Washington — Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, has made the panel's first official requests for documents from President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his brother, James Biden, over foreign business pursuits.
In letters first obtained by CBS News, Comer informed Hunter and James Biden, as well as their then-business manager, that he is seeking documents and communications from the Bidens as part of his committee's probe into to any possible involvement by the president in their financial conduct, in particular in foreign business deals "with individuals who were connected to the Chinese Communist Party." Comer accused them in his letter of receiving "significant amounts of money from foreign companies without providing any known legitimate services."
In addition to that probe, Comer said the committee is considering writing a bill to strengthen federal ethics laws around public officials and their families.
Comer has asked the president's son and brother for any record "designated classified" the two may possess, plus communications between the president or James Biden and his wife, Sara Jones Biden, and Hunter Biden over an 11-year period from Jan. 20, 2009, regarding travel and financial activity.
Now that the Republicans are in the majority in the House, they have subpoena power. Comer has given the Bidens until Feb. 22 to respond before he considers issuing a subpoena for documents and testimony. Speaking to CBS News, Comer did not rule out subpoenas as early as April.
Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, responded to Comer and offered to discuss what information his client could provide, while asserting that the committee's oversight authority is "limited" because Hunter Biden is a private citizen.
"While your Letter attempts to demonstrate 'legislative purpose' for investigating Mr. Biden, it fails nevertheless to address that the Committee's scope of oversight is limited when dealing with private persons like our client," Lowell wrote to the chairman. "Rather than engage in back-and-forth letter writing campaigns or any formal proceedings, I would offer to sit with you and your staff, including the ranking member and his staff, to see whether Mr. Biden has information that may inform some legitimate legislative purpose and be helpful to the Committee. I hope that you will engage in this effort."
A spokesperson for James Biden said Thursday that they had no comment on Comer's request.
Last week, Hunter Biden's legal team, demanding state and federal investigations into the dissemination of his personal material — purported to be from .
In January, Comer called on the White House to provide, house since the start of his presidency after documents bearing classification markings were .
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