Tuesday 24 January 2023

House GOP Will ‘Trace The Money’ Flowing Into Penn Biden Center, Hunter Biden Art Sales, Comer Says

 House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) intends to investigate donations to the Penn Biden Center as well as who is purchasing Hunter Biden’s artwork as part of a probe into the Biden family’s financial ties.

Comer has already sent requests for documents and other information to the White House, the University of Pennsylvania, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and others. He is planning more requests in the future and is willing to subpoena information if he must, he told The Washington Examiner.

“We’re trying to trace the money,” Comer told the Examiner. “We’ll be looking at bank statements. We’ll be looking at bank violations. That’s the next phase of our investigation because we’re trying to figure out who these anonymous sources are that are sending so much money to the Biden family schemes — the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Hunter Biden’s artwork.”

The Penn Biden Center, a University of Pennsylvania-affiliated think tank in Washington, D.C., hit headlines recently after classified government documents were found stashed in an office used by President Joe Biden. The university has received tens of millions of dollars in foreign donations, including roughly $60 million donated from Chinese entities.

The president’s son is an aspiring artist who has put his art up for sale to the consternation of ethics experts. The White House dismissed allegations of influence peddling through the first son’s pieces, which have been priced into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Last year, the White House and the gallery that displayed Biden’s artwork said safeguards had been erected to prevent such ethical or potentially illegal breaches. Ethics experts said the safeguards were sorely lacking.

“It is not a true safeguard,” said Jessica Tillipman, the assistant dean for government procurement law at George Washington University Law School. “They say it is, but saying it is doesn’t mean it is.”

She said that a better policy would be far more transparent. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, or you have just got to shut it down,” she said.

Comer and other Republicans have long been critical of Hunter’s amateur art career, especially given the prices that his art has been priced at.

“For years, Mr. Biden has attempted to profit off his father’s position in government, and the art deals are merely the latest iteration of these efforts. The investigation into Mr. Biden’s business ventures, and those who have aided him in his dubious endeavors, has been ongoing for over two years, and, if necessary, will continue into the next Congress,” Comer said in September 2021 before Republicans took control the House and gained subpoena power.

According to Comer, recent revelations that classified documents have been discovered at the Penn Biden Center and at the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, home only underscore the need for transparency around Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

“If there’s nothing there, then the president should be more than willing to cooperate with House Republicans because he could make us look bad,” Comer told the Examiner.

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