The new chair of the House Oversight Committee has requested information from the Department of the Treasury on the Biden family’s and their associates’ “suspicious business transactions” as part of the panel’s pledge to probe the Biden family’s foreign business dealings and “international influence peddling schemes.”
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, on Jan. 11 announced a series of new actions in relation to the long-promised investigation into President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and social media companies that Comer alleges suppressed negative stories about the Hunter Biden laptop ahead of the 2020 election.
In a series of letters, Comer asked the Treasury to provide a range of financial records, including so-called “suspicious activity reports,” or SARs, related to the Biden family, while calling on former Twitter executives who he said censored the Hunter Biden laptop story to testify at a February hearing.
“For the past two years, the Biden administration and Big Tech worked overtime to hide information about the Biden family’s suspicious business schemes and Joe Biden’s involvement,” Comer said in a statement.
“Now that Democrats no longer have one-party rule in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming,” he added.
As part of the probe, Comer sent letters to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (pdf), former chief legal officer of Twitter Vijaya Gadde (pdf), former deputy general counsel of Twitter James Baker (pdf), and former global head of trust and safety of Twitter Yoel Roth (pdf).
In the letters to the former Twitter executives, Comer called on the trio to appear before a public hearing the week of Feb. 6.
“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,” Comer said in each of the letters.
All three of the former executives were named in the so-called “Twitter Files,” a series of internal communications at the social media company that, among other things, revealed discussions around Twitter’s decision to suppress a story about the contents of a laptop linked to Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The three former executives were not immediately available for comment.
‘International Influence Peddling Schemes’
In his letter to Secretary Yellen, the committee chief requested all SARs that may have been generated in relation to Hunter Biden, the president’s brother James Biden, and several Biden family associates and their related companies.
Financial institutions file millions of suspicious activity reports each year, and while they’re not evidence of wrongdoing, some do lead to law enforcement investigations.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s involvement in his family’s foreign business practices and international influence peddling schemes,” Comer said in the letter to the Treasury secretary, while noting that during the 117th Congress, Treasury had refused the panel’s request for information about the Biden family.
The panel 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,” Comer wrote.
Comer said the committee will consider drafting legislation to bolster federal ethics laws regarding government staff and their family members.
He added that the panel will also review federal laws and regulations to make sure financial institutions have proper protocols in place to alert federal agencies of potential money-laundering activity.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Treasury and the White House for comment on Comer’s request.
The president and Hunter Biden have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In a statement to CNN, Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, characterized Comer’s move as a political stunt.
“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 told the outlet.
“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,” he added.
Several months ago, Comer first announced that when Republicans took control of the Oversight Committee in the 118th Congress, they would launch the long-promised probe.
At the time, Comer claimed that committee Republicans uncovered evidence of federal crimes committed by or to the benefit of the Biden family and released a report (pdf) outlining their findings.
“The Biden family’s business dealings implicate a wide range of criminality from human trafficking to potential violations of the Constitution,” Comer said at the time.
Such crimes, according to Comer, include conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Action, tax evasion, money laundering, and violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Citing media reports, Comer said in November that more than 150 transactions from the Bidens’ business dealings have been flagged by U.S. banks through suspicious activity report filings.
U.S. banks are required by law to flag cash transactions exceeding $10,000 per day and automatically file SARs with a Treasury Department agency in an effort to prevent criminal activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion.
“One SAR generated by an American bank to the Treasury Department connects Hunter Biden and his business associates to international human trafficking, among other illegal activities,” Comer said at the time.
Comer said at the time that Treasury refused to release the SARs to the panel and that he would renew his efforts to obtain those records in the new Congress, as Republicans hold subpoena power.
“As part of our investigation, we have evidence that the finances, credit cards, and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were commingled, if not shared,” Comer said at the time.
Following Comer’s pledge in November to pursue the records, Sams issued a critical statement saying that “instead of working with President Biden to address issues important to the American people, like lower costs, congressional Republicans’ top priority is to go after President Biden with politically motivated attacks chockfull of long-debunked conspiracy theories.”
In a separate move on Jan. 10, Comer announced that the House Oversight Committee had launched an investigation into President Biden’s handling of classified records from his time as vice president, following the discovery of sensitive materials in an insecure closet at a think tank.
“The committee is concerned that President Biden has compromised sources and methods with his own mishandling of classified documents,” Comer wrote in a Jan. 10th letter to White House Counsel Stuart Delery (pdf), while pointing out that Biden has previously called the mishandling of presidential records “totally irresponsible.”
Comer demanded that the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide documents and information related to their handling of Biden’s classified document stash.
Responding to an inquiry from The Epoch Times, the NARA acknowledged receipt of the letter, but provided no further comment.
The White House did not return a request for comment.