By Cathy He
The House Oversight Committee will investigate President Joe Biden and his involvement in his son Hunter’s foreign business deals, Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced on Nov. 17 ahead of the GOP retaking the chamber in the new year.
Contrary to the president’s claims, the elder Biden was directly involved in Hunter’s international business dealings, said Comer, the incoming chair of the committee, citing whistleblower evidence.
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” he said at a press conference.
Comer said that the Biden family “flourished and became millionaires by simply offering access to the family.”
“This committee will evaluate the status of Joe Biden’s relationship with his family’s foreign partners, and whether he is a president who is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars and influence,” the incoming chair said.
Alleged Evidence of Crimes
The committee Republicans released a report (pdf) Thursday outlining their findings, claiming that they have uncovered evidence of federal crimes committed by or to benefit the Biden family.
“The Biden family’s business dealings implicate a wide range of criminality from human trafficking, to potential violations of the Constitution,” Comer said.
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 more than 150 transactions from the Bidens’ business dealings have been flagged by U.S. banks through filings of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). 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.
“The SAR shows that Hunter Biden was conducting business with suspected human traffickers,” he added.
Comer noted that committee Republicans have pressed the Treasury Department to release the SARs records but the department has refused. They will continue to pursue those records in the new Congress, he said, when the 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,” the lawmaker said.
The investigation by the committee Republicans has uncovered business deals by the Biden family in over 50 countries, often led by Hunter Biden, including in Russia and China, according to Comer.
“The investigation reveals a family that engaged with some of America’s most powerful adversaries, planning to sell one of the largest sources of cobalt for electric vehicles in the world to the Chinese, for example,” he said.
Another China business deal involved the sale of natural gas to China from at least 2017.
Comer said that evidence showed that Joe Biden had a 10 percent equity stake in this deal through Hunter.
According to emails disclosed by the committee Republicans, Hunter was facilitating the natural gas deal with top executives from the now-defunct CEFC China Energy, at the time one of the largest energy firms in China.
In another email from September 2017, Hunter wrote to the landlord of an office building requesting to “have keys made available for new office mates,” who he identified to be the senior Biden, Jill Biden, and the president’s brother, Jim. Hunter gave his father and uncle’s personal cellphone numbers in case the recipient needed to call for confirmation.
“At a time when Americans are suffering from high energy prices, because of this administration’s terrible energy policy, we find evidence that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden were involved in a scheme to try to get China to buy liquefied natural gas,” Comer said.
The president has repeatedly denied any knowledge of and involvement in his son’s business deals. During a September interview on “60 Minutes,” the president was asked if Hunter’s dealings have caused conflicts for him or the United States, to which the senior Biden replied, “There’s not a single thing that I’ve observed at all that would affect me or the United States relative to my son Hunter.”
Last week, the president brushed off the possibility of investigations by Republicans into his family, saying “Lots of luck in your senior year, as my coach used to say.”
Separately, federal investigators have been probing Hunter Biden over his tax affairs for at least two years. Thus far, no charges have been announced in that case.
Comer emphasized that their investigation will focus on the senior Biden.
“The domestic and international scheme that promised access to wealth in a future Biden administration constitute fraud. And the President’s participation in enriching his family is in a word abuse of the highest order,” he alleged.
“Rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse will be the primary goal of a Republican House Oversight Committee.”
Eva Fu contributed to this report.