House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) issued four more subpoenas and four interview requests Thursday as part of the committee’s investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son — a sign that the committee’s work related to impeachment is ramping up.
Two former business associates of Hunter Biden received subpoenas: Eric Schwerin, who closely worked with Hunter Biden at Rosemont Seneca Partners, and Mervyn Yan, an official with Chinese energy company CEFC with whom Hunter Biden had reportedly butted heads over expense reimbursements.
Comer also sent subpoenas to George Bergès, the gallerist who showcased Hunter Biden’s paintings that sold for up to $500,000; and Elizabeth Naftali, one of the buyers of the artworks who had visited the White House several times.
The moves come one day after the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter Biden, the president’s brother James Biden, and several other family members.
“A plethora of bank records, texts, emails, and a transcribed interview with Biden family associate Devon Archer all show the Bidens and their business partners sold access to the highest levels of our government, including Joe Biden himself, to the detriment of America’s interests,” Comer said in a statement.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, criticized the move.
“What Chairman Comer and Congressional Republicans want the American people to believe is that this investigation is about the facts. But at every turn, Chairman Comer has been met with evidence that shows President Biden has committed no wrongdoing, much less an impeachable offense,” Raskin said in a statement, arguing that Comer has “abuse[d] the Committee’s authority” and “degrade[d] Congressional subpoena power” over “conspiracy theories and embarrassing lies.”
And Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), another member of the committee, tore into Comer for subpoenaing Naftali — who he said is the aunt of a three-year-old hostage in Gaza taken by Hamas in the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.
“In the clearest sign yet of House Republicans’ devious and distorted priorities, Chairman Comer has decided to subpoena a private American citizen whose 3-year-old niece is currently being held hostage in Gaza by the terrorist group Hamas,” Goldman said in a statement, charging that Comer had “stooped to an entirely new low of abandoning the American families of hostages in a pathetic attempt to score political points against President Biden.”
A GOP Oversight Committee spokesperson responded in part by taking issue with Goldman’s description of Naftali as a “private citizen,” noting that President Biden had appointed her to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad last year, and criticizing his invocation of the hostage crisis.
“Instead of politicizing a serious hostage situation, Representative Goldman should focus more on fulfilling his oversight responsibility to root out corruption in the Biden Administration. Elizabeth Naftali currently serves on President Biden’s Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. Not only has Ms. Naftali donated thousands of dollars to Rep. Goldman’s campaign, but she remains an important figure in the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes after her decision to purchase Hunter Biden’s artwork. The Oversight Committee expects Ms. Naftali to comply with the lawful subpoena,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
In addition to the four subpoenas, Comer sent interview requests to four more individuals. Three of those bore connections to the president’s brother, James Biden, rather than Hunter Biden.
One request was sent to Carol Fox, a trustee for the Americore Health bankruptcy proceedings, asking about a $200,000 payment from Americore Health to James Biden on the same day in 2018 that he paid Joe Biden $200,000 for a “loan repayment.”
Another letter to Joseph Langston, a Biden campaign donor, said that his firm Langston Law Firm consulting had paid money to a firm associated with James Biden and his wife Sara. John Hynansky is being asked about a separate 2016 payment from his firm Winner Imports Inc. to the James Biden-associated entity.
The final request was to Jason Galanis — who is currently in prison for his involvement in a tribal bond scheme, and who had reportedly used Hunter Biden’s name as a selling point in the scheme. Hunter Biden’s attorney told The Wall Street Journal in 2019 that his name was used without his knowledge and he had no involvement in the business venture.