House oversight chairman coordinated with Trump’s lawyer to end Trump’s tax investigation: Raskin
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer makes a perfect pitch for Republican priorities, and Representative Jamie Raskin, the ranking Democrat on the committee, is on the case.
For one thing, Comer is not only abandoning a deal with Mazars, Donald Trump’s longtime accounting firm, to produce documents related to foreign government spending at Trump properties during Trump’s time in the White House – he’s coordinating with Trump’s lawyers to move . And at the same time, Comer is expanding his investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden and someone who has no government role, to demand bank statements from three of Hunter Biden’s business associates.
Pointing out that documents Mazars has already provided to the committee show hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from governments, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and China, to Trump’s companies, Raskin wrote in a letter to Comer: “On January 19, 2023, Patrick Strawbridge, Donald Trump’s attorney, wrote to Mazars’ counsel, stating “I do not know the status of Mazars [sic] production, but it is my understanding that the Committee has no interest in forcing Mazars to complete it and is willing to release it from any further obligations under the settlement agreement.
Raskin continued, “When Mazars’ lawyer asked for clarification, Mr. Strawbridge confirmed that this instruction was provided to him, on two occasions, by the Acting Advocate General of the House of Representatives, in his capacity as counsel to the committee. “This is,” Raskin wrote, “an astonishing delegation of legislative power from the presidency to a former twice-impeached president whose executive branch actions are still under active investigation by the committee.”.
At the same time, Comer subpoenaed Bank of America 14 years old financial records of three of Hunter Biden’s business associates. It’s not just about the records of a specific company. It was a request for “all financial records” from the time Joe Biden became vice president until now.
“These documents go far beyond any business deal with Hunter Biden or CEFC,” Raskin wrote. “They pry into private details of M’s financial. Walker and his family: how much he pays for his child’s dance lessons, when he’s been to the hospital, how many parking tickets he’s paid for, how often he eats at Papa John’s or has coffee at Starbucks, and how much he spends on groceries at Safeway.
For House Republicans, Walker’s involvement with Hunter Biden in a failed business venture makes this information a more legitimate target of investigation than evidence that foreign governments are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Trump properties. As Raskin accurately summarized, “I am concerned that this overly broad subpoena suggests that your interest in this investigation is not in pursuing defined facts or informing public legislation, but in casting a net of political opposition research on behalf of former President Trump. ”
So: information about how a former president and future president benefited, while in office, from foreign government spending is of no interest to the Republicans who control the House Oversight Committee.
But: the detailed personal financial records of a non-government business associate are at the center of what these Republicans are doing.
It’s obviously partisan – Republicans want to investigate Democrats and stop investigations of Republicans – but it’s more than that. The difference in proximity to power between what and who is being investigated is telling. It’s the guy who was in the White House versus the people who did business with the guy’s son in the White House, with no reason, despite multiple investigations, to believe that the president was involved in his son’s business, let’s say alone steered U.S. policy in directions favorable to his son.
Comer and his Republican cronies would like voters to believe that, wow, if they’re demanding financial records from people who just did business with Hunter Biden, there must be one there. But the reality is that what this shows is that they have nothing against President. If they even thought they did it, they would investigate him.