Two top Republicans are pushing for FBI and Justice Department investigations into a series of wire transfers that Chinese and Russian businesspeople made to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray inquiring whether the bureau has investigated the wire transfers. Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said on Fox News Wednesday that he will submit a criminal referral to the DOJ over the payments.
A report that Senate Republicans released Wednesday detailed millions of dollars in transfers to and from accounts linked to Hunter Biden and various business associates, including his uncle James Biden.
The report, which cited confidential Treasury Department documents, said that the transactions had been “identified for potential financial criminal activity.” Republicans said that the payments raised “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns.” (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Payments Raised ‘Counterintelligence And Extortion Concerns,’ Senate Report Says)
According to the report, Elena Baturina, a Russian billionaire whose late husband was mayor of Moscow, wired $3.5 million in February 2014 to a company co-founded by Biden. The report also said that Biden wired money to people linked to sex trafficking and prostitution in Eastern Europe.
Accounts linked to Chinese businessman Ye Jianming wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to Biden-linked accounts beginning in 2017, according to the report.
Jianming, who was chairman of Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC China Energy, has links to the People’s Liberation Army, Republicans said. Jianming was a top official in the mid-2000s for the China Association for International Friendly Contacts, a front group for the PLA that engages in “intelligence collection” for Beijing.
The purpose of the transfers to Biden is still unclear. A lawyer for Biden has not responded to requests for comment.
“The report…shows that the FBI has been aware of some misconduct for years,” Jordan wrote in his letter to Wray.
Jordan is asking Wray whether the FBI is investigating the wire transfers to Biden, as well as an allegations regarding Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden as a board member in April 2014.
Biden accepted the position just after his father took over as the Obama administration’s chief liaison to Ukraine.
The Senate report cited testimony from two State Department officials who said they were concerned that Biden’s position on the Burisma board posed a conflict of interest for the Obama administration.
George Kent, who was deputy chief of mission to Ukraine through 2018, told the committees that Ukrainian officials told him that Zlochevsky paid a $7 million bribe to a Ukrainian prosecutor in December 2014, while Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board.
Another State Department official, Amos Hochstein, testified to the Senate committees that produced the report that he raised concerns about Burisma to then-Vice President Joe Biden in October 2015.
Sen. Paul said Wednesday that he will submit a criminal referral on Biden to the Justice Department.
“I think the only way to determine the actual legality of this is to have it referred to the Department of Justice,” Paul told Fox News.
“Here is this evidence, look at it, and then you as the lawyers for the government decide if you have enough to prosecute but I think we should refer this for a criminal investigation.”
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