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GOP may have evidence showing Biden knew about son’s business dealings: Report

By Sarah May
|
February 13, 2023

Amid intensifying probes into Biden family business dealings, Republican House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (KY-01) is teasing potential revelations about President Joe Biden's direct knowledge of son Hunter Biden's questionable foreign entanglements, as the Washington Examiner notes.

Comer's remarks came during a Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulous in which the congressman also touched on topics such as the debt limit and allegations from Democrats that Republicans intend to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Comer drops hints

The Oversight Committee chair is currently in the midst of a far-reaching probe of the president's potential involvement in corrupt business dealings engineered by members of his family, and though he did not provide specifics of what the panel may have discovered thus far, his remarks on Sunday were certainly thought-provoking.

“We know that Joe Biden said during the presidential campaign that he had no knowledge of his son's business interests. He wasn't involved. He didn't benefit from them,” Comer began. “We have evidence that would suggest otherwise. And this is very concerning.”

Referencing the recent incident in which a Chinese spy balloon was shot down over the waters near South Carolina, Comer implied a sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of the Biden family business, saying, “Americans are outraged that China flew a balloon over the United States, Americans are outraged that China is trying to buy farmland. I think Americans would be outraged to know how much money the Biden family is taking in from China. And for what, we don't exactly know.”

Suggesting that the broader issues implicated by Biden family dealings are indicative of the possible need for a statutory solution, Comer added, “This is something we are concerned about, but we're also concerned about a legislative fix.”

Documents sought

Just last week, Comer dispatched his first formal request to the president's son, Hunter, brother, James Biden, and former Hunter Biden associate, Eric Schwerin, for a host of records related to their foreign business endeavors, as CNN noted.

Among the materials sought by Comer are materials related to classified documents obtained from any government body – particularly the U.S. intelligence community – as well as financial documents and communications regarding travel with a governmental agency and discussions regarding a number of foreign individuals.

“Hunter Biden, James Biden, and Eric Schwerin are key witnesses in our investigation of Joe Biden's involvement in his family's international and domestic business schemes. Evidence obtained in our investigation reveals the Biden family business model is built on Joe Biden's political career and connections,” asserted Comer.

In his communication to Hunter Biden, Comer alleged that the first son and those with whom he worked “peddled influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family,” and indicated that the committee thus far has already turned up evidence showing that Hunter Biden has done business deals with actors linked to the Chinese Communist Party and also “received significant amounts of money from foreign companies without providing any known legitimate services.”

Demand declined

Almost as soon as Comer's demands were issued, one of Hunter Biden's attorneys fired back against the congressman's document request, contending that there is “no legislative purpose” and that the House Oversight Committee has no authority to demand the materials from his client, as The Hill reports.

In a letter sent in response to Comer's communication, attorney Abbe Lowell tore into the committee chair, saying, “Peddling your own inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation turns the Committee into 'Wonderland' and you into the Queen of Hearts shouting, 'sentence first, verdict afterwords.'”

Though Comer has maintained that one of the primary purposes of the probe is to facilitate the drafting of legislation designed to “strengthen ethics laws regarding public officials and their families,” Lowell deemed that premise “an attempt to invent a legislative purpose that is thinly veiled, at best.”

Lowell further contended that the Oversight Committee's investigatory reach is limited when it comes to private citizens, and he noted that similar objections were raised by Republicans in the past in response to subpoenas from Democrats to members of former President Donald Trump's family.

Risky gambit

In response to Lowell's letter, Comer held firm in his determination to secure the requested materials, with a spokesperson saying, “It's no surprise that Hunter Biden is trying to stonewall Congress' oversight and hide information about Joe Biden's involvement in his family's suspicious business practices.”

The statement went on, “The Oversight Committee will continue its oversight and use all tools at its disposal to gather information critical to our investigation and to inform legislative solutions.”

In the estimation of at least one expert, namely, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, Lowell's approach is likely destined for failure, as he explained in an opinion piece penned for Fox News, saying that Hunter Biden's attorney “would have been far smarter to turn over some material to the Committee in good faith while seeking to negotiate on the scope of the inquiry.”

“A categorical refusal gives the Committee ample basis to issue a subpoena,” says Turley, who added that Lowell's assertion that there is “no legislative purpose” in exploring possible influence peddling that may involve the president is “simply wrong.” As such, the professor notes, if the dispute ultimately reaches a courtroom, “the Committee will not necessarily get everything, it is likely to prevail on the threshold issue of the right to such evidence.”