February 7, 2020
The Treasury Department’s “lightning speed” response to Republican Senators’ requests for documents related to Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings is in stark contrast to delays faced by legitimate Congressional oversight requests, and sparks questions around potential bias towards more readily providing information about the president’s political opponents.
On November 15, 2019, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to Treasury Director Ken Blanco requesting Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on 11 individuals, including Biden and Burisma. The letter requested documents from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by December 5, 2019, documents that Treasury did start releasing.
Treasury’s quick response to the Biden and Burisma inquiries raises questions of favoritism given the stonewalling of other Congressional requests for documents or witnesses during the impeachment inquiry.
The House impeached Trump for abuse of power when he solicited the Ukrainian government to investigate political opponents, namely Hunter Biden’s father former Vice President Joe Biden, to benefit his reelection and influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Any coordinated effort between Senate Republicans and the Treasury Department to prioritize requests for information in order to go after Trump’s political opponents like Biden could be an indication of political bias in the congressional oversight process.
CREW requested records on communications between the Treasury Department and Grassley and Johnson’s offices on their investigation into the 11 entities including Hunter Biden.
The requested records would shed light on whether the Treasury Department is responding more quickly to congressional oversight that aligns with President Trump’s political goals, and if Grassley and Johnson’s requests were prioritized over previous legitimate Congressional oversight requests. The public deserves to know to what extent our access to information is biased and manipulated to serve the president’s political agenda.