KEY POINTS

  • The GOP group was led by House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rep. James Comer
  • The group questioned whether Baturina evaded the sanctions because of her ties with Hunter
  • Baturina had been accused of paying $3.5 million to an investment firm allegedly owned by Hunter

A Russian oligarch who allegedly paid First Son Hunter Biden $3.5 million has not been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department amid the war in Ukraine, prompting House Republicans to launch a probe.

On Thursday, GOP lawmakers, led by House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen demanding to know why Elena Baturina was not targeted by the sanctions.

“​If​ ​the United States is avoiding sanctioning certain Russian oligarchs because of concerns they may attempt to influence American policy by exploiting Hunter Biden’s connection with his father​ – the President of the United States​ – the American people deserve to know it​,” lawmakers wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Post.

The GOP group directly questioned whether Baturina was receiving preferential treatment because of her ties with Hunter. Comer and the 18 other Republicans cited in the letter noted that Baturina managed to evade the sanctions even after former President Donald Trump in 2018 classified her as a Russian “political figure and oligarch.”

​“​Because Hunter Biden is now subject to sanctions issued by Russia, his foreign business dealings are of heightened importance​,” the letter read. “We request further information to determine whether Hunter Biden’s relationships with Russian oligarchs are impacting the foreign policy decisions of the United States​.”

Baturina was the former wife of the late Yuri Luzhkov, who served as the mayor of Moscow from 1992 to 2010. In 2014, Trump claimed Baturina wired $3.5 million to a bank account held by Rosemont Seneca Thornton as payment for a “consultancy agreement.” Rosemont Seneca Thornton was allegedly an investment company founded by the younger Biden. Hunter’s lawyer, George Mesires, later refuted claims that Hunter was the owner of the firm.

Mesires told CNN that Hunter was a co-founder and CEO of the investment firm Rosemont Seneca Advisors. It is unclear whether Rosemont Seneca Advisors is connected to Rosemont Seneca Thornton.

Senate Republicans had launched a partisan investigation into the alleged payment. However, the report did not provide evidence that the payment was corrupt or that Hunter committed any wrongdoing.

Then Vice-President Joe Biden (C) and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden walk in then-President Barack Obama's Inaugural Parade January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC
Then Vice-President Joe Biden (C) and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden walk in then-President Barack Obama's Inaugural Parade January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / DAVID MCNEW
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