- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2022

House Republicans are zeroing in on President Biden’s direct involvement in an array of potentially illegal business dealings spearheaded by his son Hunter Biden.

Republicans who will soon run the House Oversight and Reform and Judiciary committees fired their first shot across the president’s bow on Thursday by laying out evidence that they say “raises troubling questions” about whether Mr. Biden has been “compromised by foreign governments.” They pledged to expand their investigation into Mr. Biden when Republicans control the House in the next Congress, which convenes in January.

“This is an investigation of Joe Biden,” said Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, who is poised to take the gavel of the Oversight and Reform Committee.

He was joined at a Capitol Hill press conference by Jim Jordan of Ohio, who is expected to lead the Judiciary Committee, to preview the investigations into the far-flung business dealings of the president and his family.

Mr. Comer and Mr. Jordan said their top priority will be to expose the full extent of Mr. Biden’s involvement in his son’s web of suspicious business deals.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize the evidence that’s already out there pertaining to Hunter Biden,” Mr. Comer said. “I don’t think anybody realizes that Joe Biden was in fact involved in a lot of this.”

SEE ALSO: Congressional investigators reveal evidence suggesting Hunter Biden potentially compromised by China

In a 31-page interim report, Mr. Comer began laying out evidence that he says demonstrates the president’s abuse of his position for personal gain and to obstruct an investigation into his involvement in his son’s business dealings.

Citing evidence obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop and through whistleblowers, Mr. Comer said his committee had uncovered a “decade-long pattern of influence peddling, national security risks, and political cover-ups” committed by the Biden family with the direct knowledge and involvement of the president.

The report claims Mr. Biden was directly involved in his family’s business deals, including those involving foreign interests, despite claiming he had no knowledge of the details.

“That is a lie,” Mr. Comer said Thursday. “Whistleblowers describe President Biden as the chairman of the board for these businesses. He personally participated in meetings and phone calls. Documents show that he was a partner with access to an office.

“To be clear, Joe Biden is the big boss,” he said.

Mr. Comer also said his committee uncovered evidence showing that Mr. Biden and his son commingled finances and potentially shared bank accounts.

Some of those accounts, Mr. Comer said, were subjects of suspicious activity reports. Financial institutions are required to file these documents with the Treasury Department for potentially nefarious transactions.

The lawmakers say they have two suspicious activity reports linked to accounts tied to the Biden family. One of those reports, the lawmakers say, connects Hunter Biden and his associates to international human trafficking and other illegal activities.

Mr. Comer said the Treasury Department is withholding another 148 reports linked to accounts tied to the Biden family. He accused the president of using his authority to block the release of suspicious activity reports, which have been available to members of Congress under previous administrations.

“We have repeatedly called on the Biden Treasury Department to release additional financial documents to committee Republicans, but thus far Treasury has refused,” he said. “We want to know what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American people and why they’re not being transparent.”

Mr. Comer said accessing those reports will be his top priority once he obtains subpoena power as committee chair in the next Congress.

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

The White House dismissed the lawmakers’ claims as “politically-motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories.”

“President Biden is not going to let these political attacks distract him from focusing on Americans’ priorities, and we hope congressional Republicans will join us in tackling them instead of wasting time and resources on political revenge,” said White House counsel’s office spokesman Ian Sams.

The White House’s rebuff is unlikely to deter the lawmakers from investigations.

Mr. Jordan noted that the administration previously dismissed the disparaging details recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop as half-baked conspiracies peddled by political adversaries.

“When it started off, it was ‘No, it’s not his laptop,’” Mr. Jordan said. “Then it was ‘Well, it’s his laptop, but remember, it’s Russian disinformation, and no one did anything wrong.’ Then it was ‘Well, maybe he did something wrong, but President Biden didn’t know about it.’”

Mr. Jordan said the administration’s claims that Republicans were peddling conspiracy theories are wearing thin with the public.

Republicans have led investigations into Hunter Biden since 2020, culminating in a steady drip of disparaging details recovered from his laptop and from whistleblowers.

Under a Republican-led House, committee leaders, who wield the power to subpoena witnesses and schedule hearings, will have far more power to draw out their investigations and bring their findings before the public.

“You’re going to be presented with something you haven’t been used to over the past four years: evidence,” Mr. Comer told reporters on Thursday. “And we believe that this is of the utmost importance.”

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

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