House Republicans interviewed a former business associate of Hunter and James Biden on Thursday who told Congress ahead of the interview he had “no contact” with President Joe Biden, according to a letter obtained by CNN.
The letter sent to House Oversight Chairman James Comer on Wednesday is the latest example of a witness undercutting Republican allegations related to their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The committees conducting the investigation subpoenaed Mervyn Yan in November for his testimony, claiming that he may know whether the president had been involved in his family’s business dealings, an unproven allegation that rests at the heart of their probe.
But Yan’s lawyer wrote to Congress on Wednesday to refute that allegation.
“Throughout his interactions with Hunter and James Biden, Mr. Yan never met, spoke to, did business with, or had any personal or professional communication with President Biden, who was then the former Vice President of the United States,” Yan attorney Soumya Dayananda wrote to Comer, a Republican from Kentucky.
“He never heard mention of President Biden with respect to any of the transactions pursued by Hudson West III and is unaware of any involvement President Biden may have had with his son’s business pursuits,” Dayananda added.
As a result, Dayananda wrote, “Mr. Yan does not possess any materials or information bearing on President Biden’s alleged involvement in his family’s business dealings.”
Dayananda also mentioned that Comer never responded to a letter she wrote to him last year, outlining that her client was a private citizen who never worked with the president, and therefore should not be a target of congressional oversight.
“He is not a public official and he is not himself a valid target for inquiry. He has had no professional contact or communication with President Biden at any time,” Dayananda wrote in May to Comer.
Dayananda’s letter in May was in response to a separate subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for a broad array of documents related to his business dealings.
Yan, a Chinese-American businessman, worked with Hunter and James Biden, the president’s son and brother, on a joint venture involving a Chinese-backed energy company that dissolved in 2018, when Joe Biden was not in office. Yan worked as an “independent consultant” on the joint venture, known as Hudson West III, between Hunter Biden and a Chinese executive named Gongwen Dong, according to Dayananda.
As part of the joint venture agreement, the president’s son drew a monthly compensation of $100,000 and the president’s brother drew a monthly compensation of $65,000, Yan’s lawyer added. Yan, per Dayananda, is unaware of where the funding for the initial $5 million operating budget originated from.
Hunter Biden began to “investigate potential infrastructure projects” with the Chinese-backed energy company, CEFC, in 2015, when Joe Biden was vice president, according to the recent indictment in the federal tax case against the president’s son.
A House Oversight Committee aide told CNN that Republican members of the panel are concerned about the veracity of the letter Yan’s attorney sent based on the facts and information obtained in the investigation and that is why Yan is being cross examined about claims contained in the letter.
Following the interview, Comer said in a statement provided to CNN, “Mervyn Yan admitted on the record the Bidens had no experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors and was not sure what they brought to the table. His testimony raises many questions about the Bidens’ dealings with the Chinese government linked energy firm.”
“We will release the transcript from Mervyn Yan’s interview soon,” Comer added.
Meanwhile, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin, said in a statement on X after the interview, “Mervyn Yan testified to the Committee today that he has no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and that, to his knowledge, President Biden was not involved in, did not profit from, and took no official actions in relation to his family’s business dealings.”
Republicans have continued to dig in on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and have raised concerns about the transactions that came out of the joint venture with Yan.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com