The Treasury Department has handed over documents to a pair of GOP Senate chairmen as part of a months-long probe into Burisma Holdings, Ukraine and Hunter Biden, according to the top Democrat on one of the panels.
Sens. Chuck Grassley
(R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — the chairmen of the Finance and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, respectively — sent a letter to the Treasury Department in November
saying they were investigating “potentially improper actions” during the Obama administration.
The Treasury Department is complying with their request, according to a spokeswoman for Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, who noted that Democratic requests for information have been stonewalled.
“For its part, the Trump administration refused to comply with all Democratic requests for documents and witnesses associated with impeachment. 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,” Ashley Schapitl, a spokeswoman for Wyden, said in a statement.
The development was first reported by Yahoo News
, with a source telling the publication that the Treasury Department began complying with the Grassley
-Johnson request in less than two months.
A spokesman for the Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the November letter — which was not publicly released by either of the committees but obtained by Reuters — Grassley and Johnson say that they are “conducting an investigation into potentially improper actions by the Obama administration with respect to Burisma Holdings … and Ukraine.”
They then request any “suspicious activity reports” and related documents that have been filed in regard to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and Burisma Holdings, the Ukraine gas company that Hunter Biden worked at.
Schapitl declined to discuss the content of the documents being turned over from the Treasury Department but noted that the administration was “voluntarily cooperating with the Senate Republicans’ sideshow at lightning speed.”
Asked about the Treasury Department handing over documents, Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley, said that they routinely do not “discuss sensitive third-party material during ongoing investigations.”
“It’s unfortunate that Democrats whom we’ve kept in the loop on our investigations would recklessly seek to interfere with legitimate government oversight,” he added.
A suspicious activity report, according to the Treasury Department
, is filed by a financial institution when they find an “initial detection of facts” pointing to a suspicious activity in an account. That includes filing reports on cash transactions that exceed $10,000 and reporting activity that “might signal criminal activity,” in an effort to prevent money laundering.
The letter to the Treasury Department is one of several that Grassley and Johnson, sometimes in conjunction with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have sent as they’ve probed potential conflicts of interest stemming out of the Obama administration.
Trump and his GOP allies have sought to tie then-Vice President Joe Biden’s push in 2016 for the dismissal of Uranian Prosector General Viktor Shokin to Hunter Biden’s business interests. They’ve also argued that allowing Joe Biden to work on Ukraine policy while his son was on the board of Burisma was a conflict of interest.
Fact-checkers have debunked claims that Biden was acting with his son’s interest in mind. The former vice president has denied wrongdoing, and there’s no evidence that either Biden engaged in any criminal wrongdoing.
Republicans have also sent letters to the State Department requesting information related to Hunter Biden and Ukraine.
A Republican aide told The Hill that the department has informed Grassley and Johnson that they have documents in their possession that are relevant to their requests. But the aide stressed that there is not an established timeline for when those documents will be turned over.