Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was pressed by the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, for information on the shady foreign dealings of first son Hunter Biden, accusing the White House of thwarting the panel’s probe in order to protect the president.
The Biden administration may be preventing the release of suspicious activity reports related to Hunter Biden, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) claimed in a letter to Yellen. Banks that flag suspiciously large transactions and are meant to guard against money laundering are generating the reports, known as SARs.
“The Biden Administration is restricting Congress’ access to SARs, and Committee Republicans are investigating whether this change in longstanding policy is motivated by efforts to shield Hunter Biden and potentially President Biden from scrutiny. Though the Committee requested documents and information ‘no later than June 8, 2022,’ the Department of the Treasury has provided no documents or information,” wrote Comer.
Comer, who has vowed that if Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives in the November election, he will investigate Hunter Biden, alleged that Treasury officials told GOP committee staffers in a June 13 phone call that they would not release the SARs unless Democrats join in the request.
After an initial request for the SARs on May 25 by Comer was sent, however, the Treasury Department told the Wall Street Journal: “Treasury has made SARs available for every request we’ve received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so.”
Comer wrote: “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.”
“Committee Republicans are committed to following the money trail, a trail consisting of many complex, international transactions worth millions of dollars. 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 added.
A new deadline of July 20 for the Treasury to turn over the SARs was set by the lawmaker. A 2018 voicemail recovered from the first son’s laptop undercuts President Biden’s claims that he never speaks to Hunter about his foreign business deals.
“Hey pal, it’s Dad. 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,” Biden told his son. “I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance, give me a call, I love you,” Biden continued in the voicemail message.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “He’s leaving a voicemail about a New York Times article concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings and he says, ‘I think you’re clear.’ How is that not him talking to his son about his overseas business dealings?”
Jean-Pierre responded: “We’re not, from this podium — I’m not going to talk about alleged materials from the laptop.” Hunter Biden’s laptop left behind at a Wilmington, Del., computer repair shop also contained emails that showed Joe Biden met with some of his son’s business associates when he was vice president under Barack Obama, including at a 2015 DC dinner with a group from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Also, some visitor logs show that a business associate of Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, showed up at the White House and other official locations at least 19 times between 2009 and 2015.
On Nov. 17, 2010, Schwerin met with then-Vice President Biden in the West Wing. Schwerin was the president of the Rosemont Seneca Partners investment fund at the same time, which Hunter Biden founded the year before.