The U.S. Air Force has backtracked on a promise to release records showing Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two with his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.
One America News reported that despite the Air Force promise in January to release the passenger lists, it was now refusing to do so even as a Senate committee is planning to move forward, over-vigorous Democrat opposition, with an investigation of the younger Biden’s overseas business dealings while his father was part of the Obama administration.
Biden’s position as a director at BHR Partners, a Chinese investment firm with close ties to the Bank of China, raised red flags and prompted GOP senators to request travel records from the Secret Service on his travels to China.
“In December of 2013, one month after Rosemont Seneca’s joint venture with Bohai Capital to form BHR, Hunter Biden reportedly flew aboard Air Force Two with then-Vice President Biden to China,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis. wrote in their February letter.
“While in China, he helped arrange for Jonathan Li, CEO of Bohai Capital, to ‘shake hands’ with Vice President Biden,” the senators wrote.
Biden said he would step down from the board of BHR at the end of October last year as his father’s presidential bid brought more scrutiny on his business dealings. But business records in November showed he was still listed as a board member of the Chinese private equity firm.
Meanwhile, the Republican-led inquiry in the Senate Homeland Security Committee has sparked tensions among lawmakers that resulted in a “rare and previously unreported verbal altercation between senators during a classified briefing,” according to Politico.
A spokesman for the committee’s chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, indicated that work on the probe was continuing despite the interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic which forced lawmakers to focus almost exclusively on alleviating the impact of the health emergency.
“While the chairman is primarily focused on the once-in-a-generation crisis we’re experiencing, our oversight staff is continuing to push ahead with their work. Nothing has changed in our long-term plans for our investigations,” Austin Altenburg said.
Democrats’ questions about the investigation during a top-secret briefing less than one month ago reportedly “spiraled into a combative and partisan snipe-fest,” according to Politico. And with the lawmakers back in their homes until at least later this month due to the pandemic, the investigation faced more obstacles such as the challenge of reviewing sensitive documents at the Senate or obtaining other information.
As it appears Joe Biden will likely secure the Democratic presidential nomination, Democrats have increasingly complained that the probe into his son’s affairs is politically motivated to affect the 2020 race, a claim Johnson and other Republicans have denied.
According to Politico:
Democrats have accused Johnson of seeking to harm the former vice president’s general-election prospects, citing the chairman’s comments about the need for Democratic primary voters to know the full extent of Hunter Biden’s involvement on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
The investigation itself appeared to ramp up after Biden swept several state primary contests, beginning with the South Carolina primary at the end of February.
Trump has vowed that if he faces off against Biden in the 2020 race, the issue will not be one he will ignore.
“That will be a major issue in the campaign,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this month. “I will bring that up all the time.”
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