Editor’s note, March 30, 2022: Sixteen months before The Washington Post’s report today on Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, The Daily Signal published this article on the overseas business affairs of President Joe Biden’s son.
Legal questions surrounding the Biden family’s business deals with a Chinese energy conglomerate almost certainly will follow Joe Biden into the White House should the former vice president ultimately win the disputed election, good government groups predict.
“These issues are not going to go away with a Biden presidency,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Signal.
The FBI reportedly opened an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, and unnamed business associates for possible money laundering in connection with a joint venture with CEFC China Energy, the Chinese conglomerate.
What looks like a weaker Republican majority in the Senate may not bode well for oversight, and Fitton said he wouldn’t be optimistic about accountability.
But, he added, even the Justice Department under a Biden administration doesn’t mean zero accountability.
“If an investigation starts, it’s not easy to shut it down,” Fitton said. “Joe Biden would face significant political pressure if he tried to shut down the investigation. It wouldn’t be easy.”
With the FBI investigation already commenced, it likely would go forward aggressively under a second Trump administration.
The Daily Signal interviewed Fitton and others for this report before Election Day. Major media outlets called the Nov. 3 election for Biden, but President Donald Trump has alleged fraud in key states and his reelection campaign has taken legal action.
CEFC China Energy, which has links to the Chinese Communist Party, paid Hunter Biden at least $5 million in 2017, according to a Senate report.
This was after his father completed a second term as vice president under President Barack Obama.
However, in December 2013, when his father was vice president, Hunter Biden notably accompanied him on Air Force Two to China and met with another business associate not related to CEFC. That trip doesn’t appear to be the subject of the FBI’s current probe.
>>> Commentary: Hunter Biden Emails, Texts Raise Questions That Need Answers
“Joe Biden would be 100% compromised as commander in chief to our greatest enemy,” said M.A. Taylor, director of “Riding the Dragon,” a documentary film narrated by investigative journalist Peter Schweizer.
The film outlines the financial relationship between the Biden family and the Chinese government that grew during Joe Biden’s vice presidency from 2009 through 2016.
“I don’t see a lot of accountability from Congress, censors in social media, or the press blackout,” Taylor told The Daily Signal, referring to social media’s suppression of stories by the New York Post about the content of files found on Hunter Biden’s laptop computer.
“He would be the least vetted president we’ve ever seen,” Taylor said. “The media is compromised. Nobody trusts Big Tech anymore. Nobody trusts the press anymore.”
If Biden governs in a way that is favorable to China, it could have long-term consequences, Taylor added:
Fortunately, the government never stays in one party’s hands for very long; but in two years, this could do long-term damage to the United States. Just because you punish a president, China [still] could expand its influence and build more islands in the South China Sea. So the damage could be permanent, even down the road.
Hunter Biden, 50, has a law degree from Yale. In May 2017, he formed the company SinoHawk with his uncle James Biden and partner Tony Bobulinski to do business with CEFC, the Chinese conglomerate. The plan was for SinoHawk to invest $10 million from CEFC in energy and infrastructure projects in the United States and around the world.
Although the SinoHawk-CEFC joint venture stopped in August 2017, Hunter and James Biden reportedly kept working with the conglomerate.
In September, two Senate committees—Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs—issued a joint oversight report that found CEFC had wired Hunter Biden at least $5 million beginning Aug. 7, 2017. The Senate report flagged some of the wire payments for possible criminal financial activity:
On Aug. 4, 2017, CEFC Infrastructure Investment (US) LLC, a subsidiary of Ye Jianming’s CEFC China Energy Company that listed Gongwen Dong as its director, sent Hunter Biden’s law firm, Owasco, a payment for $100,000. This transaction was identified for potential criminal financial activity.
One of the investment entities of CEFC Infrastructure Investment is reportedly Shanghai Huaxin Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise ‘engaged in petroleum products.’ That company is owned by CEFC Shanghai International Group Ltd., which is controlled by Shanghai Guosheng Group, another state-owned enterprise. According to reporting, CEFC Shanghai was a CEFC subsidiary linked to the aforementioned corruption allegations involving the head of the China Development Bank.
Bobulinski, in a statement Oct. 22 to reporters and in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News Channel, said Joe Biden was “the big guy” in an email that apportioned stakes for partners in the joint venture. The email said it would mean 20% equity for Hunter Biden and 10% for “the big guy.”
The Biden campaign has said that Joe Biden never held equity in his son’s companies. But the campaign frequently gave sketchy explanations about the authenticity of the emails.
One document shows James Biden’s share increased from 10% to 20%, which Bobulinski told Carlson he concluded was a way to mask Joe Biden’s continuing 10% share.
Possibly a larger issue has to do with millions of dollars from Chinese donors to the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, said Tom Anderson, director of the government integrity project at the National Legal and Policy Center.
The center filed a complaint about the donations with the U.S. Department of Education in May.
“We don’t have enough information yet to say if he is compromised,” Anderson told The Daily Signal, referring to Joe Biden.
The Biden Center received $70 million from Chinese donors since 2017, with $22 million of it from anonymous donors, according to the National Legal and Policy Center’s complaint. The complaint asks the Education Department to force the University of Pennsylvania to disclose more information about the donors.
Anderson noted that many staffers for the center likely will join the new Biden administration.
“It’s an incubation for corruption,” Anderson said. “Staffers at the Biden Center are future administration officials and could feel beholden to these donors. That’s how guys get compromised.”