Bank records are kept secret even from federal legislators — at least when it comes to Hunter Biden’s records recently requested.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) has tried for months to get those records from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The responses he received range from silence to the bureaucratic version of “You can’t handle the truth.”
The Epoch Times further reported:
An official with the U.S. Department of Treasury told Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) that his request would not be filled because it was not made by a committee.
“The Department responds to requests for BSA information from congressional committees of appropriate jurisdiction in a manner consistent with the statute and its implementing regulations, which mandate protection of highly sensitive reports from the risk of unauthorized use and disclosure,” Jonathan Davidson, the department’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, said in a Sept. 2 missive.
BSA stands for the Bank Secrecy Act.
Comer, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, has been trying for months to obtain records under the act.
He wrote in May to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a Biden appointee, requesting copies of all Suspicious Activity Reports for Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and James Biden, the president’s brother, after reports emerged that transactions with which they were involved were flagged through such reports, lodged with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
One report said that more than 150 international transactions tied to either Hunter or James Biden were flagged by U.S. banks.
At the time, the Treasury Department told the Wall Street Journal that the department has made the reports “available for every request we’ve received, regardless of party, and will continue to do so.”
A new protocol for members wanting to view reports was developed after Joe Biden took office in 2021, the department also said.
Comer sent another letter in July, saying Treasury officials in a June 13 phone call told Republicans on the Oversight panel that they would not provide the reports being sought.
“Treasury’s actions call for investigation and raise new questions about the degree to which the Biden Administration is using the federal government to provide cover for the Biden family and its associates,” Comer wrote to Yellen.
Davidson, the Treasury official, said Friday that the department “deeply respects the critical oversight role of Congress and remains committed to responding to appropriate requests from committees of jurisdiction” but that the agency must safeguard BSA information.
“Law enforcement relies on this information to help identify, stop, and apprehend criminal actors. Thus, it is critical that the Executive Branch continue to receive the information and keep it confidential. Unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information—whether intentional or inadvertent—can also undermine potential or ongoing investigations or proceedings,” he said.
The act bars disclosure with exceptions for members of the intelligence community and state, local, and foreign governments, if requests are made in compliance with the law.
Democrats control all congressional committees because the party enjoys majorities in both congressional chambers.
Control of Congress and the Senate may shift after November’s election.
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