Treasury Department Gave Financial Information On Hunter Biden To GOP Senators
President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department handed “highly sensitive and closely held financial records” on Hunter Biden to Senate Republicans as part of their inquiry into his work in Ukraine, according to Yahoo News.
The Senate Finance Committee requested the records, and Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the request was honored.
Wyden contrasted the willingness with which the Trump administration supplied Senate Republicans with documentation with the stonewalling House Democrats met from the White House during the impeachment inquiry.
“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,” Wyden spokesperson Ashley Schapitl said in a statement.
She added: “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.”
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), along with Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-MN), requested extraordinarily sensitive and highly guarded information on Biden — “highly confidential suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions with FinCEN, an agency of the Treasury that helps to police money laundering.”
The two chairmen wrote to FinCEN on November 15 and received what was described to Yahoo News as a “rapid” response: it took less than two months for Treasury to begin feeding documents to Grassley and Johnson.
But it remains unclear whether there are any Biden-related SARs for FinCEN to turn over to Senate Republicans, and if there are, no one has indicated whether they were provided.
Yahoo News reported that Wyden and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wrote a letter to FinCEN a couple of weeks after Republicans’ November request complaining that “information requests from Congress, including legitimate Committee oversight requests related to Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), often take months to process, and we understand that certain such requests have yet to be answered at all.”
“Sen. Wyden’s warning was spurred by concern that the agency would prioritize Republican requests over Democratic requests,” Schapitl said of the letter, adding that “Treasury’s subsequent actions have made his concerns even more urgent.”
“Republicans are turning the Senate into an arm of the president’s political campaign, pursuing an investigation designed to further President Trump’s favorite conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and smear Vice President Biden,” she said.