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Raskin says Republican Comer is trying to quash release of Trump financial records while expanding Hunter Biden inquiry

Comer quietly issued a subpoena of Hunter Biden's business associate.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., pictured in Washington in December 2021, sent a letter accusing Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., of quashing demands for records related to former President Donald Trump.Tom Williams / AP file

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, says Republican Chairman James Comer has abandoned efforts to get former President Donald Trump's financial documents while quietly digging into the finances of President Joe Biden's son.

In a letter to Comer released on Monday, Raskin, of Maryland, said it had come to his attention that Comer, of Kentucky, had coordinated with Trump's lawyers to block the committee from receiving documents from Mazars USA, Trump's former accounting firm.

Raskin argued that Comer's alleged decision to halt the production of documents was hypocritical because he had also issued a subpoena related to an investigation into Biden's son Hunter.

"You appear to have engaged in these efforts to prevent the production of evidence of former President Trump’s misconduct during his time in office while simultaneously issuing an invasive and overbroad subpoena to private individuals as part of an investigation targeting the business dealings of family members of President Biden who have never held public office," Raskin said.

Comer's office denied working with Trump's lawyers.

Raskin alluded to documents the committee received from Mazars under the Democratic majority last fall that revealed authoritarian governments like China's and Saudi Arabia's spent hundreds of dollars at Trump-owned properties when he was president.

"In the face of mounting evidence that foreign governments sought to influence the Trump Administration by playing to President Trump’s financial interests, you and President Trump’s representatives appear to have acted in coordination to bury evidence of such misconduct," Raskin said.

Raskin said he learned that Trump attorney Patrick Strawbridge wrote to Mazars in January saying it was his understanding that the committee, now under Republican control, had no interest in completing the production of documents under the original subpoena. "When counsel for Mazars sought clarification, Mr. Strawbridge confirmed that this direction had been provided to him, twice, by the Acting General Counsel of the House of Representatives, in his capacity as counsel to the Committee," Raskin said.

He added that the committee can't coordinate with Trump's lawyers "to obstruct a lawful subpoena investigating his demonstrated corruption" but then issue "an invasive and overbroad subpoena" of Hunter Biden.

In response, a GOP spokesperson for the Oversight Committee said Raskin's accusation that Comer is trying to bury Trump's financial misconduct is "completely unfounded and untrue."

"There has been no coordination or discussion with anyone from the Committee’s majority with anyone about the Mazars documents," the spokesperson said. "So what is the point of the letter? To try to get ahead of the information the Oversight Committee is receiving in its investigation of the Biden family’s influence peddling."

Since he took over the panel, Comer has launched an investigation into the business practices of Hunter Biden and other Biden family members.

Comer's aide added that "there are several quite notable developments that have both solidified the committee’s understanding of several areas of concern and opened new avenues of investigation about the Biden family’s business schemes."