The Republican-led House Oversight Committee has asked a Treasury Department official to testify in its investigation into the Biden family finances, according to a letter sent Friday obtained by NBC News.
It’s the most significant escalation in a long-running — and thus far unsuccessful — effort by the GOP-led committee to obtain access to alleged “suspicious activity reports” related to Hunter Biden and the Biden family that Republicans have said are a key part of their investigation into Biden family business practices.
Suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are required by federal law, and financial institutions must file them when they detect unusual transactions that could be signs of illegal activity.
Committee chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., has asked Isabella More, deputy assistant secretary for oversight for the Treasury Department, to testify at a March 10 hearing, suggesting that the department has deliberately delayed the production of documents to his committee in order to hinder its investigation.
“This hearing will examine the various justifications you have provided the Committee regarding Treasury’s failure to produce documents requested of it, including SARs,” Comer wrote.
Comer in his letter suggests that “relevant SARs” have already been produced to others.
“The hearing will provide the Committee invaluable information regarding Treasury’s approach to congressional oversight, as the Committee considers legislation that codifies what was once regular congressional access to SARs,” Comer wrote.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is not clear whether there are relevant SARs.
Republicans won control of the House — and therefore control of the oversight committee — during the November midterm election. Comer that same month said that investigations into Hunter Biden and other Biden family members and associates would be a priority.
Neither Biden has been charged with any crime.
Hunter Biden said in December 2020 that he was under federal investigation regarding his tax affairs.
Hunter Biden, 53, said then that “a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”
President Joe Biden has dismissed Republican plans for investigations into his son.
“I think the American people will look at all of that for what it is. It’s just almost comedy,” the president said at a Nov. 9 news conference.
Last week, after a reporter shouted a question about whether the president’s ability to deal with China “is compromised by your family’s business relationships,” he said, “Give me a break, man.” Other questions were also being shouted at the time.