House Oversight Chairman James Comer has quietly subpoenaed Bank of America asking for records relating to three of Hunter Biden’s business associates, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin, disclosed in a letter sent to Comer on Sunday.
The subpoena was broad and called for “all financial records” spanning 14 years, beginning in 2009, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN. Bank of America has since turned over a considerable number of materials in compliance with the subpoena, a source familiar with the communications told CNN.
The subpoena specifically targets US citizen John Robinson “Rob” Walker and other associates of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who formed a “a joint venture” with executives of CEFC China Energy, a now-bankrupt Chinese energy conglomerate, according to the letter.
CNN has reached out to Bank of America for comment. CNN has also reached out to an email associated with Walker.
The sweeping subpoena marks an escalation in Comer’s investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings. The Kentucky Republican has said accessing financial information for the Biden family and its business associates is a top priority as he seeks to investigate alleged influence peddling, particularly surrounding any of the family’s foreign business deals. The president has denied any involvement in his son’s overseas business dealings.
A House Oversight GOP spokesperson told CNN in a statement that the purpose of Raskin’s letter was to “get ahead of the information the Oversight Committee is receiving in its investigation of the Biden family’s influence peddling.”
The move comes after attorneys for Hunter Biden recently embraced a more aggressive strategy to push back against attacks from Republicans. Last month, his attorneys fired off a spate of letters urging state and federal agencies to investigate several individuals involved in disseminating the contents of his laptop, which has been the basis for a slew of GOP attacks.
Raskin criticizes Comer in the letter for not giving Democratic members standard notice before the subpoena was issued, arguing they were only given visibility a few hours prior rather than the standard committee practice of alerting the minority of a subpoena 48 hours in advance.
The Maryland Democrat also characterizes the subpoena as a “roving congressional inquisition into the affairs of at least one private American citizen,” given that it called for the production of “thousands of pages of Mr. Walker’s private financial information, including statements of his and his wife’s joint checking account for a decade” – something Raskin argues goes “well beyond any business deal with Hunter Biden or CEFC.”
Raskin also claims in his letter that committee Democrats are increasingly learning about new levels of cooperation between former President Donald Trump’s counsel, Patrick Strawbridge, and oversight Republicans regarding a decision to stop pursuing information and materials relating to foreign spending at Trump-owned properties.
In April 2019, the House Oversight Committee – run then by Democrats – subpoenaed Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA for financial information relating to the Trump Organization. The investigation specifically was focused on whether foreign governments were spending money at Trump-owned properties in order to curry favor with the administration.
That investigation was ongoing while Democrats were in the majority. However, on January 19, 2023, after Republicans took control of the House and the Oversight panel, Strawbridge allegedly emailed Mazars’ counsel informing the firm that GOP committee members had given the Trump organization assurances that the panel would cease its requests for documents, according to a direct quote from the email included in Raskin’s letter.
“I do not know the status of Mazars [sic] production, but my understanding is that the Committee has no interest in forcing Mazars to complete it and is willing to release it from further obligations under the settlement agreement,” Strawbridge’s email read, according to Raskin’s letter.
Raskin writes that Strawbridge later told Mazars that “this direction had been provided to him, twice, by the Acting General Counsel of the House of Representatives, in his capacity as counsel to the Committee.”
“The accusation by Ranking Member Raskin is completely unfounded and untrue. There has been no coordination or discussion with anyone from the Committee’s majority with anyone about the Mazars documents,” a House GOP committee spokesperson said.
CNN has reached out to Mazars and Strawbridge, the Trump attorney, for comment.
Raskin argues in his letter that the decision to stop asking Mazars to continue producing documents in relation to its investigation into the Trump Organization’s ties to foreign governments is at odds with Comer’s decision to subpoena Bank of America as part of its investigation into Hunter Biden.
“You appear to have engaged in these efforts to prevent the production of evidence of former President Trump’s misconduct during his time in office while simultaneously issuing an invasive and overbroad subpoena to private individuals as part of an investigation targeting the business dealings of family members of President Biden who have never held public office,” Raskin writes.