Senate investigators: Records ‘confirm’ Biden family links to China, Russia
A Senate investigation into Hunter Biden and his business dealings in China and other countries released new findings that a pair of leading GOP senators said bolsters allegations of problems involving President-elect Joe Biden’s son.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson unveiled what they called a “supplemental” to the report they published in late September, in the thick of the 2020 election, an effort that was panned by critics as a partisan attempt to damage the elder Biden’s image and led to claims that the Republicans were dabbling in Russian disinformation, which the GOP investigators denied as baseless, insisting their effort was grounded in documented facts and had uncovered troubling connections.
“These new records confirm the connections between the Biden family and the communist Chinese government, as well as the links between Hunter Biden’s business associates and the Russian government, and further support the Committees’ September 23, 2020 report’s finding that such relationships created counterintelligence and extortion concerns,” the senators wrote in the five-page report, which was followed by 65 pages of evidence.
Elsewhere, they wrote that after their September report was issued, “new sources went public with additional information about business relationships and financial arrangements among and between the Biden family and their business associates, including several foreign nationals … The new information is consistent with other records within the Committees’ possession which show millions of dollars being transferred from a Chinese entity linked to the communist party to Robinson Walker LLC.”
The senators noted that Rob Walker is associated with at least three companies tied to Hunter Biden and pointed to new information made public last month by Tony Bobulinski, another former business associate of Walker, Hunter, and Joe Biden’s brother, James. Back in 2017, Bobulinski worked with Walker and the two Bidens to create a business dubbed SinoHawk, formed to establish a joint venture with a Chinese Communist Party-linked business, CEFC China Energy, a massive conglomerate run by a wealthy tycoon who has since disappeared in China and which has subsequently gone bankrupt.
Bobulinski repeatedly expressed in messages in 2017 to his business partners and in emails to CEFC that he expected the venture to get off the ground with $10 million in startup money from the Chinese businessmen. The money never showed up, but Grassley and Johnson concluded that millions of dollars were ultimately sent by CEFC to accounts linked to James and Hunter Biden instead.
The Senate investigation update noted that in February and March 2017, a Shanghai-based company called State Energy HK Limited “sent two wires, each in the amount of $3,000,000, to a bank account for Robinson Walker LLC” but that “it is unclear what the true purpose is behind these transactions and who the ultimate beneficiary is.” State Energy HK Limited was affiliated with CEFC under the leadership of Ye Jianming, who had “ties to the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese military” and whose deputy, Gongwen Dong, another business associate of Hunter Biden’s, also received funds from State Energy HK.
“These transactions are a direct link between Walker and the communist Chinese government and, because of his close association with Hunter Biden, yet another tie between Hunter Biden’s financial arrangements and the communist Chinese government,” Grassley and Johnson concluded.
The September report also concluded that Hunter Biden, 50, “received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow” and that he also “opened a bank account with” Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree” with James Biden, and James’s wife, Sara.
Hunter Biden made it clear in a May 1, 2017, text to Bobulinski that one of his goals was to avoid violating the anti-bribery Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or having to register as a foreign agent. Grassley recently pressed the Justice Department for answers on whether Hunter and James Biden should’ve been required to register as foreign agents.
When Patrick Ho, one of Ye’s lieutenants, was charged by the Justice Department in 2017, the first call he reportedly made after his arrest was to James Biden, who has said he thought the call was meant for Hunter Biden. Ho was indicted and convicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme aimed at government officials in Africa. Ho was sentenced to three years in March 2019 and was deported to Hong Kong in June. Ho tried reaching out to Joe Biden’s son for help because he agreed to represent Ho as part of his efforts to work out a natural gas deal with Ye, who was later apparently arrested by Chinese authorities.
The new report noted that, in 2017, Ye was “actively working to build CEFC by making investments around the world” and “these efforts involved cultivating ties with Russia and actors connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The senators said that “during the time that Ye’s companies were sending millions of dollars to Hunter Biden associated companies, Ye had business dealings with Kremlin-controlled companies and Kremlin-aligned businessmen” and that “Ye appears to have been China’s unofficial bridge to Russia on energy.” The Senate investigators added that CEFC announced in September 2017 it would buy a 14.2% stake in Rosneft, a Russian state-owned energy company, for roughly $9 billion, and CEFC agreed to a multibillion-euro loan deal with the Russian state-owned VTB Bank to finance it, and that “Hunter Biden was in close contact with Ye in 2017 and was aware of these developments.”
Hunter Biden texted Bobulinski in October 2017 that he “stayed out of that Russian mess” but still “discussed the Roseneft [sic] deal” with Ye. Hunter Biden described a close relationship with Ye, including regular meetings, weekly calls, visiting Ye’s apartment, and helping Ye “on a number of his personal issues (staff visas and some more sensitive things).”
Joe Biden stressed during the debate in late October that he has “not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.”
“Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family nor in any overseas business whatsoever,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told the Washington Examiner. “He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him.”