House Republicans ask banks and Treasury for information on Biden family finances

Republican members of the House of Representatives demanded information related to the finances of Hunter Biden and other members of the president’s family in letters Wednesday to more than a dozen banks and the US Treasury Department.

The letters, sent by James Comer, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, appear to provide the basis for investigations the committee would pursue if Republicans took control of the House after the November election.

“We are investigating the domestic and international business relationships of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and other associates and family members of Biden to determine whether these activities compromise the national security of the United States and the ability of President Biden to lead with impartiality,” Comer wrote in letters to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and 13 banks and financial institutions.

Comer requested records related to reports of potential suspicious activity for the Bidens, their business partners or their businesses. Suspicious activity reports are filed by financial institutions when customers make large cash transactions or transfers that could signal criminal activity, such as tax evasion or money laundering. Under previous administrations, members of Congress received copies of these reports from the Treasury Department, upon request, but that access was restricted by the Biden administration. Congressional staffers can now only review these records in person, in a Treasury Department reading room, and cannot make copies.

“The Biden administration’s policy shift raises troubling questions about the administration’s efforts to shield Hunter Biden from congressional scrutiny,” Comer wrote.

A Treasury spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News that the department provides reports of suspicious activity “to Congress in a manner that allows for robust oversight and is consistent with how other sensitive information about law enforcement are produced”.

“The Treasury has made SARs available for every request we have received,” the spokesperson said.

Comer’s letter quoted a CBS News report that more than 150 financial transactions involving the global business affairs of Hunter or President James Biden’s brother have been flagged as concerns by US banks for further review. Large wire transfers were among the transactions flagged.

Comer said in an interview with CBS News that he thinks some accounts “could have been tied to Joe Biden.”

“So there are many instances here where there are serious concerns about Joe Biden’s relationship with Hunter. And does that relationship undermine decisions made by President Biden?” Comer said.

Comer requested in his letter all suspicious activity reports generated in relation to Hunter, other members of the Biden family and their associates. He also requested all documents and communications related to the Biden administration’s decision to restrict congressional access to suspicious activity reports.

Federal officials have confirmed that Hunter Biden is the subject of an ongoing investigation in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware. The survey focuses on tax and other financial issues. A 2019 federal subpoena obtained by CBS News shows that the Delaware criminal investigation searched Hunter and James Biden’s bank records dating back to 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president.

Hunter Biden has not been charged with any crime. Hunter Biden’s attorney did not respond to calls and emails from CBS News.

Even if the U.S. attorney were to indict or reach a plea deal, Comer told CBS News he would still pursue a congressional investigation if the House turned around.

“We’re going to (investigate) because it’s my understanding that what Delaware is looking at is tax evasion, particularly around the Burisma deal in Ukraine. What we’re concerned about is the relationship with the Russian oligarch,” Comer said. “We are concerned about the relationship with the Chinese Communist Party over another energy deal.”

President Biden has said he was not involved in his son and brother’s business dealings, and no evidence has emerged to refute this.

“I have never taken a dime from any foreign source in my life,” Biden said in October 2020 during a presidential debate.

Comer said his team is also checking what they say is a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive, adding that they have so far seen no evidence that it has been tampered with.

In response to a recent CBS News report that a hollywood lawyer working with the president’s son recruited a team of more than 30 attorneys and investigators to probe the laptop’s backstory and counter political attacks on the younger Biden, Comer questioned the arrangement.

“I think there is no question, if this is an ethics violation, what we would like to know is what kind of agreement does this lawyer have with Hunter Biden?” Comer said. “Is he just a fan of the Biden administration…or does he think they are somehow he or his law firm is going to benefit financially?”

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