House GOP poised to intensify focus on Hunter Biden business deals

If President Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the Biden family win a majority in next week’s midterm elections, House Republicans will hardly waste time diving headfirst into the investigation.

If Republicans formally take control of the House next year, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, which plans to hold a news conference a week after the election to discuss their investigation of the Bidens, will lead the investigation.

Their goal is to question whether President Biden’s leadership has been affected by his family’s business dealings — and to steer clear of the more erotic content on the infamous hard drive belonging to recovering drug addict Hunter Biden.

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), a senior member of the House Oversight Committee and likely to chair the panel with a Republican majority, has long been preparing for hearings and advancing an investigation into the Biden family business . Republican staffers on the panel have a hard copy of Hunter Biden and have been working on it for months.

In a statement to The Hill, Comer slammed the Biden family’s alleged influence peddling and expressed concern that the deals conflicted with U.S. interests.

“If Joe Biden is compromised by the family’s business plans, that’s a threat to our national security,” Comer said.

The White House declined to comment on the House GOP inquiry, but Biden’s 2020 campaign said the then-candidate “never considered doing business with his family or any overseas business.”

Hunter Biden and the Biden family business activities have long been the focus of congressional Republicans, right-wing media and former President Trump, who asked Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business in Ukraine The contacts led to Trump’s first impeachment.

The Capitol also has a long-term interest in Hunter Biden.

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has spoken out several times about the Biden family’s business dealings and sent a letter saying he received information from a whistleblower about the family’s business activities.

Democrats on the Hill have viewed the GOP investigation as part of a larger obsession with the Biden family. House Oversight Chair Caroline Maloney (D-N.Y) has previously called the GOP effort “nakedly partisan.”

But with a Republican majority in the House, Republicans will have more power to investigate new lines of interest in family business matters, which could be on public display if the panel holds hearings as Comer has promised.

The GOP’s top priority on the matter is to obtain suspicious activity reports from the Treasury Department related to dealings by the president’s son and his associates.

CBS News reported in April that Bank of America flagged more than 150 financial transactions related to Hunter or the business affairs of the president’s brother James Biden for review.

As Republicans have sometimes suggested, the reports do not necessarily mean illegal activity has occurred, and only a fraction of the millions of bank reports filed each year lead to law enforcement investigations.

Banks must file a Suspicious Activity Report for a money services business transfer amount of at least $5,000 or $2,000 if there is reason to suspect that funds are derived from illegal activity. They must also submit currency transaction reports for any transactions over $10,000.

But Republicans on the House Oversight Committee believe more information on the deal is needed to understand whether President Biden has benefited financially from his family’s business dealings, saying the possibility could raise national security concerns.

Meanwhile, few House Republicans have expressed too many concerns about national security during Trump’s time in the White House. When an FBI search uncovered classified documents, some top-secret, that could violate the Espionage Act from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Republicans said more about the Justice Department’s alleged politicization concerns, not national security concerns.

The U.S. Treasury Department in September rejected a request by House oversight Republicans to provide a report on the Biden family. If his party wins a majority next year, Comer has promised to use the powers that come with the committee’s gavel to gain those powers.

There are several areas of interest for Republicans in the Biden family business, including a deal with a Chinese energy group and whether the relationship created any conflicts of interest with President Biden.

A Washington Post investigation into Hunter Biden’s arrangement with CEFC found no evidence that President Biden personally benefited from the deal or knew the details, although House Republicans believe there is information to suggest otherwise.

The right has taken an interest in House oversight of the GOP investigation.

Rep. Matt Gates (R-Fla.) called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to create a House select committee to investigate Biden’s business dealings. Conservative commentator and former Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka has offered to serve as chief of staff on the theoretical committee.

But there is no sign McCarthy will create a task force, and Comer has asked Republicans to give the oversight committee a chance to roll out its planned hearings.

Prosecutors are reportedly reviewing an FBI investigation that, if any charges are brought, could bring more attention and heat to Hunter Biden.

The Washington Post first reported last month that investigators believe there is sufficient evidence to charge Hunter Biden with the following crimes: whether he failed to declare income from various business activities and drug use against him on federal forms make false statements. Bought a pistol in 2018 when he said he was actively using crack cocaine.

A lawyer for Hunter Biden did not respond to a request for comment.

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