Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the ranking member for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said the Treasury Department has been restricting access to suspicious activity reports on Hunter Biden.
In a Wednesday letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Comer voiced his concerns about the restricted access to Hunter Biden-related reports, and then pledged to find out whether the Treasury Department was doing this as a means of protecting President Joe Biden and his son.
"I wrote to you [in May] requesting information regarding Hunter Biden and other Biden associates and family members' financial transactions flagged by U.S. banks for reporting to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)," Comer wrote to Yellen today.
"The Biden Administration is restricting Congress' access to SARs, and Committee Republicans are investigating whether this change in longstanding policy is motivated by efforts to shield Hunter Biden and potentially President Biden from scrutiny."
Comer reasons that "despite Treasury's assertion in the press ... Treasury is refusing to release SARs connected with Hunter Biden or his family and associates — including the President."
The congressman shared a similar message via social media Wednesday, tweeting, "U.S. banks flagged over 150 shady international business transactions made by Hunter Biden. It's become clear that the Biden administration is now hiding these suspicious activity reports from @GOPOversight."
In May, the Treasury Department claimed it "provides SARs to Congress in a manner that enables robust oversight and that is consistent with how other sensitive law enforcement information is produced" and that it "has made SARs available for every request we've received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so."
That prompted Comer to push back with the following response, via his letter.
"This is not true. During a phone call on June 13, 2022, Treasury officials informed Committee Republican staff that they will not provide SARs to Committee Republicans unless Democrats join the request."
Comer added: "Treasury's actions call for investigation and raise new questions about the degree to which the Biden administration is using the federal government to provide cover for the Biden family and its associates. The American people deserve to know whether the President’s connections to his son's business deals occurred at the expense of the United States' interests and whether they represent a national security threat."
The Kentucky Republican requested Yellen hand over "all SARs generated in connection with" Hunter Biden, with his uncle James Biden, with Hunter Biden's various business partners such as Eric Schwerin and Devon Archer, and with his businesses, including Rosemont Seneca.
Comer also asked Treasury to provide "all documents and communications" between the Treasury Department and the White House regarding Hunter and James Biden and their businesses and associates, along with any other FinCEN records tied to any banks related to Hunter and James Biden and others.
"Preserve all e-mail, electronic documents, and data from January 20, 2021 [Biden's inauguration] to present related to Hunter Biden and other Biden associates and family members' financial transactions flagged by U.S. banks," Comer instructed Yellen.
According to a Wednesday report from the Washington Examiner, a Treasury official said: "Treasury provides SARs to Congress in a manner that enables robust oversight and that is consistent with how other sensitive law enforcement information is often produced. It is not a political process. Since the beginning of this administration, the Treasury has made SARs available in response to authorized committee requests and continues to engage in the process with any individual members seeking information."
That response came on the heels of an Examiner investigation into Hunter Biden, which revealed that through a series of text messages with a woman named "Eva," the go-between who served as his primary contact for UberGFE, he disclosed that his accounts were temporarily frozen once because his attempted payments to her "girls" with Russian email accounts were too much of a "red flag" for his bank.
Hunter Biden reportedly spent more than $30,000 on Russian escorts linked to Eva and UberGFE between Nov. 26, 2018, and March 10, 2019. During that time frame, Eva directed Hunter Biden to bank accounts linked to Russian email addresses at least 11 times.
A 2020 Senate report by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said: "Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries," and records note some of these transactions are linked to what "appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring."
The Grassley-Johnson report also stated that Hunter Biden "sent thousands of dollars" to people either involved in "transactions consistent with possible human trafficking" or "potential association with prostitution."
The Examiner reported that some women "subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine."
"The sheer number of flagged transactions in this case is highly unusual and may be indicative of serious criminal activity or a national security threat," Comer told Secretary Yellen in May.
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