Republicans investigating President Joe Biden and his family's business dealings issued subpoenas on Nov. 8 for the president's son and brother.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, signed subpoenas for Hunter Biden, the president's son, and James Biden, the president's brother, and also is seeking to interview several other family members and associates of the family.
That group includes Melissa Cohen, Hunter Biden's wife, and Sara Biden, James Biden's wife.
“The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence-peddling schemes. Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence,” Mr. Comer said in a statement.
“Unlike the many lies President Biden told the American people about his family’s business schemes, bank records don’t lie. These records reveal how the Bidens sold Joe Biden around to the world to benefit the Biden family, including Joe Biden himself, to the detriment of U.S. interests.
"The House Oversight Committee, along with the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, will continue to follow the facts and deliver the transparency and accountability that the American people demand and deserve."
Representatives for Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. James Biden didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Hunter Biden's lawyer recently asked House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to stop Mr. Comer and other Republicans from "continuing their partisan political games."
Financial records obtained and made public by the Republicans show a network of shell companies set up by the Biden family while President Biden was vice president. The network was designed to hide payments to the family from foreigners, according to Republicans.
A new subpoena is also being sent to Rob Walker, a former Biden family associate. Mr. Comer had asked Mr. Walker to appear for a transcribed interview in March, citing records that showed that accounts linked to Mr. Walker had sent more than $1.3 million to Biden family members and their companies.
“The Oversight Committee has many questions for Rob Walker,” Mr. Comer said previously, “and we look forward to getting answers for the American people.”
Mr. Walker told FBI agents in 2020 that President Biden stopped in while Mr. Walker, Mr. Hunter Biden, and Chinese businessmen were eating lunch at the Four Seasons, according to a transcript given to Congress by IRS whistleblowers.
"He literally sat down. I don’t even think he drank water. I think Hunter said, 'I may be tryin’ to start a company, or tried to do something with these guys and could you ...' and [I] think he was like, 'If I’m around,' and he’d show up," Mr. Walker was quoted as saying.
The appearances were meant to bolster the chances of making deals, Mr. Walker said.
Devon Archer, another former associate of Mr. Hunter Biden's, has told Congress that President Biden took part in business meetings, though Mr. Archer said he didn't recall that President Biden ever discussed business.
Mr. Walker was commanded in a subpoena to testify at a deposition in Washington on Nov. 29.
Mr. James Biden was ordered to appear before the committee on Dec. 6. Mr. Hunter Biden was called to testify on Dec. 13.
Interview RequestsIn addition to Ms. Biden and Ms. Cohen, the panel now also is asking for interviews with Hallie Biden, who once dated Mr. Hunter Biden and is the widow of his brother, Beau Biden; Elizabeth Secundy, Ms. Hallie Biden's sister, who has communicated with Mr. Hunter Biden; and Tony Bobulinski, who has said President Biden lied when claiming he wasn't involved in his son's business operations.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in Washington that the investigation "has been going on for a year now and has turned up zero evidence of wrongdoing by the president because there is none."
"But Republicans continue to double down on a baseless smear campaign against the president and his family, instead of being focused on the American people's needs," she added.
The uncovered financial activity included two payments in 2018 from Mr. James Biden to President Biden, one in 2017 for $40,000 and one in 2018 for $200,000.
While Mr. James Biden labeled the checks as loan repayments, Republicans noted that the former was sent after a series of payments from a Chinese company to businesses operated by Mr. Hunter Biden and the latter was cut on the same day Mr. James Biden received an equivalent amount from a now-bankrupt hospital operator.
“Now we can trace the money that Joe Biden got, the two checks, back to influence peddling schemes," Mr. Comer said on Newsmax recently. “So now that we can trace the money, we have enough bank records that we can bring the Bidens in. So we’re preparing everything now to be able to serve them and try to bring them in.”
The White House has stressed that the payments went to President Biden when he was a private citizen and that they were loan repayments.
“These extreme House Republicans have officially jumped the shark. In case that wasn’t clear already," Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, said in a recent statement.
"One brother gives one brother money, the other brother pays it back. No one is elected at all. They’re both private citizens," Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, said during a recent podcast appearance.
Mr. Comer said the lack of documentation of the alleged loan casts doubt on the stated reason for the payments.