Leading House Republican James Comer on Sunday said that the rumored arrest of former President Donald Trump is an attempt to distract from investigations into President Joe Biden’s family, including Hunter Biden.
Trump on Saturday morning said that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s office’s investigation into his alleged 2016 “hush money” scheme. Trump is accused of illegally paying off adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair the two had. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has already pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scheme and served time in prison, while Trump has denied the affair.
Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has made several moves in the investigation recently that legal experts believe signal his intention to move forward with a criminal indictment against Trump. This would mark the first such indictment against a former president in United States history.
Though representatives for Trump have since downplayed the notion that he has received any formal notices about a potential arrest, the reactions to his claims have been swift and have fallen generally along party lines. Critics and opponents of Trump have said that legal accountability for his various alleged crimes is crucial, despite whatever political blowback might come after. Supporters, meanwhile, have said that an arrest would be further evidence of the justice system being weaponized against the former president by political rivals.
Comer, a Kentucky Republican and chair of the House Oversight Committee, echoed the latter sentiments when he was asked about the situation during a Sunday appearance on Fox News. Comer went a step further, claiming that the potential arrest seemed to him like an effort to distract from his committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s alleged connections to China.
“Well, it’s very odd that this would come out just the very next day after I revealed bank records which showed that the Biden family, the president in particular, hasn’t been truthful with respect to his family receiving payments directly from the Chinese Communist Party,” Comer said. “So it almost looks like it’s an effort to detract. [sic]”
The congressman continued: “But at the very least, it’s another example of a two-tier system of justice,” he remarked. “Look, we’ve been looking into these classified documents. We saw the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago for one set of supposedly mishandled classified documents. But yet Joe Biden’s had at least five different locations of mishandled classified documents. And they give him days and days to go in and clean up with his attorney.”
On Thursday, Comer, in his capacity as oversight committee chair, released a memo alleging that Hunter Biden, and at least two other relatives of the president, received a payment of $1.3 million from an associate of Hunter’s who was affiliated with a Chinese energy company in March 2017, Rob Walker. While this payment had been public knowledge for at least a year, Comer expressed concern about new information concerning payments made to Hallie Biden—the widow of Beau Biden, the president’s deceased son—given her occupation as a school counselor.
Meanwhile, Democrats on the committee told NBC News on Thursday that the claims presented by Comer distort the timeline of Hallie Biden’s payments, since one of them was made to her prior to Walker receiving the money from the Chinese company.
Legal representatives for Hunter Biden also stressed that the payment originated from his business interest in “a privately-owned, legitimate energy company in China,” not from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as Comer alleged on Fox News. They also stressed that the matter did not have any connection to President Biden.
Newsweek reached out to the Manhattan district attorney’s office via email for comment.