New House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) launched the much-anticipated investigation into President Biden and his family’s finances on Wednesday, requesting “suspicious activity reports” from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a letter.
Comer wrote to Yellen that his panel is investigating “President Biden’s involvement in his family’s foreign business practices and international influence peddling schemes” and will consider drafting legislation to restrict the activities of elected officials’ families.
Yellen previously turned down a similar request for documents last year. Things are different now that the Republicans control the House once again.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s involvement in his family’s foreign business practices and international influence peddling schemes,” the letter states.
“During the 117th Congress, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) refused our requests to provide information about the Biden family, including Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) generated by banks that flagged the suspicious financial activities of Robert Hunter Biden, James Biden, Biden family associates, and their related companies,” Comer wrote.
“The Committee requests these SARs and other information. The Committee is investigating President Biden’s knowledge of and role in these schemes to assess whether he has compromised our national security at the expense of the American people. Additionally, we will examine drafting legislation to strengthen federal ethics laws regarding employees and their families,” the letter continues. “We will also examine and make recommendations regarding federal laws and regulations to ensure that financial institutions have the proper internal controls and compliance programs to alert federal agencies of potential money laundering activity. Accordingly, we make this renewed request for certain records and information in Treasury’s custody.”
The letter goes on to pressure Yellen to comply with the House’s requests which are listed in the correspondence.
NEW: GOP Oversight Chairman @JamesComer "investigating President Biden's involvement in his family's foreign business practices" requests Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from Treasury no later Jan 25. In 2022 Treasury would only provide to committee chairs – then Democrats. pic.twitter.com/pE5XjRKIHR
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) January 11, 2023
“In 2022, Treasury stated it ‘has made SARs available for every request we’ve received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so.’ However, Treasury’s lack of a substantive response to Republican requests for SARs and other information in the 117th Congress indicates that Treasury’s leadership abandoned this policy at a similar time when we requested information regarding the Biden family. Treasury subsequently in 2022 informed Committee Republican staff that it would provide SARs to congressional committees only in response to requests made by committee chairs. I now make these requests pursuant to my authority as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability,” Comer wrote.
He said that the requested information should be delivered to the committee no later than Jan. 25.
Comer also sent a series of letters to former top Twitter executives calling for their testimonies concerning the company’s handling of news reporting from the New York Post on leaked data obtained from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, according to The Hill. He charged that the executives were responsible for censoring news reporting about the Biden family ahead of the 2020 election.
“Your attendance is necessary because of your role in suppressing Americans’ access to information about the Biden family on Twitter shortly before the 2020 election,” each of the letters to the former Twitter employees notes.
Ian Sams, who is a White House spokesman on investigations, denigrated the letter as partisan gamesmanship, according to NBC News.
“In their first week as a governing majority, House Republicans have not taken any meaningful action to address inflation and lower Americans’ costs, yet they’re jumping out of the gate with political stunts driven by the most extreme MAGA members of their caucus in an effort to get attention on Fox News,” Sams asserted. “The president is going to continue focusing on the important issues the American people want their leaders to work together on, and we hope House Republicans will join him.”
None of the Biden clan have been charged with any crimes related to their business practices… yet. But both Hunter and James Biden have been scrutinized for influence peddling that could enrich them and possibly compromise the president. Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware over business dealings and taxes.
Republicans and former President Trump have asked the Justice Department to prosecute Hunter Biden for a number of things related to business dealings in China and Ukraine.
Federal law requires financial institutions to file private reports (SARs) when they detect unusual transactions that could be signs of illegal activity.
Comer is also seeking records of any interactions among executive branch agencies and the White House regarding the Bidens and their business partners, among executive branch agencies and financial institutions involving the same people, and any changes to SARs policy since Biden was elected president, according to NBC News.
Also named in the letter are Sara Biden, James Biden’s wife and President Biden’s sister-in-law, and Biden family business associates Rob Walker, Eric Schwerin, and Devon Archer.
“This investigation is a top priority for House Republicans during the 118th Congress,” Comer said in a statement. “The investigation will inform legislative solutions to protect Americans’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech and press and prevent public officials and their family members from using public office to enrich themselves.”
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