Rep. James Comer, the Oversight Republican leading the GOP probe into Hunter Biden, ruled out a subpoena for the president’s testimony but said they will press forward with a subpoena for his son.
‘There’s no plans to subpoena Joe Biden. There are plans to subpoena Hunter Biden,’ Comer, R-Ky., told CNN.
Comer, who is likely to be the next chairman of the Oversight Committee, noted that subpoenaing a sitting president launches a whole host of executive privilege issues.
‘The Democrats sent out subpoenas like junk mail, and that’s why it’s hard to get people to come in,’ Comer said.
Still, he said the investigation will focus on Joe Biden’ connections to Hunter’s business dealings.
Republicans who are expected to be on the Oversight Committee next year gave a wide-ranging press conference on Thursday claiming Biden was involved in his son Hunter’s controversial foreign business deals, which allegedly spans 50 different countries.
The president has long denied involvement in and knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings – some of which are being investigated by federal authorities.
Republicans vowed repeatedly during the 2022 election that they would use their return to power to investigate the Bidens. The investigations will likely drag into 2024, which is when campaigning for the next presidential election will begin. Joe Biden has said he intends to run for a second term.
Comer on Thursday accused President Biden of being ‘chairman of the board’ of his family’s business dealings and even claimed the White House spent more than $250,000 to deflect negative stories about Hunter.
‘This is an investigation of Joe Biden,’ he said. ‘I think we’ve laid out the evidence as to why we feel it’s important, and we’re going to move forward with that.’
He said later, ‘We’re trying to stay focused on – was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals, and is he compromised?’
The White House on Thursday slammed Republicans for pushing ‘long-debunked conspiracy theories’ about President Biden and Hunter as the administration prepares a count offensive to the GOP’s return to power.
The White House accused the Republicans, who will control the House’s investigative committees next year, of seeking ‘political revenge.’
‘Instead of working with President Biden to address issues important to the American people, like lower costs, congressional Republicans’ top priority is to go after President Biden with politically-motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories,’ Ian Sams, spokesman for the White House Counsel’s office, told DailyMail.com.
‘President Biden is not going to let these political attacks distract him from focusing on Americans’ priorities, and we hope congressional Republicans will join us in tackling them instead of wasting time and resources on political revenge,’ he added.
Additionally Democrats, led by activist David Brock, have formed Facts First USA: a $5 million-a-year ‘SWAT team to counter Republican congressional investigations,’ including on issues that ‘may be too personal or delicate for the White House to be responding or to even be seen as directing a response’ – an apparent reference to Hunter Biden, the New York Times reported.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings are the subject of the House GOP’s first announced investigation of the party’s new majority in Congress’ lower chamber – above Joe and Hunter Biden leaving church in August
Rep. James Comer led the press conference, where he made clear that the the president himself was the target of the House GOP’s probe
In 2017, after Joe Biden was vice president but before he ran for the White House, Hunter Biden tried to set up an investment company with a Chinese oil company.
It ultimately didn’t come to fruition but Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski revealed in October 2020 that he discussed their deal with Chinese oil giant CEFC directly with Joe.
But corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden in that venture.
Emails recovered from the laptop also show Hunter discussing with associates the beginnings of a business deal in China – where one message discussing equity stakes carves out 10 percent ‘for the big guy.’
However, earlier this month DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that a whistleblower claimed Joe Biden was involved in a 2012 venture from Hunter Biden into online gambling in Latin America.
In 2019, Hunter complained to his daughter Naomi over text message that he had to give his father Joe ‘half’ his salary.
Comer said the main focus of their probe for right now was to access bank records.
‘As part of our investigation, we have evidence that the finances, credit cards, and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were commingled, if not shared,’ the Republican lawmaker said.
‘One of Hunter’s closest associates, Eric Schwerin, was accessing Joe Biden’s money and writing checks to reimburse Hunter.’
Lawmakers used visuals to make their case, largely consisting of still images purportedly recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop
Rep. Andy Biggs and Rep. Jim Jordan stand in front of a blown up email with redactions
Texts from Hunter to his daughter Naomi in 2019 where he complained about having to give Joe half of his salary. He also threatened to never give her a ‘dime’ again
He said some accounts linked to the Biden family raised ‘red flags’ about ‘suspicious or illegal activity.’
At least one of those red flags, known as ‘SARs,’ allegedly ‘connects Hunter Biden and his business associates to international human trafficking, among other illegal activities,’ Comer said.
‘We have repeatedly called on the Biden Treasury Department to release additional financial documents to committee Republicans, but thus far Treasury has refused,’ the lawmaker said. ‘We want to know what the Biden administration has tried to hide from the American people and why they are not being transparent.’
Hunter ally Schwerin was reportedly head of the president’s son’s company and handed the majority of his finances – and appointed to a position within the Obama administration, when Joe Biden was vice president.
‘After an apparent falling out with Schwerin, Hunter began coordinating business himself – and increasingly the deals brought in Joe Biden as a direct equity holder,’ Comer said.
He claimed Hunter went a step further and tried to get these bank alerts quashed – allegedly with the help of a Clinton administration official.
A suspicious activity report (SAR) is supposed to be triggered by a minimum amount of a transfer and a suspicion the transfer involved funds derived from an illegal activity. It does not mean a crime has occurred.
Some of the same slides were used in an email to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding access to Biden family bank records
‘JOE WAS THE BIG GUY’: HOUSE REPUBLICAN ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE BIDEN FAMILY
- Business plans aimed at targets around the world based on influence peddling, including with people closely tied to foreign governments like China and Russia
- Plans based in the United States where the Biden family swindled investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars. All with Joe Biden’s participation or knowledge
- Whistleblowers describe President Biden as ‘chairman of the board’ for these businesses. He personally participated in meetings and phone calls.
- Biden family sought business in 50 countries. On the international side of the Biden family business, the deals were often led by Hunter Biden
- Among the dozens of shell companies the Bidens set up, there were millions of dollars of wire transfers, flights on Air Force Two to conduct personal business, and meetings with heads of state all while Joe Biden was aware of what was happening
- Biden family accumulated over 150 SARs. One SAR generated by an American bank to the Treasury Department connects Hunter Biden and his business associates to international human trafficking, among other illegal activities
- Evidence Hunter Biden sought to evade these SARs, using his financial advisor, coincidentally a former Clinton Administration official
- One of Hunter’s closest associates—Eric Schwerin—was accessing Joe Biden’s money and writing checks to reimburse Hunter. Schwerin arranged the Biden’s international deals around the world while he was a frequent visitor at the Biden White House
- One of these deals involved the sale of American natural gas to China. Evidence suggests Joe Biden held a 10 percent equity stake in secret through his son
- Domestically, Jim Biden—Joe Biden’s brother—used the Biden name to enrich himself in return for the promise that when Joe Biden became President in 2020, business partners would get rich by having access to a future Biden Administration
Biden’s brother, Jack (right), is also thought to be involved in Hunter’s vast network of foreign business ties, according to emails procured from Hunter’s laptop
Comer defended their intense probing of Hunter Biden during the press conference, stating: ”Hunter Biden isn’t this guy who just got a bad rap because he’s got a drug problem’
Twitter and Facebook suppressed or flagged the Post’s story about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The story was later confirmed by many outlets, including DailyMail.com. Pictured: An image from Hunter’s abandoned laptop
Comer also took a swipe at more holistic coverage of the president’s son that puts Hunter’s questionable ethics into context with his battle against drug addiction.
‘Hunter Biden isn’t this guy who just got a bad rap because he’s got a drug problem,’ Comer said.
The lawmakers said a report detailing their investigation and evidence thus far – which appears to largely be made up of whistleblower testimony – would be forthcoming.
The troubling scope of Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and China came to light when the New York Post, and subsequently DailyMail.com, authenticated the contents of a laptop hard drive purportedly belonging to the president’s only surviving son.
He received a lucrative salary while on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, despite having no experience in the industry, while his father was vice president and leading a coalition to crack down on corruption there.
This is the first announced investigation by House Republicans with their new Congressional majority
Republicans on Thursday alleged that ‘the big guy’ is the US president.
‘At a time when Americans are suffering from high energy prices, because of this administration’s terrible energy policy, we find evidence that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden were involved in a scheme to try to get China to buy liquefied natural gas, and from a whistleblower, to try to get their foot in the door with China starting to purchase an interest in natural gas drillers,’ Comer said.
He presented as evidence a print-out of what he claimed was a slide show regarding the business deal that was found on Hunter’s laptop.
When pressed, however, Comer said the slide was likely from around 2017.
The Kentucky Republican would not say concretely how that is linked to today’s energy crisis when asked, but said: ‘I mean, Joe Biden says he’s gonna stand up to China.’
‘Joe Biden says he’s going to rewrite our whole energy policy…And he was a 10 percent equity owner in a company whose sole mission was to to purchase liquefied natural gas from the United States and try to take over the energy the natural gas industry in America through natural gas wholesalers and natural gas drillers,’ Comer said.
‘I mean, I don’t think Joe Biden has been honest American people about that.’
It’s worth noting that it’s not clear that the deal was ever finalized.