Skip to content

Fact Check: Instagram posts – Instagram post falsely says Joe Biden found guilty of human trafficking

After Republicans won control of the House in the midterm elections, conservative lawmakers announced plans to investigate President Joe Biden and his family when the 118th Congress convenes Jan. 3. 

In a Nov. 17 press conference,  Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., claimed that members of Biden’s family have committed several federal crimes, including wire fraud, money laundering and human trafficking. 

“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” Comer said. He announced on Twitter that Republicans leading the House Oversight Committee will be in charge of the investigations.

Although Republicans haven’t started investigating, an Instagram post baselessly claimed Biden is guilty. . 

The post featured footage from Comer’s press conference. Superimposed text said: “Joe Biden is being investigated for human trafficking and is guilty.” 

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

House Republicans compiled an interim staff report summarizing preliminary findings based on alleged whistleblower testimony, bank documents allegedly related to the Bidens and a review of a laptop belonging to Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The report makes none of Comer’s specific allegations. 

Comer said an American bank’s “suspicious activity report” allegedly related to Hunter Biden’s account was sent to the U.S. Treasury Department, connecting him and “his business associates to international human trafficking.” Comer did not say which bank issued the report or how Hunter Biden’s account was involved.

Suspicious activity reports flag financial transactions that “might signal criminal activity” such as money laundering or tax evasion. A report signals only that a transaction might be tied to something illegal, it does not prove wrongdoing, according to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Banks file millions of suspicious activity reports annually; few prompt criminal investigations.

The GOP report said there are at least 150 suspicious activity reports allegedly related to the Bidens, and that they have been unable to review them. Comer said he will compel the Treasury Department to release the reports.

Comer didn’t elaborate on Hunter Biden’s suspected connection to human trafficking, but Republicans have previously accused him of allegedly paying for prostitutes. In a 2019 New Yorker interview, Hunter Biden denied hiring prostitutes. 

White House spokesperson Ian Sams told PolitiFact that the Republicans’ announcement was part of a politically motivated attack “chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories.”

Our ruling

An Instagram report claims “Joe Biden is being investigated for human trafficking and is guilty.”

House Republicans have said they plan to investigate the president and his family for alleged wrongdoing when the new Congress convenes in January, but there is no active investigation into Biden related to human trafficking.  

The Instagram post pre-emptively ascribes guilt to the president. 

We rate this claim False.

Source: PolitiFact.