEW: James Comer Caught Lying About Bombshell AP Report on His Shady Business Dealings

After this bombshell story was first published Thursday morning, Rep. James Comer responded during an appearance on Fox Business with a series of lies the Associated Press made sure to call out:

“After this story [was] first published Thursday, Comer responded during an appearance on FOX [Business], stating that Farm Team Properties ‘has five different assets and lots of revenue.’ He didn’t reveal what those other assets may be. He also falsely claimed that the donor, Darren Cleary, ‘wasn’t a campaign contributor’ at the time the property was purchased. Cleary and his family have donated to Comer’s political campaigns since at least 2010, records show.”

As we said this morning, maybe the person James Comer should be investigating is James Comer.

———- Forwarded message ———

From: DNC War Room <>

Subject: BREAKING: Bombshell Reporting Reveals Comer Shady Business Dealing


BREAKING: Bombshell Reporting Uncovers Comer’s Shady Business Dealings

Hours after Rep. James Comer launched a baseless impeachment sham against President Biden over repeatedly debunked allegations, new bombshell reporting by the Associated Press reveals that Comer himself is engaged in the corrupt business dealings he is falsely accusing President Biden of. This isn’t the first time Comer has been caught accusing the president of something he himself is engaged in — just a few weeks ago the Daily Beast’s own bombshell reporting uncovered payments from Comer that look like a personal loan to his brother — something Comer has alleged is some crime by the president.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • James Comer has his own secret shell company whose value has mysteriously exploded as much as twentyfold in just six years.
  • Comer has failed to disclose this shell company despite disclosing other business ventures he owns.
  • Ethics experts agree: Comer’s holdings raise serious questions about Comer’s assets and why he feels he needs to hide them.
  • For years, James Comer mixed business with family and politics, including co-owning property with a major campaign donor and trading favors with convicted criminals.

In response to the reporting, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement: 

“James Comer has railed on and on about shady shell companies and inexplicable business partners, when all along he’s the one with a shady shell company and business partnerships with convicted criminals and major campaign donors. If it weren’t clear enough, Comer’s nakedly partisan, baseless impeachment probe is all about doing the bidding of Donald Trump, evidence and facts be damned. Maybe the person James Comer should be investigating is James Comer.”      

Read the bombshell reporting below:

Associated Press: The Republican leading the probe of Hunter Biden has his own shell company and complicated friends

By Brian Slodysko

  • Rep. James Comer, a multimillionaire farmer, boasts of being one of the largest landholders near his rural Kentucky hometown, and he has meticulously documented nearly all of his landholdings on congressional financial disclosure documents – roughly 1,600 acres in all.
  • But there are six acres that he bought in 2015 and co-owns with a longtime campaign contributor that he has treated differently, transferring his ownership to Farm Team Properties, a shell company he co-owns with his wife.
  • Interviews and records reviewed by The Associated Press provide new insights into the financial deal, which risks undercutting the force of some of Comer’s central arguments in his impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. For months, the chairman of the House Oversight committee and his Republican colleagues have been pounding Biden for how his relatives traded on their famous name to secure business deals.
  • In particular, Comer has attacked some Biden family members, including the president’s son Hunter, over their use of “shell companies” that appear designed to obscure millions of dollars in earnings they received from shadowy middlemen and foreign interests.
  • Such companies typically exist only on paper and are formed to hold an asset, like real estate. Their opaque structures are often designed to help hide ownership of property and other assets.
  • But as Comer works to “deliver the transparency and accountability that the American people demand” through the GOP’s investigation, his own finances and relationships have begun to draw notice, too, including his ties to prominent local figures who have complicated pasts not all that dissimilar to some of those caught up in his Biden probe.
  • After Democrats blasted him for being a hypocrite following the Daily Beast ’s disclosure of the company last month, Comer countered by calling a Democratic lawmaker a “smurf” and saying that the criticism was the kind of thing “only dumb, financially illiterate people pick up on.”
  • The AP found that Farm Team Properties functions in a similarly opaque way as the companies used by the Bidens, masking his stake in the land that he co-owns with the donor from being revealed on his financial disclosure forms. Those records describe Farm Team Properties as his wife’s “land management and real estate speculation” company without providing further details.
  • It’s not clear why Comer decided to put those six acres in a shell company, or what other assets Farm Team Properties may hold. On his most recent financial disclosure forms, Comer lists its value as being as much as $1 million, a substantial sum but a fraction of his overall wealth.
  • Ethics experts say House rules require members of Congress to disclose all assets held by such companies that are worth more than $1,000.
  • “It seems pretty clear to me that he should be disclosing the individual land assets that are held by” the shell company, said Delaney Marsco, a senior attorney who specializes in congressional ethics at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington.
  • Marsco and other experts were perplexed as to why Comer would place such assets in a shell company, especially since he disclosed his other holdings and does not appear to have taken other efforts to hide his wealth.
  • “This is actually a real problem that anti-corruption activists would love to get legislative reform on,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in government ethics. “It is hard to trace assets held in shell companies. His is a good example.”
  • Comer created the company in 2017 to hold his stake in the six acres that he purchased two years earlier in a joint venture with Darren Cleary, a major campaign contributor and construction contractor from Monroe County, Kentucky, where the congressman was born and raised.
  • It’s not clear how Comer came to invest with Cleary, who did not respond to an interview request. They have offered mutual praise for each other over the years, including Comer having called Cleary “my friend” and “the epitome of a successful businessperson” from the House floor.
  • Cleary, his businesses and family have donated roughly $70,000 to Comer’s various campaigns, records show. He has also lauded Comer on social media for “For Fighting For Us Everyday” and has posted photos of the two on a golf course together.
  • At the time he and Comer entered their venture, Cleary was selling an acre of his family’s land to Kentucky so it could build a highway bypass near Tompkinsville, which was completed in 2020. He sold Comer a 50% stake for $128,000 in six acres he owned that would end up being adjacent to the highway.
  • Comer, a powerful political figure in this rural part of Kentucky, announced his bid for Congress days after purchasing the land.
  • Marketing materials described the land as “choice” property and play up its proximity to the bypass. The partnership sold off about an acre last year for $150,000, a substantial increase over its value when purchased, property records show.
  • Farm Team Properties has also become more valuable. On Comer’s financial disclosure forms, it has risen in value from between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2016 to between $500,001 and $1 million in 2022, records show.
  • As House Oversight Committee chairman, Comer has presented himself as a bipartisan ethics crusader only interested in uncovering the truth. As evidence, he has pointed to a long career as a state legislator and official who sought to build bridges with Democrats and to “clean up scandal, restore confidence, and crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse.”
  • Interviews with allies, critics and constituents, however, reveal a fierce partisan who has ignored wrongdoing by friends and supporters if they can help him advance in business and politics.
  • After graduating in 1993, Comer got into the insurance business with Billy D. Poston, a family friend.
  • The two later had a falling out. When poor health prevented Polston from running for reelection as a state representative in 2000, Comer, then 27, took on Polston’s wife in the GOP primary, winning that race and the general election. For years, Comer took credit in interviews for defeating the ‘incumbent.”
  • When Harlin Comer died in 1993, the 21-year-old Comer took over as chairman of the Monroe County GOP. A wave of indictments against local Republican office holders, some of whom helped launch Comer’s political career and became close friends, soon followed.
  • Mitchell Page and Larry Pitcock were among those charged in the sweep. Page, then the county’s chief executive, and Pitcock, the former county clerk, were sentenced in 1996 to 18 months in prison for tampering with a state computer database so that they and their families could avoid paying vehicle taxes.
  • Rather than turning on Pitcock and Page, Comer has remained close to the men. He praised Page on the House floor in 2020 for his “principled leadership.”
  • Pitcock and his family members have donated about $9,000 to Comer’s political campaigns and held one of Comer’s first fundraisers when he ran to become state agriculture commissioner, records show. Comer dismissed questions about the propriety of having Pitcock sponsor a fundraiser for him, noting to CN2 News that it helped him raise nearly $60,000.
  • Comer eventually hired Pitcock’s son to work for him in the agriculture commissioner’s office, records show. Members of the Pitcock family have since attended a House Republican fundraiser with Comer in Washington and posed for photographs with him inside the U.S. Capitol.
  • In 2011, a voter fraud case roiled local politics and swept up Billy Proffitt, Comer’s longtime friend and former college roommate. Proffitt pleaded guilty in December 2011 and was sentenced to probation.
  • A few years later, Proffitt came to Comer’s defense from allegations that nearly derailed the future congressman’s political career. During the 2015 Republican primary for governor, a local blogger began posting about accusations that Comer had abused a college girlfriend.
  • Comer vehemently denied the allegations. And in the hopes of discrediting the stories, he leaked emails to a local paper that suggested a rival campaign had been coordinating the coverage with the blogger, according to The New York Times. The leak allegation may have discredited the other candidate, Hal Heiner, but ended up hurting Comer’s campaign.
  • Comer ended up losing the primary by 83 votes to Matt Bevin, who went on to win the general election. It was the only campaign that Comer has lost.
  • The lawmaker and Proffitt remain close friends and business associates.
  • Profitt’s family’s real estate company is spearheading the efforts to sell the land held by Farm Team Properties.