A top House Republican is demanding Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen release records on Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities, alleging that the Biden administration’s reluctance to release such details suggests an effort to shield the Biden family from scrutiny.
In a July 6 letter, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), a ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, asked Yellen to provide reports of what he thought was “suspicious activity” on the part of the younger Biden, his business associates, and other Biden family members.
Hunter, the second son of President Joe Biden, is currently under federal investigation for potential tax violations. Scrutiny has been growing over his overseas business dealings in countries such as Ukraine, Russia, and China, particularly during the period in which Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. banks flag cash transactions exceeding $10,000 per day and automatically generate suspicious activity reports (SARs) in a bid to help government agencies prevent money laundering.
Comer previously wrote to Yellen in late May requesting the SARs for Hunter Biden, but received no answer. He accused the Biden administration of restricting Congress’s access to SARs, citing a recent Treasury Department rule that allows congressional staff to review such materials in a Treasury reading room. They’re barred from making copies of the documents.
“Committee Republicans are investigating whether this change in longstanding policy is motivated by efforts to shield Hunter Biden and potentially President Biden from scrutiny,” the letter reads.
“Despite Treasury’s assertion in the press that it ‘provides SARs to Congress in a manner that enables robust oversight,’ Treasury is refusing to release SARs connected with Hunter Biden or his family and associates—including the President,” Comer wrote.
He noted that in a June 13 phone call, five days after the June 8 deadline for Comer’s request, Treasury officials told Republican staff on the House Oversight Committee that “they will not provide SARs to Committee Republicans unless Democrats join the request.”
That marked a contrast with the Treasury Department statement shortly after Comer’s initial request.
“Treasury has made SARs available for every request we’ve received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so,” the department told The Wall Street Journal at the time.
Comer wrote: “It is troubling that the Biden Administration is willing to provide a false story to the media to create the appearance of transparency, while continuing to thwart congressional oversight. Treasury’s actions call for investigation and raise new questions about the degree to which the Biden Administration is using the federal government to provide cover for the Biden family and its associates.
“The American people deserve to know whether the President’s connections to his son’s business deals occurred at the expense of the United States’ interests and whether they represent a national security threat.”
Comer also made inquiries to more than a dozen banks in May, including the Bank of China, Cathay Bank, and JP Morgan Chase. The banks stated that they can’t provide the requested materials without a subpoena, Comer’s office told The Epoch Times.
Hunter received millions of dollars in payments from Chinese state-linked companies in 2017 and 2018, according to recently released bank records. Emails from what’s alleged to be his abandoned laptop also show him trying to broker a $120 million oil agreement between a Chinese state-owned oil company and Kazakhstan’s prime minister at the time.
Biden has repeatedly denied in public having discussed with Hunter the latter’s foreign business transactions. But a leaked voicemail dating back to December 2018 and recovered from the laptop that Hunter allegedly left in a Delaware repair shop, contradicts his claims.
“Hey pal, it’s Dad,” Biden said in the message. “It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance, just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you.
“I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway, if you get a chance, give me a call. I love you.”
The story Biden spoke of detailed a private meeting between Hunter and a Chinese oil tycoon, Ye Jianming, who was arrested in March that year on bribery charges.
White House Evasive
Asked for the first time about the voice message, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre neither confirmed nor denied that it came from Biden.
“I am not going to talk about alleged materials on a laptop. It’s not happening,” she told reporters.
The evasive answer from the White House didn’t surprise Comer.
“It’s no surprise Biden officials refuse to answer basic questions about Joe Biden’s involvement with Hunter Biden’s shady foreign business dealings. Joe Biden claims he never talked to Hunter about these business deals, but evidence continues to mount that Joe Biden is the ‘Big Guy’ and benefited from the Biden family’s transactions,” he told The Epoch Times.
The reference to the “Big Guy” came from a 2017 email from the laptop, outlining proposed payout packages in a venture between Hunter and CEFC, a now-defunct energy conglomerate founded by Ye. Part of the email reads, “10 held by H for the big guy,” whom a former Hunter business partner, Tony Bobulinski, previously told The Epoch Times was Biden.
“When Republicans take back the House, the Biden administration won’t be allowed to keep hiding information from the American people. We’ll use the gavel to get answers,” Comer said.
The White House didn’t answer queries from The Epoch Times by press time. The Treasury Department responded to a request for comment, but didn’t address the questions relating to the lawmaker’s concerns.