The Treasury Department has handed over sensitive financial information about Hunter Biden to congressional Republicans, despite previously refusing to give Democrats President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson yesterday released a letter they wrote to Secret Service Director James Murray seeking documents on the former vice president’s son immediately after the vote to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial.
The highly confidential information on Hunter Biden was reportedly handed over to Grassley, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman, and Ron Johnson, the Homeland Security Committee Chairman.
A Democrat on one of the committees conducting the investigation told Yahoo News that the ”’evidence” of questionable origin’ was handed over to the influential senators.
Last year Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin blocked a Democratic request in November for the president’s tax filings, saying Democrats had no legitimate legislative purpose for seeking the documents.
Mnuchin said in a letter to Democrats last April: ‘The legal implications of this request could affect protections for all Americans against politically-motivated disclosures of personal tax information, regardless of which party is in power.’
But that did not apply to the non-tax financial information that may relate to the son of former Vice President Joe Biden – a Trump political rival he is seeking to tie to corrupt business dealing in Ukraine.
Trump’s bid to spark and investigation into the Bidens led to the impeachment proceedings which saw the president acquitted in the Republican Senate this week.
Grassley and Johnson are seeking information on any security detail provided to Hunter Biden, as well as travel aboard government aircraft.
In particular they were looking for suspicious activity reports filed relating to Biden with the Treasury Department by financial institutions.
In the letter the lawmakers wrote they are ‘reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration’ – particularly in Ukraine and China, where he had business dealings.
Ashley Schapitl, a spokeswoman for the highest-ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden, said the granting of the Biden request was a ‘blatant double standard’.
She said in a statement to Yahoo: ‘Applying a blatant double standard, Trump administration agencies like the Treasury Department are rapidly complying with Senate Republican requests – no subpoenas necessary – and producing ”evidence” of questionable origin.
‘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.’
The letter by Grassley and Johnson underlined that the president is getting the investigation he wanted, after his request for the president of Ukraine to do him a ‘favor’ and investigate the Bidens and the 2016 elections prompted a House Democratic impeachment inquiry.
Democrats called it cheating and inducing foreign interference in the US elections, but Republicans said it was not an impeachable offense.
One of the trip coming under scrutiny was Hunter Biden’s trip aboard Air Force Two along with his father to China in 2013.
Every Senate Republican other than Mitt Romney of Utah voted to acquit, and Trump brandished headlines of his acquittal at the congressional prayer breakfast on Thursday morning.