GOP asks for records from Biden’s family on business deals

Feb 9, 2023, 10:38 AM | Updated: 11:34 am

FILE - President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Isla...

FILE - President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, S.C., after attending a Mass, Aug. 13, 2022. House Republicans have made the first official requests for documents from Hunter and James Biden regarding foreign business dealings. The letters Thursday further escalated a wide-ranging investigation into the president’s family. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans made the first official requests Thursday for documents from Hunter and James Biden regarding their foreign business dealings, further escalating a wide-ranging investigation into the president’s family.

Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent letters to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter; the president’s brother, James; and their former business manager seeking documents and communications related to foreign business pursuits “with individuals who were connected to the Chinese Communist Party.”

“If President Biden is compromised by deals with foreign adversaries and they are impacting his decision making, this is a threat to national security,” Comer said in a statement.

The letters are the most recent action by Republicans in pursuit of the Biden family for what they have alleged is “influence peddling,” but have so far failed to produce evidence supporting those claims.

The broad requests include any record “designated classified” and communications between the president or James Biden and his wife, Sara Jones Biden, and Hunter Biden from Jan. 20, 2009, regarding travel and financial activity.

A lawyer for Hunter Biden dismissed the request Thursday as an effort by Comer to peddle his own “inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation.”

“As your Letter is a sweeping attempt to collect an expansive array of documents and communications from President Biden and his family, I write to explain that the Committee on Oversight and Accountability lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and oversight basis for requesting such records from Mr. Biden, who is a private citizen,” attorney Abbe Lowell wrote in a letter to the committee.

Shortly after taking over control of the House, Republicans, led by Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, launched a series of sprawling inquiries into the president’s family, sending records requests to nearly every government agency.

Last month, Comer wielded the power of the new Republican House majority to seek information from the Treasury Department about financial transactions by members of the Biden family that were flagged as suspicious activity. Those reports are routine, with larger financial transactions automatically flagged to the government, and are not evidence on their own of misconduct.

Weeks later, the Kentucky Republican asked for a transcribed interview with Georges Bergès, the art dealer who has been showcasing Hunter Biden’s work in New York and Los Angeles galleries since 2021. He requested communications between the gallery and the White House, citing Republican concerns that the younger Biden is trading in on his father’s name.

And Wednesday, former Twitter executives testified before Congress about the company’s decision to initially block from Twitter a New York Post article in October 2020 about the contents of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden.

The former employees conceded during an hours-long and at time intense hearing that Twitter made a mistake by blocking a story about the president’s son in the run-up to the 2020 election, but adamantly denied Republican assertions they were pressed by Democrats and law enforcement to suppress the story.

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GOP asks for records from Biden’s family on business deals