WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House Oversight Committee intends to subpoena first son Hunter Biden, but not his father, the panel’s incoming chairman has said.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) told CNN in an interview broadcast Friday that the committee intends to use its power to compel testimony from the 52-year-old Hunter about his extensive overseas businesses.
“There’s no plans to subpoena Joe Biden. There are plans to subpoena Hunter Biden,” Comer said.
The lawmaker had vowed at a Thursday morning press conference that the investigation of the first family’s foreign consulting work is aimed squarely at the president but told CNN that it was legally “complicated” to subpoena a sitting president.
“This committee will evaluate whether this president is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars,” Comer told reporters Thursday. “This is an investigation of Joe Biden.”
In the interview with CNN’s Pamela Brown, however, the Republican said “it’s hard to get people to come in” for hearings because, as he put it, “the Democrats sent out subpoenas like junk mail.”
Hunter Biden confirmed shortly after the 2020 election that he was under federal investigation for possible tax fraud. A Hollywood attorney associated with the first son recently paid the IRS about $2 million in back taxes in an effort to head off criminal charges.
That federal probe reportedly also deals with potential money laundering and illegal foreign lobbying — and the FBI reportedly believes it has enough evidence to charge the first son with tax crimes as well as lying about his drug use on a gun-purchase form.
Joe Biden often with his son’s business associates while vice president from 2009 to 2017 and in the period of time before she ran for president.
It’s rare for Congress to attempt to subpoena a sitting — or even former — president and such attempts can be bogged down by claims of executive privilege.
House Democrats attempted to compel testimony from former President Donald Trump about his role in last year’s Capitol riot, but Trump filed a lawsuit in an effort to quash the subpoena — a move that is expected to run out the clock on the matter before Republicans retake power in January.
Biden has denied making any money from his son’s overseas business deals and the White House says he stands by his 2019 campaign claim that he has never even discussed the enterprises with his son — despite evidence that he has interacted with Hunter and first brother James Biden’s associates from China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine.
Hunter Biden often solicited work in countries where his father held sway as vice president — most notably Ukraine, where Hunter earned up to $1 million per year from energy company Burisma despite no relevant industry experience while his dad ran the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
Online business records indicate the first son still holds a 10% stake in BHR Partners, a Chinese state-backed private equity firm that manages $2.1 billion in assets and takes a prominent role in acquiring overseas assets.
Hunter Biden co-founded BHR Partners in 2013 within weeks of joining his father aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hunter introduced his dad to incoming BHR CEO Jonathan Li in a hotel lobby and Joe Biden later wrote college recommendation letters for Li’s children.
In a different Chinese business venture, Hunter and James Biden earned $4.8 million from CEFC China Energy — an arm of Beijing’s foreign-influence “Belt and Road” initiative — in 2017 and 2018, according to the Washington Post.
A May 2017 email about the CEFC partnership says the “big guy” was due a 10% cut.
Two former Hunter Biden associates, Tony Bobulinski and James Gilliar, have identified Joe Biden as the “big guy,” and Bobulinski says he met with Joe Biden about the deal.
Documents from Hunter Biden’s former laptop indicate that Joe Biden attended a 2015 dinner at DC’s Cafe Milano to which his son invited an array of associates — including a Burisma executive, a trio of Kazakhs, and Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
Baturina allegedly paid $3.5 million to a firm associated with Hunter Biden and remains one of just a handful of Russian billionaires not to face US sanctions in response to this year’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
no. 3 House Republican Elise Stefanik (R-NY) told The Post last month that Republicans would attempt to acquire visitor logs from President Biden’s Delaware homes, where he has spent more than a quarter of his days as president meeting with unknown individuals.
“Republicans need to stand up for transparency and we need to not hesitate to use our subpoena power and use every tool possible to demand transparency to root out corruption at every single level,” Stefanik said.
Stefanik said that “issuing the subpoenas early is going to be incredibly important” — drawing a contrast with House Democrats, who waited until the very end of their mandate to seek Trump’s testimony about the events of Jan. 6, 2021.