House republicans to probe Hunter Biden's business dealings and the FBI

Party has long promised to block the Biden agenda and investigate the president when it retakes control of the House

US President Joe Biden and his son Hunter attend Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, South Carolina, during a family trip in August. AFP
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Republican members of Congress, fresh off securing control of the US House of Representatives, on Thursday announced “investigative actions” against President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and the wider family's business dealings.

Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform asserted that the primary target is the president himself, though the investigation centres on the extent to which Mr Biden was involved in his son's international business dealings and the alleged cover-up attempt.

James Comer of Kentucky said the investigation will pursue “all evidence” but is zeroing in on bank records, claiming the committee has obtained evidence showing “the finances, credit cards and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were commingled, if not shared”.

Mr Comer also said there was evidence of accounts where “red flags were raised by banks to the account owner or owners indicating suspicious or illegal activity”.

Republicans allege that the younger Mr Biden has leveraged his father's political stature for personal financial benefit.

In 2019, he joined the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, and in 2016, an investment firm he cofounded helped a Chinese firm with its business dealings.

“We're trying to stay focused on, was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden's business deals, and is he compromised?” said Mr Comer at a Thursday press conference.

The announcement comes days after a federal judge ordered an FBI cyber security official to be deposed in a lawsuit in which the bureau has been accused of using coercion to make social media companies block stories related to the younger Mr Biden's laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Republican officials have sought that deposition, among others, in a lawsuit accusing Biden administration officials of government censorship.

Jim Jordan oh Ohio emphasised claims of the “politicisation” of the FBI.

“One the most important things we can do is do the work that needs to be done so that we can hopefully have a Justice Department that doesn't operate in a political fashion,” Mr Jordan said.

The Washington Post reported last month that federal agents had gathered “sufficient evidence” to charge the younger Mr Biden with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase, citing people familiar with the case.

“We're not going to talk about anything unless we have evidence,” Mr Comer said.

“I don't think a lot of people realise the evidence that's already out there pertaining to Hunter.”

Republicans appear to be making good on promises to investigate the Biden family, now made possible now by their narrow House majority.

The announcement came before Michael McCaul, a Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, promised additional investigations.

He claimed in an interview with The Washington Free Beacon that he is “in possession of documents showing the Biden administration granted export licenses for $60 billion worth of American goods to be sold to Huawei”, the Chinese tech company.

But the announcement did not come without dissent from some members of the conservative party.

Adam Kinzinger, who sits on the House special committee investigating Donald Trump's role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, tweeted that the party needs to instead focus on record levels of inflation.

Politico reported on Wednesday that a group of top Democratic strategists had launched a multimillion-dollar initiative to serve as the party's “leading war room” against the expected onslaught of Republican-led investigations.

Updated: November 18, 2022, 7:10 AM
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