WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Thursday released financial records showing that Hunter Biden and other relatives of President Biden received more than $1 million in 2017 from an associate who had entered into a business deal with a Chinese energy company, as they hunted for evidence that the president and his family have profited improperly from his position.
The disclosure came as the House Oversight Committee ramps up its investigation into the international business transactions of Mr. Biden’s family, obtaining more than a decade of bank records through subpoenas and drawing accusations from Democrats of intruding into the lives of private citizens.
The inquiry is a centerpiece of Republicans’ effort to use their majority in the House to antagonize Mr. Biden and subject him to the same kind of scrutiny that Democrats applied to former President Donald J. Trump, who never divested himself of his business empire upon becoming president and who records show profited extensively from foreign governments during his presidency.
Representative James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky and the chairman of the panel, has effectively ended the inquiry into Mr. Trump’s finances, but has issued a broad subpoena to obtain bank records of associates of the Biden family. It required Bank of America to produce “all financial records” for three Biden business associates from the 14-year period beginning Jan. 20, 2009 — when Mr. Biden was sworn in as vice president — to the present.
On Thursday, Mr. Comer released a memo he said was based on records received as a result of his subpoena.
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Mr. Comer has focused in particular on John R. Walker, an associate of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, whose business dealings have come under scrutiny by the Justice Department and who faces possible charges related to failure to file his tax returns on time and questions about whether he lied on a federal form used for a gun purchase.
Senate Republicans have for years scrutinized Mr. Walker, who was involved in a joint venture with executives of CEFC China Energy, a now-bankrupt Chinese conglomerate. A Shanghai-based company called State Energy HK Limited, which was affiliated with CEFC China Energy, sent millions to Robinson Walker LLC, a company associated with Mr. Walker, who then made payments to Hunter Biden and other Biden family members.
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Mr. Comer said the financial records he obtained show that from 2015 to 2017, Biden family members — including Hunter, the president’s brother James and Mr. Biden’s daughter-in-law Hallie — and their companies collectively received $1.3 million from Mr. Walker. The memo asserted that the Biden family members received just over $1 million of that money in 2017 beginning the day after Mr. Walker received $3 million from State Energy HK Limited, in payments that the Republicans inferred were cuts of the money from the Chinese firm.
The material released by the panel did not show anything illegal or improper, and Mr. Comer conceded that he did not know the purposes of the payments or the nature of the business relationships. But he said the transactions raised important questions for his panel.
“The Oversight Committee is concerned about the national security implications resulting from President Biden’s family receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals,” Mr. Comer said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the money trail and facts to determine if President Biden is compromised by his family’s business schemes and if there is a national security threat.”
The payments came at a time when Hunter Biden’s life and finances were spiraling amid his drug addiction, and after the death of his brother Beau Biden from brain cancer. Hunter Biden had begun a romantic relationship with his brother’s widow. His business partner, Mr. Walker, and uncle James Biden were pursuing international business work.
Hunter Biden’s legal team on Thursday issued an angry statement arguing that the House investigation was overly intrusive into the finances of a private citizen and stating that the younger Mr. Biden’s international business transactions were legal. It said that Mr. Comer had inaccurately characterized the deals.
“Hunter Biden, a private citizen with every right to pursue his own business endeavors, joined several business partners in seeking a joint venture with a privately owned, legitimate energy company in China,” the statement said. “As part of that joint venture, Hunter received his portion of good faith seed funds which he shared with his uncle, James Biden, and Hallie Biden, with whom he was involved with at the time and sharing expenses. The accounts so dramatically listed by Representative Comer belonged to Hunter, his uncle and Hallie — nobody else.”
A spokeswoman for Democrats on the Oversight Committee said, in particular, that information Mr. Comer released about Hallie Biden was incorrect. Mr. Walker had transferred money to her the month before any funds were received from the Chinese company, the spokeswoman said. Mr. Comer’s memorandum said that Ms. Biden received the money about three weeks after the Chinese firm had wired funds to Mr. Walker.
“Chairman Comer’s memo proved once again that, after four years of investigations by Senate and House Republicans into Hunter Biden, they have found no connection to the president of the United States or indeed any government official at all,” said Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the oversight panel.