A Republican member of the House of Representatives accused the Treasury Department in a speech on Wednesday of meddling on behalf of the White House in an effort to thwart efforts to investigate Hunter Biden’s finances.
Representative James Comer, a ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, cited a June 13 phone call in which “Treasury officials told Republican committee members that they would not submit search and rescue reports to Republican committee members unless Democrats joined the request.”
“The Treasury Department declines to publish reports of suspicious activity relating to Hunter Biden or his family and associates – including the President,” Comer wrote in his letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
comingRelated to reports of potential suspicious activities, known as SARs, on May 26, and management gave a deadline of June 8. He said in his letter on Wednesday that the Treasury Department has not yet turned over the documents. Suspicious activity reports are submitted by financial institutions when customers make large cash transactions or transfers that could indicate criminal activity, such as tax evasion or money laundering, although many of these transactions are not improper.
“Treasury supplies SARs to Congress in a way that allows for strong oversight and is consistent with how other sensitive law enforcement information is often produced,” a Treasury official said in an email to CBS News Wednesday.
“It is not a political process. Since the beginning of this administration, the Treasury Department has made search and rescue reports available in response to authorized commission requests and continues to engage in the process with any individual seeking information,” the official said.
The Treasury Department did not address questions sent by CBS News about Comer’s claim that the agency is asking Democrats to join his request before it releases records related to Hunter Biden.
In his May letter, Comer wrote that House Republicans are investigating Hunter Biden “and other Biden associates and family members” to determine whether their business dealings “threaten US national security and President Biden’s ability to lead impartially.”
Under previous administrations, members of Congress could request copies of SARs, but Comer wrote that House Republicans are also investigating why that access is restricted. Congressional employees can now only review these records in person and cannot make copies.
“Republican committee members are investigating whether this longstanding policy change was motivated by efforts to protect Hunter Biden and possibly President Biden from scrutiny,” Comer wrote.
The next May speech was martyredMore than 150 financial transactions related to the global business affairs of Hunter Biden or President James Biden’s brother have been reported by US banks for further review. Large wire transfers were among the transactions reported.
Comer’s May request was for all SARs generated in connection with Hunter and other members of the Biden family and their business partners. He also requested all documents and communications related to the Biden administration’s decision to restrict Congress’ access to suspicious activity reports.
In a Wednesday letter, he also asked the Treasury Department for records that might be destroyed regarding Biden family affairs since the president’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.
Comair’s requests appear to provide the basis for the investigations the committee will pursue if Republicans take control of the House after the November elections. Comer said the committee will investigate Hunter Biden even if a federal investigation from the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware does not lead to charges.
A 2019 federal subpoena obtained by CBS News shows that a Delaware criminal investigation has sought Hunter and James Biden’s bank records dating back to 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president.
President Biden said he was not involved in his son and brother’s business dealings.
“I have never taken a penny from any foreign source, ever, in my life,” Biden said in October 2020 during a presidential debate.
In April, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein reiterated that the president was not involved in his son’s business.
“These are the actions of Hunter and his brother, these are private matters. It’s not about the president and it’s definitely something no one in the White House is involved in,” Klein said.