Comer demands answers from Biden family associate behind Chinese wire payouts
House investigators are zeroing in on the Hunter Biden associate behind a series of payouts to members of the Biden family after the asssociate received a $3 million wire payment from a Chinese energy company.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer is requesting that Rob Walker appears before the panel for a transcribed interview after uncovering bank records that revealed the suspicious payments months after President Biden ended his term as vice president.
“The committee has identified you 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,” Mr. Comer wrote in a letter to Mr. Walker on Friday.
Bank records obtained by the committee show several payments to companies associated with President Biden’s brother James Biden, son Hunter Biden and daughter-in-law Hallie Biden over a three-month period from Mr. Walker’s company after he received the multimillion-dollar payment from State Energy HK Ltd., a Chinese company, in March 2017.
The committee also uncovered several payments to an unknown account identified only as “Biden.”
Mr. Walker owns Robinson Walker LLC, which controlled the account that received the wire transfer.
The details were released by the committee in a memo Thursday.
“These records reveal that the three parties likely all received a third of the money from China, and it is unclear what services were provided in return,” Mr. Comer, Kentucky Republican, said. “The Oversight Committee has many questions for Rob Walker, and we look forward to getting answers for the American people.”
The committee memo also notes that a company affiliated with James Gilliar, another Biden family associate, received more than $1 million from Mr. Walker’s business account on March 2, 2017, the day after the Chinese wire transfer.
The memo said committee investigators are particularly concerned “why Hallie Biden — publicly reported to work as a school counselor — received money” from Mr. Walker’s business.
Hallie Biden is the widow of Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015. She became romantically involved with her brother-in-law Hunter Biden after Beau’s death.
A spokesperson from Hunter Biden’s legal team dismissed the memo as baseless.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “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 White House also brushed off the memo.
“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,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said.
The payment details were revealed in bank records obtained by the committee in response to a recent subpoena issued to the Bank of America. The committee subpoenaed more than a decade of records related to Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee, disclosed the Feb. 27 subpoena in a scathing letter accusing Republicans of carrying out a one-sided investigation into the Biden family. He accused Republicans of overlooking suspected conflicts of interest and foreign influence under President Donald Trump.
Mr. Comer justified the subpoena by saying that “by 2017, Biden family members and their associates, including [Rob] Walker, formed a joint venture with CEFC China executives.”
CEFC China is a defunct Chinese energy conglomerate with suspected ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Democrats described our subpoena as providing nothing more than records for Papa John’s and Starbucks, but they failed to mention the records we’ve received documenting the Biden family’s business schemes,” Mr. Comer said Thursday. “Over the course of several years, members of the Biden family and their companies received over $1.3 million in payments from accounts related to their associate, Rob Walker.”
Mr. Comer has made the Biden family’s financial transactions the centerpiece of an investigation into the long trail of business ventures involving the president and his son.
On Tuesday, Mr. Comer revealed that the Treasury Department began handing over documents related to the investigation after a standoff with committee Republicans.
Committee Republicans say the Treasury Department is holding on to nearly 150 suspicious activity reports related to Hunter Biden. Suspicious activity reports give banks a mechanism to flag transactions for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Republicans have been engaged for months in a fruitless back-and-forth with the Treasury Department to obtain additional information on suspected financial transactions related to Hunter Biden that U.S. banks have flagged as suspicious.
Mr. Comer has accused the agency of obstructing the committee’s investigation into the Biden family by refusing to hand over the suspicious activity reports. He said such reports have been made available to members of Congress for decades.
In a November report detailing Hunter Biden’s far-flung business deals that have raised eyebrows for years about potential influence peddling, committee Republicans cited a publicly available suspicious activity report that details “93 wires between 02/03/2014 and 08/02/2019 totaling $2,461,962.60” between Biden associates and “a Shanghai-based investment fund controlled by the Bank of China.”
Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, also pursued deals with Chinese Communist Party-linked energy tycoons and allegedly pocketed more than $3 million from a Russian businesswoman who is the widow of a former mayor of Moscow.
Citing evidence obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop and through whistleblowers, Mr. Comer said his committee had uncovered a “decade-long pattern of influence peddling, national security risks and political cover-ups” committed by the Biden family with the knowledge and involvement of the president.