House Republicans investigating pattern of government contracts, loans awarded to Biden donors

Oversight investigations of the president and his son Hunter are heating up in advance of potential GOP House control.

Updated: April 22, 2022 - 10:33pm

Oversight investigations of the Biden administration and the president's son Hunter Biden are heating up in advance of potential GOP House control.

According to the Republican staff on the House Oversight Committee, Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Oversight Committee Republicans are concerned about reports that the Biden administration is "inappropriately awarding taxpayer-funded government contracts and loans to political allies with a history of donating to Democrats and President Biden's 2020 campaign."

The lawmakers wrote to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young on Thursday requesting "all documents and communications between OMB, various federal agencies, and certain Democrat donors who have received lucrative government contracts, in an effort to ensure that the Biden Administration is not rewarding political allies to the detriment of the taxpayers," according to a press release from the Oversight Committee minority staff.

"To ensure that political donations are not unduly influencing the administration’s management of contracts and loans, we request documents and information about what, if any, safeguards and procedures are in place to protect taxpayers,” the committee members wrote in the letter to Young.

One of the contracts under scrutiny involves Joe Kiani, founder, chairman and CEO of Masimo who was appointed to the President's Council on Science and Technology (PCAST).

"Mr. Kiani is a prolific Democratic donor, contributing over $1 million to the Biden Foundation in 2017, $750,000 to the pro-Biden super PAC Unite the Country, and $1 million to the Biden Inaugural Committee," according to the GOP letter. "In addition to receiving an appointment to PCAST, Mr. Kiani's company Masimo has received nearly $3 million in federal government contracts since January 2021."

Lukas Walton, another top Biden donor, had investments in a company that "received the largest loan in the history of" the International Development Finance Corporation. Republican members of the committee are seeking further information on how and why this money was granted.

A committee minority staff spokesperson confirmed there are also several investigations in the works related to Hunter Biden.

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer and other committee members are pressing Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Hunter's ties to Russia's wealthiest woman. 

"We are continuing oversight of Hunter Biden's foreign business schemes," Comer and other GOP committee members wrote to Yellen on Thursday. "The Biden Administration imposed sanctions on certain individuals after Russia's undeclared war against Ukraine began in February, but not all of the names have been released publicly.

"Notably missing from the public list provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury is any reference to billionaire Elena Baturina, Russia's wealthiest woman worth over $1.4 billion who paid Hunter Biden's company over $3 million in 2014 and was formerly married to the Mayor of Moscow." 

The lawmakers wrote that "because Hunter Biden is now subject to sanctions issued by Russia, his foreign business dealings are of heightened importance."

They are requesting from Yellen "further information to determine whether Hunter Biden's relationships with Russian oligarchs are impacting the foreign policy decisions of the United States."

In a separate action on Wednesday, Comer called on Twitter to "preserve" all "documents and communications" related to the decision to censor a New York Post report about Hunter's abandoned laptop during the 2020 election cycle. Several major news outlets are now confirming the authenticity of the laptop.

"Most recently Hunter Biden has made a fortune selling his artwork to anonymous and likely foreign purchasers," Comer wrote in a letter to Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter. "Media reports indicate Hunter Biden paid various bills for his father, including thousands of dollars for the then-Vice President's home in Delaware. If true, the sources of Hunter Biden's income could exercise undue influence on national security and other U.S. policy positions. 

"These documents are critical to understanding whether Twitter and other Big Tech companies purposefully took actions to give then-candidate Biden an electoral edge in 2020. Likewise, the Committee must evaluate whether President Biden is vulnerable to improper influence from foreign nations." 

In January, Comer launched an investigation into Hunter BIden's Chinese business dealings