A conservative watchdog group has sued the Department of Homeland Security to obtain travel records for Hunter Biden while he had a Secret Service detail.
In its lawsuit filed in federal court in the District of Columbia on Friday, Judicial Watch calls for disclosure of the dates and locations of domestic and international for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s son Hunter, who had a Secret Service detail for a while. The group is seeking records dating to 2001.
Conservatives have continued to probe Hunter Biden’s business dealings while his father was vice president. The issue was at the forefront of the impeachment of President Trump, who requested that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky look into energy company Burisma. Hunter Biden was on the company’s board of directors. Congressional impeachment hearings focused on whether Mr. Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine while he sought information on a political opponent.
The Trump administration was initially responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request earlier this year, giving some documents to Judicial Watch, but the group went to court, saying it has not received documents for Mr. Biden’s travel after July 2014.
Judicial Watch says Hunter Biden and his father flew to Beijing in December 2013, but the documents provided to Judicial Watch show Hunter Biden arrived in Tokyo on Dec. 2, then went to Beijing a couple of days later.
“While it is typical for the families of the president and vice president to travel with them, questions have been raised about whether Hunter Biden used the government trip to further his business interests,” says Judicial Watch’s press release, which noted Hunter Biden created a Chinese private equity fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) at that time.
The group also is seeking information on his travel related to Burisma. Hunter Biden made about $80,000 a month on the company’s board, totaling at least $3 million from 2014 to 2018.
“Given the Burisma-Ukraine-China influence-peddling scandals, Hunter Biden’s extensive international travel during the Obama-Biden presidency, including at least five trips to China, raises serious questions about where else he traveled in the final two and a half years of the Obama administration,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.
“The Secret Service’s incomplete response to our straightforward FOIA request on Hunter Biden’s travel has forced us to go to court — once again — to fight for the public’s right to know,” he added.
Mr. Biden, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, has said he did nothing wrong and never discussed business deals with his son.
Hunter Biden got the position at Burisma while his father was vice president in 2014, at the height of tension over the Russian annexation of Crimea.
In 2016, Mr. Biden visited Kiev as vice president and threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, as part of a campaign by the U.S., European Union and international financial institutions, unless the country’s leaders fired Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who they believed wasn’t effective in fighting corruption in the country.
The Bidens were also implicated in a billion-dollar deal in China.
In his book, “Secret Empire,” author Peter Schwizer described a trip Mr. Biden and Hunter Biden made to China in 2013 aboard Air Force Two. Less than two weeks later, Hunter Biden’s law firm made a $1 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Bank of China, controlled by the communist government. The deal later swelled to $1.5 billion, according to the book.
• Alex Swoyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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