Hunter Biden’s legal counsel denied a request from House Republicans for records and information about his business dealings on Thursday.
Abbe Lowell, a lawyer, wrote to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., saying the committee “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and oversight basis for requesting such records from Mr. Biden, who is a private citizen.” Lowell stated that the Democrats would not comply with the Republicans’ request, but offered to meet with committee members “to see if Mr. Biden has information that may inform some legitimate legislative purpose.”
Comer sent a letter to the president’s son late Wednesday, requesting information and records about his business dealings, specifically in China and Ukraine. The panel is also seeking records from James Biden, President Joe Biden’s younger brother, and Hunter’s business partner, Eric Schwerin. The committee gave the trio until February 22 to respond before deciding whether or not to issue a subpoena.
Comer said in a statement on Thursday that the panel was looking into whether the president was involved in his family’s business dealings and if he had “compromise national security.”
Later Thursday, a committee spokesperson responded to Lowell’s letter, accusing the Bidens of “trying to stonewall Congress’ oversight and conceal information about Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s suspicious business practises.”
“The American people expect transparency and oversight, not political cover-ups,” said the spokesperson. “The Oversight Committee will continue its oversight and use all available tools to gather critical information for our investigation and to inform legislative solutions.”
Comer’s requests were first reported by CBS.
Republicans have been targeting Hunter Biden for years, including former President Donald Trump, but they have increased their scrutiny since taking control of the House this year.
The committee also requested that Hunter Biden turn over any classified documents he may have in his possession. House Republicans and the Justice Department are investigating the president’s handling of classified documents while he was vice president.
The committee is also looking for any communications Hunter Biden may have had with his father, uncle James Biden, or aunt Sara Jones Biden about various business matters between January 20, 2009, and January 20, 2021.
The White House did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Republicans have long accused the president’s son of profiting from his father’s political connections. Hunter Biden’s involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma led to Trump’s first impeachment after he requested an investigation into the Bidens from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Several investigations, including one led by Senate Republicans, found no evidence of wrongdoing.
“We want the bank records,” Comer stated during a press conference in November. “We’re trying to stay focused on: Was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals and is he compromised? That is the subject of our investigation.”
Republicans have focused on Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, in addition to Burisma. Hunter Biden worked for an investment firm that sought to raise funds in China during his father’s presidency. In 2019, Trump urged China to investigate the Bidens and falsely accused Hunter of profiting from a 2013 trip to China with his father.
Hunter Biden’s taxes have been under investigation by federal prosecutors since 2018, long before his father was elected president. “I handled my affairs legally and appropriately,” he says, denying any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, the Oversight Committee held a hearing to look into Twitter’s role in suppressing a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Comer accused the company of taking part in a “coordinated campaign by social media companies, mainstream media, and the intelligence community to suppress and delegitimize Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, said the company had concerns because the story “at first glance bore a lot of similarities to the 2016 Russian hack and leak operation targeting the DNC. We had to make a decision. And we made a mistake in that moment, with limited information.”