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House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) on Tuesday announced the Treasury Department granted the panel access to long-sought financial transaction reports related to companies associated with the Biden family or their associates, following delays and pushback.
The reports, called suspicious activity reports, will add to the panel’s probe into the business activities of the president’s son Hunter Biden and brother James Biden, as well as their associates.
Treasury is providing the committee “in camera” review of the reports, the panel said, which means there will be some restrictions on its access. And with the access to the reports, the committee is postponing a scheduled transcribed interview that was scheduled for this week with a Treasury Department official.
“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports for the Biden family and their associates’ business transactions,” Comer said. “It should never have taken us threatening to hold a hearing and conduct a transcribed interview with an official under the penalty of perjury for Treasury to finally accommodate part of our request. For over 20 years, Congress had access to these reports but the Biden ministration changed the rules out of the blue to restrict our ability to conduct oversight.”
President Biden has previously said he had no involvement in his family’s business dealings, and the White House has previously called the House GOP investigation “politically motivated” and based in debunked conspiracy theories.
Obtaining suspicious activity reports related to companies associated with Biden family-associated companies shot to the top of Republicans’ to-do list after CBS News reported last year that U.S. banks flagged for review more than 150 financial transactions related to the business affairs of either Hunter or James Biden.
Banks are required to file suspicious activity reports about transfers if there is reason to suspect the funds came from illegal activity. They must also file currency transaction reports for any cash transaction exceeding $10,000.
The reports do not necessarily mean illegal activity occurred, and only a small percentage of the millions of reports from banks filed each year lead to law enforcement investigations.
Republicans had sought the reports last year when they were in the minority, and then renewed that request after they took control of the House majority in January.
“According to bank documents we’ve already obtained, we know one company owned by a Biden associate received a $3 million dollar wire from a Chinese energy company two months after Joe Biden left the vice presidency,” Comer said in a statement. “Soon after, hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts went to members of the Biden family.”
“We are going to continue to use bank documents and suspicious activity reports to follow the money trail to determine the extent of the Biden family’s business schemes, if Joe Biden is compromised by these deals, and if there is a national security threat,” Comer said. “If Treasury tries to stonewall our investigation again, we will continue to use tools at our disposal to compel compliance.”