WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department has agreed to let House Oversight Committee members review suspicious activity reports pertaining to President Biden’s family, the panel’s chairman James Comer announced Tuesday.
The records submitted by wary banks to the US government may contain new bombshells on the first family’s murky foreign income and the millions reaped by first son Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden in countries where their powerful relative held sway.
“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports for the Biden family and their associates’ business transactions,” Comer (R-Ky.) said.
“It should never have taken us threatening to hold a hearing and conduct a transcribed interview with an official under the penalty of perjury for Treasury to finally accommodate part of our request.”
The reports, which Comer requested last year when he was ranking member of the committee, and again in January, are likely to flesh out details in the money trail involving the Biden family’s relations in China, Russia, Ukraine and potentially other countries.
The Treasury Department is requiring committee members and staff to review the material in camera, though it’s unclear what if any ground rules would prevent the rapid dissemination of key details.
“For over 20 years, Congress had access to these reports but the Biden Administration changed the rules out of the blue to restrict our ability to conduct oversight,” Comer charged.
“According to bank documents we’ve already obtained, we know one company owned by a Biden associate received a $3 million dollar wire from a Chinese energy company two months after Joe Biden left the vice presidency,” he said.
“Soon after, hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts went to members of the Biden family. We are going to continue to use bank documents and suspicious activity reports to follow the money trail to determine the extent of the Biden family’s business schemes, if Joe Biden is compromised by these deals, and if there is a national security threat.”
Comer added, “If Treasury tries to stonewall our investigation again, we will continue to use tools at our disposal to compel compliance.”
The House Oversight Committee investigation of Biden family finances is heating up — and on Monday, the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, revealed that Comer issued a subpoena to Bank of America for 14 years of bank records relating to a trio of Hunter Biden associates, though inquiries have been frustrated elsewhere, including due to a New York gallery owner’s refusal to ID buyers of Hunter Biden’s novice artworks.
Raskin indicated that the bank subpoena pertained at least in part to Hunter and James Biden’s relationship with CEFC China Energy, a now-defunct company that was reported to be a cog in Beijing’s “Belt and Road” foreign-influence campaign.
CEFC paid Hunter and James Biden $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018, according to the Washington Post’s review of records from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, though the precise haul may be clarified by the Treasury Department records.
Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says he met with Joe Biden in May 2017 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.
Republican critics say President Biden’s ability to manage US relations with China is compromised by his family’s financial ties, which include the Hunter Biden-co-founded BHR Partners, a Chinese state-backed investment fund formed in 2013 within weeks of Hunter joining then-VP Biden aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hunter introduced his dad 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, which says it manages $2.1 billion in assets and boasts “unique mixed ownership.” In 2016, the firm facilitated a deal in which a Chinese firm bought a Congolese cobalt mine from US and Canadian companies. Cobalt is used in electric car batteries.
CBS News reported last year that there are more than 150 suspicious activity reports involving Hunter and James Biden.
The reports may flesh out enduring points of intrigue, such as Hunter Biden’s relationship with a pair of Russian billionaires who President Biden has spared US sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine — after they years earlier partnered with Hunter Biden to search for US property investments.
Yelena 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 September 2020 report by Senate Republican-led committees.
Baturina, whose US investments may have reached an eye-popping nine figures, was invited to a 2015 DC dinner with sitting Vice President Joe Biden and attended with her husband, a fellow guest told The Post.
The same meal featured an emissary of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which began paying Hunter Biden up to $1 million per year to serve on its board in 2014 while his dad led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
It’s unclear if the other Hunter Biden-linked Russian oligarch, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, actually bought property after meeting with the then-second son in New York City in 2012 and then setting another meeting the next year in Washington, though laptop documents indicate an active search for investments and the reports may contain new information.
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 on an official trip in 2016.
Hunter Biden wrote in communications retrieved from his former that he paid as much as “half” of his income to his father. He 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.