Treasury faces mounting scrutiny for giving Hunter Biden ‘cover’ with new rule for document requests
House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., torched the Biden Treasury Department for running “cover” for Hunter Biden with a new rule for financial document requests.
Comer laid into the Biden administration over the new rule requiring majority consent in Congress to obtain Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) protected under the Bank Secrecy Act, saying the department was doing so to protect Biden.
The Kentucky Republican requested the first son’s SARs on Wednesday, but his request was denied with the Treasury claiming the top House Oversight Republican would need Democrats, the majority party in the House, to sign onto his request.
YELLEN MUST PROVIDE INFO ON HUNTER BIDEN’S SHADY FOREIGN BUSINESS DEALS: GOP REP. COMER
The Treasury Department told Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., he would need support from Democrats for his request to obtain Hunter Biden’s Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
(Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)
“The Biden Administration changed the rules to severely restrict Congress’ access to suspicious activity reports in the dark of night and with no explanation,” Comer told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “We now know Hunter Biden and other Biden family members have racked up at least 150 suspicious activity reports for their shady foreign business deals.”
“The Treasury Department’s sudden change of longstanding policy appears to be a broader pattern by the Biden Administration to run cover for Hunter Biden and possibly hide information about whether Joe Biden benefited financially from the Biden family’s business transactions,” he continued. “The American people deserve answers and the Biden Administration must comply with congressional oversight.”
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, a member of the House Oversight Committee, called the agency’s stance “unacceptable” and said the Biden administration has been denying Comer’s SARs requests for the younger Biden for “weeks.”
“It’s simple – Hunter Biden is a threat to our national security and Americans deserve to know if his business transactions put our country’s well-being at risk,” Fallon said in a Thursday statement to Fox News Digital. “For weeks, the Biden Administration has denied Ranking Member Comer’s access to Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) surrounding Hunter Biden’s business endeavors.”
“This is unacceptable,” he continued. “This Administration must drop the political charade immediately and allow Congress access to any bank violations that may have been made by the Biden family and their associates.”
The Treasury Department is running "cover" for Hunter Biden, seen here, according to House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer, R-Ky., citing a new rule for financial document requests.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A spokesperson for the Treasury Department told Fox News Digital on Thursday that the department’s new rule follows a standard process in place of past practice that was more ad hoc.
The spokesperson also said the process is to ensure the department is responding appropriately to Congress while protecting the information’s confidentiality.
Additionally, the spokesperson did not answer Fox News Digital’s question as to whether the new rule would be extended to the next Republican administration.
The Treasury’s new rule could have longstanding negative effects on how future congressional requests are handled.
The Treasury’s new requirement for the majority party’s support on a congressional request for SARs severely affects how Congress conducts its oversight on sensitive financial records and could have longstanding negative effects on how future congressional requests are handled.
Now, under the Treasury’s new majority support rule, the minority party in Congress will be unable to obtain sensitive, potentially important documents without the blessing of the party in control.
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This means that the next time Republicans are in control of the White House, should the rule extend into that administration, Democrats will have to get GOP support to obtain SARs and other documents protected under the Bank Secrecy Act.
The new rule — and other new restrictions — doesn’t appear to be sitting well with some Democrats already, with House Financial Services chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., advancing a bill to committee markup to ensure Congress has access to the documents.