Two top Republican senators, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, slammed Democrat senators for attempting to undermine congressional oversight of Hunter Biden’s shady business activity by leaking information about the investigation to the press.
Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement that they shared information related to the probe of Biden with ranking members of the committees in good faith it “would be treated appropriately and remain confidential.”
On Thursday, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden’s office complained to Yahoo News that the Treasury Department was complying the Republican senators’ requests for documents showing “’evidence’ of questionable origin,” in the form of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
“Applying a blatant double standard, Trump administration agencies like the Treasury Department are rapidly complying with the Senate Republican requests – no subpoeanas necessary – and producing ‘evidence’ of questionable origin,” said Wyden spokesperson Ashley Schapitl. “The administration told House Democrats to go pound sand when their oversight authority was mandatory while voluntarily cooperating with the Senate Republicans’ sideshow at lightning speed.”
Grassley and Johnson said it was “strange that any senator would complain about Congress receiving responses to oversight requests in a timely manner.” The two GOP senators also noted that most oversight requests do not require material subject to executive privilege and can therefore be expedited to Congress.
“Democrats have recently received productions from Treasury pursuant to their oversight requests,” Grassley and Johnson pointed out. “If the administration were to claim priviledge over requested material, as the Obama administration did in the ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ investigation, members of Congress can use other tools at their disposal – including the courts – to compel cooperation.”
During the recent impeachment proceedings, Democrats chose not to use these powers.
“Our oversight work over the last several years should stand in stark contract to the slapdash impeachment inquiry in the House,” the senators said.
On Wednesday, the two senators also requested Biden’s travel records from the U.S. Secret Service to determine whether former Vice President Joe Biden’s son “used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business” in his work with overseas nations.
In 2013, Hunter Biden flew to China with his vice president father on Air Force Two and arranged meetings with Chinese businessmen. Soon after the trip, several private transactions occurred that benefitted Hunter Biden’s firm BHR.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company have also raised eyebrows. While his father ran U.S. policy towards Ukraine, Hunter Biden served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, raking in upwards of $50,000 a month despite no prior experience in the industry.
A Federalist analysis reveals that Hunter Biden was being showered with excess compensation for his position on the board even if he had possessed an expertise in the field. The executives at Exxon Mobil in 2018, for example, made little more than half what Hunter Biden was bringing in at Burisma, a company worth a fraction of Exxon.