Top House Republican Presses Janet Yellen for Records on Hunter Biden’s Foreign Business Dealings
Top House Republican Presses Yellen for Records on Hunter Biden’s Foreign Business Dealings
By: Eva Fu
July 7, 2022: 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 suggest an effort to shield the Biden family from scrutiny.
In a letter on July 6, 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 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 while Biden was vice president in the Obama administration.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. banks flag cash transactions exceeding $10,000 a day and automatically generate suspicious activity reports, also called SARs, in a bid to help U.S. government agencies prevent money laundering.
Comer previously wrote to Yellen in late May requesting the SAR reports 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 are 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 read.
Image above: Ranking member Rep. James Comer Jr. (R-KY) speaks during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence in Washington on June 8, 2022.
“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 in the letter.
He noted that in a phone call on June 13, 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 Wall Street Journal at the time.
“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,” he said. “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’s inquiry to over a dozen banks in May, including the Bank of China, Cathay Bank, and JP Morgan Chase, also didn’t receive any responses.
The banks said they cannot provide the requested materials without a subpoena, Comer’s office told The Epoch Times.
Image above: President Joe Biden gives two thumbs up from a balcony of the White House as his son Hunter Biden (L) looks on during 4th of July fireworks in Washington, on July 4, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
Hunter in 2017 and 2018 received millions in payments from Chinese state-linked companies, according to recently released bank records. Emails from what is 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 in public repeatedly denied having discussed with Hunter about 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 began with his 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,” he said. “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.
Image above: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, attends an event at the White House in Washington on April 18, 2022.
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 Rep. 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 states: “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.
Source: The Epoch Times