Hunter Biden dodged questions about his efforts to strike a business deal with a Chinese Communist Party-linked company, saying in a new interview he could not recall emails about payment proposals with references to his family. He also falsely cast a U.S. intelligence community report as determining such stories, which emerged at the end of the 2020 campaign, as a “Russian operation from the get-go.”
In his memoir, Beautiful Things, the president’s 51-year-old son devoted a chapter to defending his work for Ukrainian gas giant Burisma Holdings, but he largely avoided the controversy surrounding his attempted deal-making in China. Concerns about Biden gained broader attention in late 2020 after multiple outlets reported that he is being federally investigated in connection with his taxes and potentially related to his overseas business with China.
He was briefly asked about these business efforts on the Daily Beast’s “The New Abnormal” podcast, published on Friday, when leftwing pundit Molly Jong-Fast referenced a series of emails from 2017 that were found in the infamous laptop and hard drive believed to have belonged to Biden, saying the conversation “involved China’s largest private energy company.” She asked about emails where “renumeration” was discussed and where Hunter’s proposed pay was “850” — or $850,000 — and a separate email in which Biden told a Chinese businessman a potential deal was “interesting for me and my family.”
Jong-Fast asked: “Do you remember this and does this ring any bells?”
“I literally don’t know what you’re even referring to. Is it from me?” the younger Biden replied.
Jesse Cannon, the podcast’s producer, responded, “This email is sent by you and it does refer to these things though.”
Hunter steered away from the question and sought to pin it on a Kremlin conspiracy, but in doing so contorted specific finding of a recent U.S. intelligence report that related to him.
“Yeah, guys, I don’t have it in front of me, but I do know this: … My dad was never involved in any of my business, period. 100%. Never even considered to be part of anything that I’ve ever done in business — with complete certainty,” Hunter said. “And I am 100% — I welcome the question, because that’s the answer. The narrative that has been created has been one that I think over time is not gonna hold up very well, which you can see — I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but, you know, there’s an intelligence report from all of our intelligence agencies that has come to the conclusion that this was a Russian operation from the get-go.”
HUNTER BIDEN FALSELY CLAIMED IC SAID LAPTOP WAS RUSSIAN DISINFO
Hunter admitted the laptop and hard drive allegedly dropped off for repairs at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 “certainly” could be his and suggested they could have been stolen, could have been hacked, or Russian intelligence services could have been involved. However he has provided no evidence to support any of these suggestions.
This follows an interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast in April during which Hunter falsely said that “the intelligence community just came out with a report that said the entire thing is Russian disinformation.” President Joe Biden himself dismissed the laptop emails during a debate against former President Donald Trump, saying, “there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what [Trump’s] accusing me of is a Russian plan.” However, the former intelligence and defense officials who penned the letter he was referencing said they had no evidence of Russian involvement.
John Ratcliffe, former President Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence, said in October there was “no intelligence” the laptop story was a Russian disinformation operation, and the report released by Biden’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence in March made no specific reference to the laptop, nor did it state emails related to his efforts to make money with shady Chinese nationals were part of a Russian effort.
The ODNI report concluded that “ Russian state media, trolls, and online proxies, including those directed by Russian intelligence, published disparaging content about President Biden, his family, and the Democratic Party, and heavily amplified related content circulating in U.S. media, including stories centered on his son.” The intelligence report did not reference the Hunter Biden laptop story and reached no public conclusions related to it.
Last week, Ratcliffe told Fox News that the emails, texts, and images on the laptop “are real.” He contended that “the intelligence community knew that this was not Russian disinformation, and law enforcement knew that it was Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
When Patrick Ho was charged by the Justice Department in 2017, the first call he reportedly made after his arrest was to Joe Biden’s brother James, who has said he thought the call was meant for Hunter Biden. Ho was indicted and convicted for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme. Ho, likely under FISA surveillance at one point, had tried reaching out to Biden’s son for help because he agreed to represent Ho as part of his efforts to work out a liquefied natural gas deal worth tens of millions of dollars with CEFC China Energy leader Ye Jiangming, who has since disappeared in China. Ye reportedly had links to the Chinese military.
Hundreds of emails, texts, and business documents released by Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski in October detailed the inner workings of how Hunter’s former business partners, including Bobulinksi and British investor James Gilliar, routinely pitched deals politically advantageous due to their relationships with the Biden family.
Bobulinski corroborated the authenticity of a May 13, 2017, email from Gilliar to himself, Biden’s business associate Rob Walker, and James and Hunter Biden detailing a potential deal between CEFC and themselves, which included a reference to “the big guy” — who Bobulinski claims was Joe Biden. The “big guy” email discusses “expectations” of a potential deal while claiming that, “we have discussed and agreed the following renumeration packages.” The email notes that “Hunter” would receive “850” ($850,000) and lists him as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC.” The email also says that “at the moment there’s a provisional agreement that the equity will be distributed” with “20” (20%) for “H” (Hunter). The email asks about “10 held by H for the big guy” as well as “10” for “Jim.”
“I have to admit I do expect that if I can’t keep my toe in other things I will need a hell of a lot more than 850 p/y [per year] on a monthly basis,” Hunter Biden wrote in a reply to the “big guy” email.
The New York Post published an article on Oct. 15 which included an Aug. 2, 2017 email between Hunter and Ye’s deputy, Gongwen Dong, where Hunter said, “Consulting fees is one piece of our income stream but the reason this proposal by the chairman was so much more interesting to me and my family is that we would also be partners inn [sic] the equity and profits of the JV’s [joint venture’s] investments.”
A Senate GOP report from September concluded that Hunter also “opened a bank account with” Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree which included James Biden and James’s wife, Sara.
Bobulinski repeatedly expressed in 2017 messages that he expected the venture to get off the ground with $10 million in startup money from CEFC. The Senate GOP report concluded that millions of dollars were sent by CEFC to accounts linked to James and Hunter Biden instead.
Joe Biden said on the campaign trail he never discussed with Hunter his overseas business dealings, to which Bobulinski said: “That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden.”
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Jong-Fast also brought up a laptop email from Burisma board member Vadym Pozharskyi dated April 17, 2015, which reads, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.” She asked, “Did you in fact introduce the two? Did they meet? And what was the purpose the meeting?”
“No. 100% not,” Hunter replied. “And as you can see, like, I truly don’t — look — I truly don’t know the origin of a lot of this stuff. I truly try to not engage in trying to figure this stuff out.”
The Daily Caller reported in October that Robert Graham, the founder of the cybersecurity firm Errata Security, said this email was “absolutely verified beyond a shadow of a doubt” after the outlet provided him a copy of the email for forensic analysis.
Biden’s campaign denied that such a meeting took place based on “Biden’s official schedules from the time.” Politico later reported that former Biden senior advisers “said that while there was never an official meeting, it’s technically conceivable that Pozharskyi would have approached Biden on the sidelines of some broader U.S.-Ukraine event.” Amos Hochstein, a longtime adviser to Biden on Ukrainian affairs, insisted to Time that the meeting “never” took place.