House Republicans on Friday ratcheted up pressure on the Justice Department to share information on an alleged list of first son Hunter Biden’s prostitutes — saying they could be victims in need of federal support.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and firebrand panelist Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote to the Justice Department that information should be handed over by Sept. 22 — ahead of a possible impeachment inquiry into President Biden for his alleged role in Hunter’s foreign business dealings.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability continues to investigate whether the Department of Justice … is upholding the rights of victims who were sexually exploited by Robert Hunter Biden,” Comer (R-Ky.) and Greene (R-Ga.) wrote to DOJ human trafficking coordinator Hilary Axam and crime victims director Kristina Rose.
Comer and Greene resurrected the issue, which is less well-known than other allegations involving the Biden family, as special counsel David Weiss prepares to file federal charges against the 53-year-old first son.
Hunter Biden reportedly used at least $5,000 wired by his father to pay a Russian escort in Massachusetts, though there’s no evidence the elder Biden knew of the reason his son needed the money.
A list of women believed to have crossed state lines for paid sex with Hunter — possibly violating the Mann Act’s prohibition on interstate prostitution — was described in June 1 congressional testimony by IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler.
Violations of the Mann Act carry criminal penalties. In a high-profile recent case, it was used to prosecute billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking underage victims.
Comer and Greene are demanding to know who at the DOJ compiled a list of sex workers whose travel may have violated the Mann Act and whether “any victims [have] been notified of their statutory rights.”
“[T]estimony from an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower indicated that DOJ compiled a list of potential victims relating to an investigation of Hunter Biden for Mann Act violations,” Comer and Greene wrote.
“These women may be victims under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and may also be afforded mandatory restitution pursuant to the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act. In light of DOJ’s refusal to communicate in a meaningful way with the Committee, we have great skepticism that DOJ has been adequately communicating with crime victims.”
Ziegler, who investigated Hunter’s finances for five years at the IRS, told the House Ways and Means Committee that Justice Department officials were “compiling” a list of women who traveled across state lines to engage in paid sex.
“There were some flying people across state lines, paying for their travel, paying for their hotels. They were what we call Mann Act violations,” Ziegler said.
“I know that they were compiling them together,” he added. “I don’t know what they ended up doing with them. I know there was an effort at some point to compile them, but I don’t know what ultimately happened with them.”
The Oversight Committee Republicans accuse DOJ officials of making “the alarming decision to ignore our original request” for information sent on July 25 and wrote that Rose should inform the panel by Sept. 15 if she “refuses to appear voluntarily for a briefing to discuss these issues.”
The request comes after Weiss on Wednesday indicated that he expects to indict Hunter Biden this month on charges of lying about his drug use on a federal gun purchase form in Delaware.
Weiss, the US attorney for Delaware, was granted special counsel status last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland in order to file tax fraud charges against the first son outside of Delaware after the collapse of a probation-only plea deal at a dramatic July court hearing.
Prosecutors sought to criminally charge the president’s son in Los Angeles and Washington for dodging about $2.2 million in taxes from 2014 to 2019 on his income from foreign business ventures that often involved his father, but IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Ziegler said Biden-appointed US attorneys blocked the charges, contrary to Garland’s under-oath assurances about Weiss’ autonomy.
It’s unclear if Weiss intends to refile tax fraud charges against Hunter Biden in one venue or bring separate cases in Los Angeles and Washington, or if he will tack on charges for alleged money laundering or violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or counts for less-debated offenses such as drug use and prostitution.