The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has kicked off its investigation into the questionable business dealings between Joe Biden’s brother James and son Hunter. They are pressing the Treasury Department for a response to their outstanding requests for Suspicious Activities Reports (SARs), pertaining to Biden family members. There seem to be quite a lot of them.
Media reports claim that more than 150 international transactions by Hunter Biden and his network have resulted in suspicious activity reports (SARs), which were generated by U.S. banks. These reports will be reviewed by the Treasury Department to determine whether there has been illegal activity or if there is a threat to national safety. These reports were traditionally provided by the Treasury Department to Congress. However, the Biden Administration has rescinded access, raising suspicions about possible attempts to conceal the suspicious business dealings of the Biden network.
Rep. James Comer (R.KY), Chairman, sent a letter to Isabella More (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oversight at Treasury Department), noting previous correspondence to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and requests that go back to the 117th Congress, which have been unanswered.
Comer describes the measures taken by the committee to allow the department sufficient time to respond. He also outlines the continuing failure of the department not to meet deadlines and respond in a substantive manner.
“The Committee sent a request for SARs to Treasury in January. However, Treasury did not respond to the Committee’s request until over a month later. Treasury was made aware by the Committee of its interest in these SARs. This is because the Committee Republicans sent Treasury letters on May 25, 2022 and July 6, 2022, respectively, asking for SARs related to the Biden family. You waited until the last minute to send Treasury’s reply to the Committee’s January 11, 2022, July 14, 2022, July 14, 2022 and November 17, 2022. The Committee Republicans also wrote to Treasury on May 25, 20,22, July 6, 20,22, July 14, 2020, and November 17, 2022 with requests for SARs related to the Biden family.
This matter has been the subject of multiple concessions by the Committee to Treasury:
* Production was originally scheduled for January 25, 2023, which is more than four weeks ago.
* The Committee staff offered to examine SARs at Treasury in camera on January 30, 2023.
* On January 30, 2023, the Committee staff accepted a rolling production (for in-camera review) of SARs from Treasury.
* The Committee staff sent Treasury a prioritized list SARs for specific companies and individuals on February 1, 2023. This was in response to its initial request. They also reiterated that the Committee staff would be reviewing SARs in camera, and on a regular basis.
* The Committee staff stated that it would accept from Treasury evidence of a good-faith effort to cooperate with the Committee’s request for SARs previously made accessible to another congressional office.
Comer acknowledged Treasury’s excuses for the delay. He replied: “Treasury’s excuses and delay tactic are non-availing since you have known of our request since last years and previously produced relevant SARs in order to other.”
To the non-response reply of “[W]e do expect to have more information for you soon,” Comer responds: Excellent! We look forward to seeing you at the hearing before the full Committee March 10th.
Further, the letter outlines the expected scope of questioning. It also notes:
“This hearing will review the many justifications that you have given the Committee concerning Treasury’s inability to produce documents requested by it, including SARs. As the Committee examines legislation codifying what was once regular congressional access, the hearing will give the Committee valuable information about Treasury’s approach towards congressional oversight.
It’s time Treasury stopped stonewalling. It remains to be seen if they will — it’s not something one should expect. Keep an eye out for this hearing, it should be interesting.