House GOP gets access to Hunter Biden bank details from Treasury Department
WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department has agreed to allow House investigators to review suspicious bank statements about the president’s son, Hunter Bidenand his business associates, a key House committee chairman announced Tuesday.
The agreement followed Rep. James Comer, Chair of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, made several requests for the documents and had been refused.
“After a two-month delay, the Treasury Department is finally giving us access to the Suspicious Activity Reports for the business transactions of the Biden family and their associates,” Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement.
Treasury officials said they engaged in several rounds of consultations with the committee, but had to protect the records’ privacy and consult with law enforcement officials before granting access. Democrats on the panel have criticized the investigation as hyper-partisan. The White House has dismissed the investigation as politically motivated.
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Here’s what we know about the study:
What are suspicious activity reports?
Despite the name, reports of suspicious activity in banking do not necessarily indicate criminal activity. The reports cover transactions over $5,000 for potential further review. The Ministry of Finance received an estimated 3.6 million of the reports last year.
Comer has asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for 150 alerts from US banks about transactions involving Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden.
Comer is also seeking reports linked to James’ wife Sara Biden, business associates John “Rob” Walker, Eric Schwerin, Devon Archer and corporate entities Rosemont Seneca Advisors, Rosemont Seneca Partners, Rosemont Seneca Technology, RSTP II Alpha Partners, RSTP II Bravo and Equity Distribution Trust , Hudson West III, Hudson West IV, Hudson West V, Owasco, Coldharbor Capital, Lion Hall Group and Skaneateles.
Abbe Lowell, one of Hunter Biden’s lawyers, said 65,000 bank statements have been filed in Comer’s congressional district since 2014. Lowell said the panel’s Republicans could investigate whether any relatives, friends or associates were among the 6.8 million reports, that were filed in their districts in the recent past. nine years.
“After five years of the same old disproven conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden and his family, Rep. Comer’s political obsession comes at the high cost of time and money that could actually be used to improve the lives of Americans,” Lowell said.
Why did Comer want to review the documents?
Committee Republicans had asked for the bank reports three times last year when they were in the minority.
After he became chairman, Comer wrote to Finance Minister Janet Yellen asks for the information on January 11 about the suspicious transactions by Biden and his associates. He followed up with a letter on 24 February. On March 7, he requested one The Ministry of Finance appears for a transcribed interview after the department declined to provide a witness for an open hearing.
What has the Ministry of Finance said?
Treasury officials said they had worked to provide the information the committee sought, but first had to consult with law enforcement officials to protect information about potential investigations into money laundering, terrorist financing and other illegal activity.
Jonathan Davidson, the assistant secretary for regulatory affairs who was named as a witness in a potential hearing about the records, said he could not testify about the records because the Bank Secrecy Act prohibits publicly discussing reports of suspicious activity or even confirming their existence, according to letters obtained by USA TODAY.
Instead, the Treasury Department offered to meet privately with lawmakers to share what information they could, the letters said.
The committee has already obtained bank records showing that a company owned by Walker received a $3 million wire transfer from a Chinese energy company two months after Joe Biden left office as vice president. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were then paid to members of Biden’s family, according to Comer.
The payment has been common knowledge because a The Senate Republican investigation by Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin already documented it. But they reported that it was unclear who was ultimately behind the payment and who benefited.
Comer, who has subpoena power in Parliament’s majority, investigates further.
“We will continue to use bank records and suspicious activity reports to follow the money trail to determine the extent of the Biden family’s business plans if Joe Biden is compromised by these deals and if there is a national security threat,” Comer said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Treasury gives House GOP access to Hunter Biden bank records