WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee’s staff on Wednesday will finally examine suspicious activity reports sent by banks to the Treasury Department alerting of potential criminal activity involving President Biden’s family.
The committee’s long-awaited review is expected to accelerate Republican Committee Chairman James Comer’s investigation of Joe Biden’s links to ventures in places such as China, Russia and Ukraine.
“Oversight Committee staff will begin reviewing suspicious activity reports in camera at the Treasury Department Wednesday afternoon,” a spokeswoman for the panel told The Post.
The Treasury Department allegedly stonewalled Comer’s demands for access before relenting Monday and agreeing to allow the review.
CBS News reported last year that there are more than 150 suspicious activity reports involving first son Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden.
Banks are required to submit SARs to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network within 30 days of identifying potentially criminal activity such as money laundering or tax evasion.
The committee’s review of the documents is likely to expose new details about the Biden family’s international business ventures, which remain cloaked in secrecy amid the White House’s refusal to answer even basic questions.
Hunter Biden and James Biden pursued consulting work and investments in a range of countries during the eight years while their powerful relative was vice president and afterward — and often involved Joe Biden directly in many of those business relationships.
Republicans say the international business deals create conflicts of interest for the commander-in-chief and may even demonstrate corruption.
Comer has demanded records from a wide range of sources and on Monday night alleged that freshly retrieved bank documents reveal that a “new Biden family member that’s never before been included in any of these investigations” received part of a $3 million payment from a Chinese energy company in early 2017.
Comer said that revelation came from records he subpoenaed from Bank of America pertaining to three Biden family associates.
Hunter and James Biden received at least $4.8 billion from CEFC China Energy in 2017 and 2018, according to a Washington Post review of documents from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.
Joe Biden allegedly met in May 2017 with Hunter Biden’s then-business partner Tony Bobulinski to discuss the CEFC deal and an email the same month from another Hunter Biden associate, James Gilliar, proposed in an email that 10% of the business deal would be “held by H for the big guy.”
Both Bobulinski and Gilliar have identified Joe Biden as the “big guy” and an October 2017 email identifies Joe Biden as a participant in a call about CEFC’s attempt to purchase US natural gas.
The now-defunct company was reputed to be a cog in Beijing’s “Belt and Road” foreign-influence campaign.
In another murky Chinese venture, Hunter Biden-co-founded BHR Partners, a state-backed investment fund, in 2013 within weeks of joining his dad aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hunter introduced his VP father to BHR CEO Jonathan Li and Joe Biden later wrote college recommendation letters for Li’s children.
Online business records suggest Hunter Biden still owns 10% of BHR Partners, despite his legal team claiming he divested the stake in 2021.
The White House has refused to provide any transparency on the alleged transaction, including about the supposed buyer or dollar amount.
The suspicious activity reports may flesh out other less-well-understood dealings of the Biden family.
Although Hunter Biden famously earned up to $1 million per year to serve on Ukrainian gas company Burisma beginning in 2014 while his father led the Obama administration, his association with a pair of Russian billionaires, Yelena Baturina and Vladimir Yevtushenkov, remain less understood.
Hunter Biden partnered with Baturina and Yevtushenkov to buy property in the US, according to laptop communications, but the scale of those transactions remain unclear, as does the possible financial benefit to the Biden family.
Both billionaires have managed to avoid President Biden’s sanctions aimed at Russia’s elite over the one-year war in Ukraine.
Baturina, the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, allegedly wired $3.5 million in February 2014 to the bank account of a Hunter Biden-associated firm, according to a 2020 report by Senate Republican-led committees.
She allegedly dined with Hunter and sitting Vice President Joe Biden in 2015 at a DC gathering that also featured Hunter’s Kazakhstanti business associates and a representative from Burisma.
Baturina’s US investments reportedly may have reached an eye-popping nine figures, while the scale of Yevtushenkov’s investments, if any, remain unclear.
Biden allies previously sought to downplay his association with Baturina.
An anonymous source told the Washington Post last year that Hunter’s associate Devon Archer was supposed to dissolve the corporate entity that received the $3.5 million but secretly kept the entity in existence for his own use.
However, emails from Hunter’s laptop show he was actively engaged in courting Baturina, writing in April 2014 to Archer that “we should ask Yelena to fund a short term development team to scope projects” after an attempted real estate deal in Manhattan fell through.
Hunter and James Biden also actively courted business from Mexico’s business elite, who Joe Biden hosted at the vice president’s residence in DC in 2015 before flying Hunter and business associate Jeff Cooper to Mexico City aboard Air Force Once on an official trip in 2016.
Hunter Biden wrote that he paid as much as “half” of his income to his father and is under federal investigation by the US attorney’s office in Delaware for possible tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, money laundering and lying about his drug use on a gun-purchase form.