- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2023

House Republicans on Thursday expanded their probe into President Biden and his family’s long trail of suspicious dealings with demands that the president’s son Hunter Biden turn over a sprawling list of documents related to his overseas moneymaking schemes dating back more than a decade.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer’s demands include Hunter Biden’s records and communications with his father and uncle concerning a list of more than two dozen individuals and companies dating back to 2009 until January 2021 — a period spanning Vice President Biden’s time in office under the Obama administration until his presidential inauguration.

The Kentucky Republican is also demanding the president’s son hand over any document in his possession that is “designated classified by any government body” and any communication with his father regarding “international or domestic travel with any government agency” dating back to Mr. Biden’s tenure as vice president.

The chairman sent similar demands for documents and communications to the president’s brother James Biden and Hunter Biden’s business partner, Eric Schwerin.

Mr. Comer gave all three until Feb. 22 to hand over the requested material.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating President Biden’s connections to certain international and domestic business transactions and practices, including you and your associates who peddled influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family,” Mr. Comer wrote in his letter outlining his demands.

SEE ALSO: Lawmakers press Twitter execs on FBI’s role in censoring Hunter Biden story

“Evidence shows that you engaged in foreign business deals with individuals who were connected to the Chinese Communist Party and received significant amounts of money from foreign companies without providing any known legitimate services,” he wrote. “You and your associates’ financial conduct raises significant ethics and national security concerns.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell said in response that the committee “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” in seeking the documents from his client.

“Rather than engage in back-and-forth letter writing campaigns or any formal proceedings, I would offer to sit with you and your staff, including the ranking member and his staff, to see whether Mr. Biden has information that may inform some legitimate legislative purpose and be helpful to the committee,” Mr. Lowell wrote in a letter to Mr. Comer.

Last week, Mr. Lowell called for investigations into the leak of Hunter Biden’s discarded laptop computer, which has been the source of information that Republicans on the committee say proves the president was aware of, and potentially involved in, his son’s money making ventures, despite his numerous denials.

In letters to the Justice Department and Delaware attorney general, Mr. Lowell asked for probes into Delaware computer repairman Mac Isaac and Trump insiders Rudolph W. Giuliani and Steve Bannon for “unauthorized access, copying and dissemination of [Hunter] Biden’s personal information.”

One lawyer familiar with the letters said Mr. Lowell could be aiming to stymie the ongoing congressional investigation into Hunter Biden by tying up the laptop in an ongoing criminal investigation.

Mr. Comer’s demands of Hunter Biden mark a significant expansion of the Republican-led probe into Mr. Biden’s potential involvement in his son’s foreign business deals.

So far, Mr. Comer has focused on obtaining a tranche of “Suspicious Activity Reports” that he says will shed light on a web of potentially illegal business ventures spearheaded by the Biden family.

Mr. Comer’s requests that the Treasury Department hand over the approximately 150 SARs — reports generated by banks to flag suspected illegal activity — have been rebuffed.

In a letter to Mr. Comer last month, the Treasury Department said it would work with the committee to “properly scope” its response and “make determinations concerning how to accommodate legitimate legislative needs while also protecting Executive Branch interests.” Republicans accuse the Treasury Department of stonewalling.

Mr. Comer said last week that he is prepared to cast a wide net in probing President Biden’s potential involvement in his son Hunter’s far-flung business deals, saying anyone involved in the family’s overseas ventures should be prepared to answer to Congress.

“Anyone that was in business with the Bidens, that were on these accounts, that were partners in these LLCs, they need to tell everyone exactly what the business was,” he said.

Mr. Comer stopped short, however, of committing to hauling the president’s son before the panel, telling reporters: “Right now, we just want the bank records.”

Hunter Biden’s lucrative deals have raised eyebrows for years. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, pursued deals with Chinese Communist Party-linked energy tycoons and allegedly pocketed more than $3 million from a Russian businesswoman who is the widow of a former mayor of Moscow.

Mr. Comer in November laid out evidence that “raises troubling questions” about whether the president has been “compromised by foreign governments” in connection with his son’s ventures.

Citing evidence obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer and through whistleblowers, Mr. Comer said his committee 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.

Republicans on the oversight committee said in a 31-page report that the president was directly involved in his family’s business deals, including those involving foreign interests, despite claiming he did not know the details.

The White House has consistently brushed off Republicans’ effort. It called the lawmakers’ claims “politically motivated attacks chock-full of long-debunked conspiracy theories.”

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

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