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House Oversight chair questions $1.3 million in payments to Hunter Biden and relatives

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said he had national security concerns about the payments to the president's son, brother and daughter-in-law.
Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in April.Andrew Harnik / AP file

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee published a memo Thursday alleging that Hunter Biden and at least two relatives were paid $1.3 million from an associate of the president's son who had links to a Chinese energy company.

They are alleged to have been paid after the associate, Rob Walker, was wired $3 million in March 2017 from a Chinese energy company affiliated with another company that Biden had been doing business with. The recipients of the $1.3 million in payments were Biden, his uncle James Biden and Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter's brother Beau Biden, Comer said.

"It is unclear what services were provided to obtain this exorbitant amount of money," Comer said.

While the $3 million figure and the payments to Hunter Biden were reported almost a year ago, Comer's memorandum highlighted what the committee described as "new evidence" obtained from a subpoena of Walker's bank records — two payments totaling $35,000 to Hallie Biden in 2017.

"The Committee is concerned about the information revealed in these bank records," including "why Hallie Biden — publicly reported to work as a school counselor — received money" from Walker's firm, the memo said.

A spokesperson for committee Democrats noted that one of the payments to Hallie Biden was sent a month before Walker received the $3 million. "Concealing this context paints a typically distorted picture and marks another depressing low for this investigation," the spokesperson said.

Hunter Biden acknowledged in a 2019 interview with The New Yorker that Hallie Biden was romantically involved with him during that period.

A spokesperson for Hunter Biden's legal team responded to a request for comment on Thursday night.

“Hunter Biden, a private citizen with every right to pursue his own business endeavors, joined several business partners in seeking a joint venture with a privately-owned, legitimate energy company in China. As part of that joint venture, Hunter received his portion of good faith seed funds which he shared with his uncle, James Biden, and Hallie Biden, with whom he was involved at the time, and sharing expenses," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The accounts so dramatically listed by Rep. Comer belonged to Hunter, his uncle and Hallie — nobody else.”

A representative for James Biden declined to comment. An attempt to reach Hallie Biden for comment was unsuccessful.

Comer sent a letter to Walker on Friday that said the Oversight Committee had identified him "as a critical witness in this matter and has reviewed evidence showing you received millions of dollars originating from a Chinese energy company and elsewhere. The Committee invites you to participate in a transcribed interview with Committee staff."

Walker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

White House spokesman Ian Sams responded Thursday to Comer's memo by noting that Comer had suggested in an interview with Fox Business this month that the Delaware U.S. attorney investigating allegations of tax fraud against Hunter Biden should have prosecuted Beau Biden, who died in 2015.

"After a disgusting attack lamenting that the President’s deceased son Beau was never prosecuted while he was alive, Congressman Comer has now decided to go after Beau’s widow," Sams said in a statement. "Instead of bizarrely attacking the President’s family, perhaps House Republicans should focus on working with the President to deliver results for American families on important priorities like lowering costs and strengthening health care.”

Comer said his committee "is concerned about the national security implications resulting from President Biden’s family receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals" and "will continue to follow the money trail and facts to determine if President Biden is compromised by his family’s business schemes and if there is a national security threat.”

The panel's top Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, said if Comer is concerned about that issue, "surely he will be a thousand times more interested in investigating the billions of dollars recently paid to Jared Kushner by the Saudi Government," he said referring to former President Donald Trump's top White House adviser and son-in-law. "I fervently hope we can work together on the Oversight Committee to do this urgently important investigation."