WASHINGTON — House Republicans released financial records Thursday showing that Hunter Biden and other relatives of President Biden received more than $1 million in 2017 from an associate who had signed a business deal with a Chinese energy company, as they seek evidence that the president and his family has taken undue advantage of his position.
The revelations come as the House Oversight Committee stepped up its investigation into Mr. Biden's family's international business dealings, obtained more than a decade of bank records by subpoena and withdrew accusations from Democrats for interfering with citizens' lives.
The probe is at the heart of an attempt by Republicans to use their House majority to antagonize Biden and steer him toward the same scrutiny that Democrats have applied to former President Donald J. Trump, who has never divested himself of his business empire since becoming president and whose record shows widely benefit from foreign governments during their presidencies.
Representative James R. Comer, the Kentucky Republican and chair of the panel, has effectively ended the investigation into Mr. Trump's finances, but has issued extensive subpoenas for the bank records of the Biden family associates. That requires Bank of America to produce “all financial records” for three of Biden's business associates from a 14-year term starting Jan. August 20, 2009 — when Mr. Biden was sworn in as vice president — to date.
On Thursday, Mr. Comer released a memo he said was based on notes received as a result of his subpoena.
Mr. Comer focuses specifically on John R. Walker, an associate of Hunter Biden, the president's son, whose business dealings have been scrutinized by the Justice Department and who faces possible charges related to failure to file his tax returns on time and questions about whether he lied on federal forms filed used to purchase weapons.
Senate Republicans have been eyeing Walker for years, who was involved in a joint venture with executives of CEFC China Energy, a now bankrupt Chinese conglomerate. A Shanghai-based company called State Energy HK Limited, which is affiliated with CEFC China Energy, sent millions to Robinson Walker LLC, a company linked to Mr. Walker, who then made the payment to Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family.
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Mr. Comer said financial records he obtained showed that from 2015 to 2017, members of the Biden family—including Hunter, president's brother James and Mr. Biden's daughter-in-law Hallie—and their companies collectively received $1.3 million from Mr. Walker. The memo asserts that members of the Biden family received more than $1 million of that money in 2017 starting the day after Walker received $3 million from State Energy HK Limited, in payments that Republicans concluded were withholding money from the Chinese company.
The material released by the panel does not suggest anything illegal or objectionable, and Mr. Comer acknowledges that it does not know the purpose of the payment or the nature of the business relationship. But he said the transaction raises important questions for his panel.
“The Oversight Committee is concerned about the national security implications of President Biden's family receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals,” Comer said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the trail of money and facts to determine whether President Biden was infiltrated by his family's business schemes and whether there is a national security threat.”
The payments came at a time when Hunter Biden's life and finances were soaring amid drug addiction, and after the death of his brother Beau Biden from brain cancer. Hunter Biden has started a romantic relationship with his brother's widow. His business partner, Mr. Walker, and uncle James Biden are pursuing international business jobs.
Hunter Biden's legal team on Thursday issued an angry statement arguing that the House investigation unduly interfered with a citizen's finances and argued that the younger Mr. Biden's international business dealings were legal. It is said that Mr. Comer has inaccurately characterized the deals.
“Hunter Biden, a citizen with every right to pursue his own business ventures, joins several business partners in seeking joint ventures with legitimate private energy companies in China,” the statement said. “As part of that joint venture, Hunter received his share of the goodwill seed fund which he shared with his uncle, James Biden, and Hallie Biden, with whom he was involved at the time and shared the costs. The accounts so dramatically listed by Representative Comer belonged to Hunter, his uncle, and Hallie – no one else.
A Democratic spokesperson on the Oversight Committee said, in particular, that the information released by Mr. The comer about Hallie Biden isn't right. Mr Walker had transferred the money to him a month before the funds were received from the Chinese company, the spokesman said. Mr Comer's memorandum says Mrs Biden received the money about three weeks after the Chinese company sent Mr Walker the funds.
“Chairman Comer's memo proves once again that, after four years of investigations by the Senate and Republicans into Hunter Biden, they found no connection whatsoever to the president of the United States or any government official at all,” said Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the panel. supervision.