The Treasury Department has been accused of blocking lawmakers’ demands into the business dealings of President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Treasury officials are refusing to turn over suspicious activity reports, or SARs, unless the committee’s Democratic leaders n approve the request.
“Despite Treasury’s assertion in the press that it ‘provides SARs to Congress in a manner that allows for robust oversight,’ Treasury refuses to disclose SARs linked to Hunter Biden or his family and associates – including the president,” Comer wrote in a letter Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
He said the Treasury flatly rejected Republicans’ request to turn over the reports during a June 13 phone call with committee staff.
The Treasury Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.
“The American people deserve to know whether the president’s ties to his son’s trade deals have occurred to the detriment of United States interests and whether they pose a threat to national security,” Comer said in the statement. letter.
SEE ALSO: Hunter Biden celebrates 4th of July with president, as Republicans pledge to probe trade deals
Hunter Biden’s trade deals with foreign countries such as China and Ukraine have come under scrutiny since his father served as vice president in the Obama administration. Accusations of nepotism and influence peddling have swirled around Mr Biden as he and other members of the Biden clan made their fortunes in far-flung businesses.
The Justice Department is investigating Hunter Biden for alleged crimes involving taxation, money laundering and acting as an unregistered foreign agent, according to reports.
Mr. Biden’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
In May, Mr. Comer wrote to Ms. Yellen requesting information about financial transactions reported by US banks. SARs provide banks with a reporting mechanism to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In the letter, Comer cited news reports claiming that “more than 150 of Hunter Biden and the Biden Network’s international business transactions have generated suspicious activity reports from U.S. banks for further review by the Treasury Department to determine if there is illegal activity or a threat to national security.
“The Treasury Department used to provide these reports to Congress, but the Biden administration has restricted access to them, raising questions about a possible effort to hide suspicious business transactions from the Biden network,” Mr. Comer in the May letter.
SEE ALSO: Kevin McCarthy pledges to investigate Hunter Biden if GOP wins House
He demanded that the Treasury Department deliver the reports by June 8.
The most recent letter adds to growing calls from Republican lawmakers to investigate the scandal-ridden 52-year-old’s business dealings.
In an op-ed in the New York Post last week, Mr. Comer was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in pledging to investigate “business affairs.” sleazy” by Hunter Biden if the Republicans win a majority this year. midterm elections.
“A Republican majority will pledge to uncover the facts that Democrats, big tech and legacy media have suppressed,” the lawmakers wrote.
Republicans, who have watched Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China during his father’s tenure as vice president, are growing closer to the president’s son since a trove of data stored on an abandoned laptop surfaced just before the 2020 election.
Among their charges, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian oil and gas company, took advantage of his father’s position in government.
Mr Biden has denied ever discussing his son’s business dealings, but records on his son’s laptop indicate otherwise.
In a 2018 voicemail recording retrieved from the laptop, Mr Biden said to his son: “I think you’re in the clear.” He was referring to a New York Times article about the arrest of Chinese energy leader Ye Jianming in China and the prosecution of his lieutenant, Patrick Ho, in the United States for corruption.
The White House has also faced increasing questions from the press amid the slow flow of information from the laptop.
Earlier this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer questions about the laptop’s hardware or Mr Biden’s previous claim that he didn’t. not comment on his son’s business dealings.
“I’m not going to talk about the alleged materials from the laptop,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “I refer you to [Hunter Biden’s] representatives”.