The Justice Department is withholding 400 documents related to Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, a Colorado lawyer claims.
Kevin Evans sued the Justice Department in March after it failed to comply with his Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to “any relationship, communication, gift(s), and/or remuneration in any form between President Biden’s son Hunter and brother Jim Biden and China, Russia or Ukraine.”
Mr. Evans told the Daily Mail that the department’s lawyers first admitted to having at least 400 documents potentially related to his request, but now claim they can “neither confirm nor deny” that the documents exist.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Described by the Daily Mail as a “FOIA expert,” Mr. Evans filed his request in November 2020 after reading about Hunter Biden’s far-flung business affairs. He later sued the department after it failed to adequately respond to the request.
“They eventually produced about 60 pages of documents, but they’re all letters from senators and congressmen asking about Hunter, and letters from DOJ back,” Mr. Evans said.
“Then towards the end of last year they said, ‘Well, we have these 400 pages of potentially responsive documents, we need to review them,’” he added.
Mr. Evans said the Justice Department again confirmed before a federal judge that they had uncovered 400 “potentially responsive documents’ in March after he filed his lawsuit.
He said the government later claimed that they could “neither confirm nor deny” the records exist
That response is commonly known as the “Glomar response,” named after a 1975 FOIA request for information about the USNS Hughes Glomar, believed to have been built by the CIA to recover a Soviet submarine.
The legal battle that ensued set a legal precedent giving the government leeway to avoid making disclosures that could harm national security.
“I don’t know how the heck they now can take the position that Glomar is applicable,” Mr. Evans said. “To me, it seems the cat’s out of the bag here after having disclosed the documents exist.”
“The problem is, FOIA has become a toothless vehicle,” he said. “Courts do not comply with the spirit of the law, they’re more inclined to bend over backwards to accept the government’s position rather than force disclosure.”
Hunter Biden’s long trail of suspicious business dealings will get new scrutiny as House Republicans, armed with subpoena power, begin what is expected to be an intense, politically charged investigation of President Biden’s alleged involvement in his son’s moneymaking schemes.
From serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company to pursuing deals with Chinese Communist Party-linked energy tycoons and allegedly pocketing more than $3 million from a Russian businesswoman and widow of a former mayor of Moscow, Hunter Biden’s far-flung business deals have raised eyebrows for years about potential influence peddling and other possible crimes.
Republicans who will soon run the House Oversight and Reform and Judiciary committees laid out evidence in November that they say “raises troubling questions” about whether the president has been “compromised by foreign governments” in connection with his son’s ventures.
Mr. Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who will lead the Judiciary Committee, recently previewed their upcoming investigations of Mr. Biden and his family’s moneymaking deals.
Citing evidence obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer and through whistleblowers, Mr. Comer said his committee had uncovered a “decade-long pattern of influence peddling, national security risks, and political cover-ups” committed by the Biden family with the direct knowledge and involvement of the president.
Republicans on the oversight committee said in a 31-page report that Mr. Biden was directly involved in his family’s business deals, including those involving foreign interests, despite claiming he did not know the details.
The White House has brushed off Republicans’ pledge to expand their inquiry, again calling the lawmakers’ claims “politically motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories.”
Mr. Jordan blasted the administration’s evolving attempts to distance the president from Hunter Biden’s business schemes as new evidence emerges.
“When it started off, it was, ‘No, it’s not his laptop,’” Mr. Jordan said in November. “Then it was, ‘Well, it’s his laptop, but remember, it’s Russian disinformation, and no one did anything wrong.’ Then it was, ‘Well, maybe he did something wrong, but President Biden didn’t know about it.’”
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