WASHINGTON — In their first press conference after winning control of the House of Representatives, Republicans said they’d uncovered crimes committed by President Joe Biden’s family.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said Thursday that he and his colleagues have spoken to whistleblowers, reviewed a laptop owned by Biden’s son Hunter, and “received documents” reflecting previously unknown financial transactions.
“What we found are business plans aimed at targets around the world based on influence peddling, including with people closely tied to foreign governments like China and Russia,” Comer said. “We also found plans based in the United States where the Biden family swindled investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars — all with Joe Biden’s participation or knowledge.”
In the run-up to the midterm elections earlier this month, the GOP pitched a governing agenda focused on inflation and crime. With Democrats retaining control of the Senate and the White House, however, Republicans won’t be able to enact much of an economic plan. But they’ll soon have new power to issue subpoenas and draw attention to the Bidens, and Thursday’s press conference previewed those efforts.
Comer’s allegations build on a long-standing Republican focus on Hunter Biden’s efforts to cash in on his family name, which has not yet yielded clear proof of his father’s involvement. Comer said new whistleblower evidence does prove a connection: A committee report issued Thursday states that Joe Biden met with his son’s business associates, but the document provides only circumstantial evidence of the elder Biden’s involvement in business decisions. The document also says the president has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Instead of working with President Biden to address issues important to the American people, like lower costs, congressional Republicans’ top priority is to go after President Biden with politically-motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories,” Ian Sams, spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, said in an email.
The Justice Department has been investigating Hunter Biden for tax evasion since 2018, under the supervision of a U.S. attorney appointed by then-President Donald Trump, but no charges have been filed.
Comer also released a batch of letters to government agencies and associates of Hunter Biden — a not-so-subtle reminder that Republicans will soon be able to enforce their requests for information with court orders.
In addition to the allegations against the Bidens, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Republicans would investigate claims of political corruption at the Justice Department, based on allegations from a number of FBI agents-turned-whistleblowers.
“One of those agents said — and this is the term he used — he said at the highest levels of the FBI, specifically the Washington field office, he said, ‘It’s rotted to the core,’” Jordan said.
Among the whistleblowers is a special agent from Florida who refused to participate in any cases against people who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The agent complained to Congress that the FBI was improperly classifying them as domestic violent extremism to falsely claim a nationwide increase in such cases even though they all stemmed from one incident.
Jordan told HuffPost that he didn’t have a problem with the Justice Department prosecuting Jan. 6 rioters; his gripe is merely that the FBI is “cooking the books” with the way it is labeling cases. So far, the FBI has arrested and charged about 900 rioters.
“I’ve said all along if people who did wrong on Jan. 6 should be prosecuted,” Jordan said. “But we do have concerns about the political nature of the Justice Department and how things are operating across the board.”
During the press conference, Comer stressed that he was speaking only for Oversight Committee Republicans and not the entire House GOP. He noted that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said Republicans would vote on a bill to undo the boost to IRS enforcement funding that Democrats enacted earlier this year.
“We’re focused on a lot of things in Congress, but from the Oversight Committee we’re in charge of investigations,” Comer said. “We feel that this is of the utmost import.”