House Oversight chair: Biden classified docs, foreign business probes 'really one investigation'

The "reason I'm concerned about the Biden documents is because there's some reason that China has donated so much money to the different Biden interests," said Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.). "I don't think they're doing it out of the kindness of their heart."

Published: January 30, 2023 5:33pm

Updated: January 31, 2023 6:01pm

Kentucky Republican Rep. James Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, emphasized Monday that President Biden's role is a central focus of his committee's investigation of the Biden family's overseas business deals, particularly those related to China.

"This family has made millions and millions of dollars from China," Comer said at the National Press Club. "You look at the wire transfers. The money was going from China to different LLCs, then to pay both Hunter Biden and Jim Biden salaries for consulting. We'd like to know what that consulting was. I mean, I feel like if China or anyone pays you millions of dollars, they expect to get a return on that investment, and I don't know what that return was. We want to find out."

He said the White House hasn't explained the nature of the consulting work that the president's son Hunter and brother Jim were doing. 

"Even Democrats in the House of Representatives realize that China is a problem," Comer said. "So when you see that this country has donated so much money to the Biden family, shouldn't someone look into that to make sure that everything is aboveboard there? And that's what we're doing."

As an example, Comer compared Hunter Biden to former White House adviser Jared Kushner, former President Trump's son-in-law. Comer said everyone knew Kushner was involved in real estate before Trump became president.

"What business is Hunter Biden in?" he asked. "I would argue influence peddling, and I've got a problem with that."

Comer has similar questions regarding Jim Biden, the president's brother. "What was he doing to make $45,000 a month consulting?" he asked. "He's not a lawyer. Hunter is a lawyer. Was he doing legal work? I don't know."

Comer declined to say if he would call the president's son to testify at this time.

"Right now, we just want the bank records," he said, referring to suspicious activity reports (SARs) related to Hunter Biden's business affairs, which he first requested from the Treaury Department in May 2022. 

"Those suspicious activity reports were created to help Congress and everyone communicate about suspicious foreign transactions," Comer said. "I think that anyone that was in business with the Bidens, who were on these accounts, that were partners in these LLCs, I think they need to tell everyone exactly what the business was."

Comer revealed that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is still blocking his access to all of the suspicious activity reports related to Hunter Biden, which he said is about 150.

"The bank feared there was money laundering going on, because there was so many transfers," he said. "I don't believe it was money laundering, I believe they were just trying to hide from, well, media where the money was coming." 

Comer wrote a letter to Yellen on Jan. 11 again requesting access to the reports. 

Comer suggested that Congress pass a legislative fix related to "influence peddling," adding that there need to be "more disclosure laws" related to loans obtained by family members of the president and vice president. 

"The odds are high that in the future there are going to be more presidents in business that have immediate family members that have international businesses, because most businesses are international now," he said. "It's a global market now, but there needs to be more disclosure laws. If a family member gets a loan, we need to determine if that's legal or not. And at the very least, the media should know what the terms of that loan are."

Comer explained that the committee's investigation into the classified documents discovered at the president's house is tied to that same investigation of the Biden family members' business dealings.

"It's really one investigation," he explained. "It's not really two, because the reason that I'm concerned about the Biden documents is because there's some reason that China has donated so much money to the different Biden interests. I don't think they're doing it out of the kindness of their heart."

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