The decade's most triggering comedy
House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is calling on the Treasury Department to provide suspicious activity reports (SARs) linked to Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that employed President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, on its board for several years.
On Wednesday, Comer sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seeking SARs on file with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network related to Burisma, its entities, and executives — including founder Mykola Zlochevsky — dating back to April 2014 when the younger Biden joined the company. He gave a deadline of July 12.
The request for SARs, which financial institutions can use to flag possible criminal behavior, underscores the GOP-led panel’s efforts to ramp up its inquiry into what Comer has described as a pattern of millions of dollars flowing to Biden family members from foreign nationals under suspicious circumstances. The chairman has emphasized that the investigation may inform legislative reforms to strengthen disclosure requirements and anti-money laundering laws.
“The House Oversight and Accountability Committee is continuing to pursue financial records to follow the Bidens’ money trail to help inform legislative solutions to strengthen public corruption laws,” Comer said in a statement. “Secretary Yellen must provide financial records related to Burisma executives and entities to help further our investigation to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised, and national security is threatened.”
An accompanying press release from the Oversight Committee references an FBI-generated FD-1023 record from June 30, 2020, that is said to memorialize a confidential human source’s allegations of a Ukraine-centered $5 million scheme involving a foreign national paying six figures to secure favorable actions from Joe Biden at a time when he was vice president.
The FBI document also contains claims about the foreign national — identified as a Burisma executive — possessing 17 audio recordings of conversations with Joe and Hunter Biden “allegedly kept as a sort-of insurance policy for the foreign national in case he got into a tight spot,” according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
In addition, the Oversight Committee noted that testimony from an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower provided to the House Ways and Means Committee indicated that the FD-1023 form was not provided to tax investigators involved in the federal inquiry into Hunter Biden and would have been relevant to the probe.
Pushing back on IRS whistleblower claims that the investigation had been restrained by the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland has denied allegations of political interference in the inquiry, which last week amounted to a plea deal on tax and gun violations that could lead to no prison time for the 53-year-old Hunter Biden.
Democrats in Congress have dismissed the House Oversight Committee’s probe as a politically motivated endeavor to tar President Biden ahead of the 2024 election, and the elder Biden himself has called the corruption allegations “a bunch of malarkey.”
Undeterred, GOP members have pursued information on the Biden family’s financial arrangements on a number of fronts. House Oversight Republicans conducted an examination of Biden-related SARs documents in April following a breakthrough agreement with the Treasury Department and clashed with the FBI for the chance just to see the FD-1023 on the alleged bribery scheme. Comer has also issued subpoenas for bank records and witness testimony.
“The FBI has been sitting on allegations for years that Joe Biden solicited and received a bribe while he was Vice President of the United States,” Comer said. “We have no confidence that the FBI did anything to verify the allegations contained within this record and may have intentionally withheld it during the investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax evasion.”