Comer, Oversight Republicans Press Yellen on Russian Oligarch Tied to Hunter Biden
Treasury’s list of public sanctions excludes Elena Baturina, Russia’s wealthiest woman who paid Hunter Biden’s company over $3 million in 2014
WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Oversight Committee Republican lawmakers today pressed Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the exclusion of Elena Baturina from the public sanctions list of Russian elites and oligarchs. Elena Baturina, Russia’s wealthiest woman, who was formerly married to the mayor of Moscow, paid Hunter Biden’s company over $3 million under a consultancy agreement in 2014. In the letter to Secretary Yellen, the Republican lawmakers call for the complete list of Russians subject to U.S. sanctions as well as all documents and communications regarding Elena Baturina, Hunter Biden, and Rosemont Seneca Partners.
“We are continuing oversight of Hunter Biden’s foreign business schemes. The Biden Administration imposed sanctions on certain individuals after Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine began in February, but not all of the names have been released publicly. Notably missing from the public list provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury is any reference to billionaire Elena Baturina, Russia’s wealthiest woman worth over $1.4 billion who paid Hunter Biden’s company over $3 million in 2014 and was formerly married to the Mayor of Moscow,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “Because Hunter Biden is now subject to sanctions issued by Russia, his foreign business dealings are of heightened importance. We request further information to determine whether Hunter Biden’s relationships with Russian oligarchs are impacting the foreign policy decisions of the United States.”
The sanctions the Biden Administration has imposed on Russia and Russian oligarchs include restricting transactions with Russia’s central bank, banning the import of Russian energy and investment in Russia’s energy sector, and “full blocking sanctions” on not only Russian President Vladimir Putin but Russian oligarchs and their families. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned 50 Russian elites, proxies, and oligarchs, but 22 names have not been released to the public. Russia recently announced sanctions on several U.S. government officials and notably Hunter Biden, who is not part of the Administration or a government official.
“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,” continued the Republican lawmakers. “If Hunter Biden’s associates, including Elena Baturina, are being treated differently from other wealthy, politically-connected Russians because of their connections with the President of the United States’ son, the Administration should disclose this information to the American public.”
The letter to Secretary Yellen can be found here.