- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2022

House Oversight Republicans are probing the Treasury Department on why a Russian billionaire linked to Hunter Biden has yet to be publicly named among those sanctioned in the wake of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday, the lawmakers led by the committee’s top Republican James Comer of Kentucky said it remains unclear whether Russia’s wealthiest woman, Elena Baturina, who lawmakers say paid Hunter Biden’s company over $3 million in 2014, is among the 50 Russian oligarchs targeted by U.S. sanctions since the start of the war.

The Treasury Department has publicly released the names of 28 Russian elites who were sanctioned, but the names of the 22 remaining individuals have been withheld from the public.

“If Hunter Biden’s associates, including Elena Baturina, are being treated differently from other wealthy, politically-connected Russians because of their connections with the President of the United States’ son, the Administration should disclose this information to the American public,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Treasury Department and White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The $3.5 million wire transfer from Ms. Baturina to Hunter Biden was revealed in 2020 following a congressional probe of Mr. Biden’s business dealings spearheaded by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees.

The Trump administration classified Ms. Baturina as a Russian “political figure and oligarch” in 2018.

In March, Russia targeted Hunter Biden in a round of sanctions that also included President Biden and members of his administration.

In a letter to White House Counsel Dana Remus that same month, the lawmakers said Russia’s inclusion of Hunter Biden — who is “decidedly not a ‘Democratic Official” — raised serious questions.

“The nation’s adversaries apparently see the President’s son as a pressure point to exploit,” the lawmakers wrote in March. “Additionally, his inclusion on the list is the latest evidence that Hunter Biden has indeed engaged in business schemes with our adversaries.”

On Thursday, the lawmakers pressed the administration further on whether Hunter Biden’s alleged business dealings are influencing the post-invasion sanctions tit-for-tat between the U.S. and Russia.

“If the United States is avoiding sanctioning certain Russian oligarchs because of concerns they may attempt to influence American policy by exploiting Hunter Biden’s connection with his father — the President of the United States—the American people deserve to know it,” the lawmakers wrote. 

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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