House Republicans preparing to launch a sprawling probe into the president’s involvement in his son Hunter’s business dealings say they are ready to throw the book at the Bidens — and are zeroing in on a shady China energy deal.
“If evidence justifies it, then we will have criminal referrals,” Rep. James Comer told The Post during an exclusive interview at his Capitol Hill office this week.
Comer, the incoming chair of the House Oversight Committee, said the panel is particularly focused on a “potentially criminal” 2017 deal between Hudson West III — an LLC Hunter Biden managed and invested in — and CEFC, a Chinese energy behemoth looking to sell American liquified natural gas to China.
“What we have learned from interviews is it was more than that. It was also an effort to try to help China get their foot in the door to try to purchase drillers so they could start buying ownership into the infrastructure of our American energy industry,” Comer told the Post.
President Biden, who had just finished his tenure as vice president under President Obama at the time, was involved in the deal, Comer said.
Millions of dollars changed hands between the Biden family and the Chinese before Hudson West III was dissolved in 2018.
“This is China trying to buy ownership into our American industry, which is a national security threat — and oh by the way it was being conducted by Joe Biden. That’s a problem and that’s why we’re concerned that this White House is compromised,” Comer said.
President Biden has taken significant heat from Republicans and activists over a muted response to human rights protests now breaking out across China.
Comer, a Kentucky Republican, said his investigation into the Bidens will be “full steam ahead” despite his party’s disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections.
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“We have been working on this for over a year,” said Comer. “We will be ready with subpoenas out the door.”
While Comer’s House investigation has long been billed as a Hunter Biden probe, he and other Republicans say the real focus is President Biden. Hunter Biden’s alleged criminalities are currently being investigated in a separate probe by US Attorney David Weiss of Delaware — whose inquiry is said to be in its final stages.
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden,” Comer declared.
The core issue is the extent and timing of President Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings. While the elder Biden has long insisted no such ties exist, an overwhelming body of evidence found on Hunter’s infamous hard drive and elsewhere indicates otherwise.
Since any criminal referrals would have to be made to Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Democrat and Biden appointee who likely would not prosecute the Bidens, Comer and the GOP are also focused on passing a law that would outlaw future Biden-like behavior.
“My goal is at the end of the investigation there will be a legislative fix,” Comer said. “It is so murky, what Joe Biden, his son, and his brother [James Biden] were doing. You ask if it’s illegal. I don’t know. But I know it should be.”
Comer is the first to acknowledge that House probes have little credibility with the American public. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calf.) spent years hounding former President Trump over alleged ties to Russia based on the now-discredited Steele Dossier. Before that, Republicans harangued Hillary Clinton in their Benghazi investigation. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted it hurt her poll numbers — though it otherwise went nowhere.
Comer hopes to break that pattern — citing the array and seeming impropriety of the foreign business ties of the former administration.
“If you’re someone like Donald Trump who runs for president who has a huge family business that has a footprint all over the United States — he has golf courses in Europe, his son-in-law has business dealings in the Middle East, the daughter deals with China on manufacturing things,” Comer said. “We need to have stronger disclosure laws as to what they do, what their contracts are, and things like that.”
House Republicans are hoping sweeteners like that will help win over Democrats to the reforms.
Comer is said he’s gathering at least 150 Suspicious Activity Reports generated by Hunter Biden. The files are automatically created by banks to record unusual behavior which is designed to thwart money laundering and other illicit financial activity. While accessing them was once a routine request to the US Treasury, Comer has accused the Biden administration of blocking their release.
Comer says he will get them from at least a dozen banks directly, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. One SAR, which has already been released, refers to “human trafficking” suspicions and described the president’s son as a “Politically Exposed Person.”
From there Comer will begin the work of calling witnesses — the first of which won’t be Hunter Biden. Comer’s top initial targets will include Hunter’s financial adviser Edward Prewitt; James Gilliar, a Hunter business partner who wrote the infamous “10 held by H for the big guy” email; and Eric Schwerin, the president of Hunter’s investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners
Comer himself has never seen the actual hard drive and relies on reports from researchers on his staff to keep him abreast of the key details.
“There are some things I don’t want my eyes to see,” he said laughing.
Comer’s probe is only one of several high-profile investigations House GOP leaders have promised. The House Judiciary Committee, under its incoming chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), is planning an equal marquee look at the politicization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice and their interference in the 2020 elections, including Twitter and Facebook censorship of The Post’s exclusive pre-election reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Comer says he and Jordan are working closely and speak “several times a day.” The combative and camera-loving Jordan has boasted of no fewer than 14 whistleblowers who have come forward to offer insider information.
Comer too said he had some aces up his sleeve — including two of his own whistleblowers.
“They’re people that were involved in the Hunter Biden orbit,” he said. “They’re providing valuable information.”