WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Hagerty pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday about the appearance that President Biden “was involved” in his son Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.
“Do you have any reason to dispute the evidence that indicates President Biden was involved in and used money from Hunter Biden’s trade deals?” Hagerty (R-Tenn.) asked Garland during a Senate subcommittee hearing.
Hagerty cited The Post’s recent reporting on Hunter Biden’s business partner Eric Schwerin visiting the White House and the vice president’s residence at least 19 times while Joe Biden was vice president, and earlier reports on the financial role of the first son in the family.
Garland declined to release specifics and insisted separately to Hagerty and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) that a special counsel was not needed because an investigation into the first son by the DA’s office American Delaware would continue without political interference.
Schwerin’s visits to meet with Joe Biden or his staff cast further doubt on the president’s claim not to be involved in his son’s business activities in countries where he wielded influence. Previous reports showed Hunter Biden introduced his father to business associates from China, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine – including at the vice president’s residence in Washington.
“There are emails and photographs that show that President Biden, when he was vice president, met with several of Hunter Biden’s business associates, including an executive from Burisma – that’s the energy company who paid Hunter Biden $1 million a year to serve on his board — and the Russian billionaire who paid Hunter’s company $3.5 million around the same time. All this while President Biden was leading parts of US foreign policy, including Ukraine,” Hagerty told Garland.
“There is evidence that Hunter Biden paid Joe Biden’s living expenses while he was vice president. A 2010 email from Hunter Biden titled “JRB bills” – Joe R. Biden bills – discusses payment for maintenance of Joe Biden’s large lakeside home. Another 2010 email from a Biden confidant to Hunter Biden saying, “Your dad just called me, he could use some positive news about his future earning potential.”
Hagerty added, “Hunter Biden’s business partner made nine visits to the White House between 2009 and 2013 and met Joe Biden in the West Wing while Joe Biden was Vice President. And we have a text from Hunter Biden to his daughter saying don’t worry, unlike pop – ie Joe Biden – I won’t make you give me half your salary. So it looks like President Biden was serving as vice president and running US foreign policy at the same time that his son Hunter Biden was raking in the money through shady foreign trade deals. And it was money that was being diverted to benefit Vice President Biden.
Garland revealed little in her response, saying it was departmental policy not to comment. Hagerty argued that recent comments by White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield about Biden’s belief in his son’s innocence have bolstered the case. of a special advocate.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss is a remnant of the Trump administration who was allowed to keep his job to continue the investigation of Hunter Biden, who allegedly recently paid a tax bill of over $1 million in order to avoid prosecution. The younger Biden is believed to be under investigation for possible tax evasion, money laundering and unregistered lobbying for foreign clients.
The first son’s overseas dealings have drawn particular attention since The Washington Post and New York Times late last month verified documents from an old Hunter Biden laptop that were first reported by The Post in October 2020.
PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki during her Monday briefing on Post reporting on Schwerin’s visits to the White House.
“The New York Post reports, looking at White House visitor logs, that there were 19 visits to the White House while the President was Vice President by Hunter Biden’s business partner, including one with the vice-president. Can you help us understand why this business partner had access and what these meetings consisted of? asked Desjardins.
“I have no information on that,” PSAki replied. “I’m happy to check back and see if we have any further comments.”
The answer was Psaki’s last response to questions about the first son. Last month, Psaki pleaded ignorance when asked by The Post about potential conflicts of interest involving President Biden’s decision-making regarding China and Russia.
PSAKI said this month that President Biden stands by his 2019 assertion that he had “never spoken” with Hunter Biden about “his overseas business dealings” – despite growing evidence to the contrary.
Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate that Joe Biden attended a DC dinner in 2015 with a group of his son’s associates – including Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi of Ukraine, a trio of Kazakhs and Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
A photo shows Joe Biden posing with the Kazakh group at dinner and a day after the rally Pozharskyi emailed the then second son thanking him for the opportunity to meet his father.
A report by Republican-led Senate committees in 2020 said that in 2014 Baturina paid $3.5 million to a company linked to Hunter Biden. Baturina is considered Russia’s richest woman, but is not facing US sanctions that have hit other Russian billionaires in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During his 2020 impeachment trial, President Donald Trump’s defense team cited visitor logs that showed Biden met his son’s partner, Devon Archer, on April 16, 2014, around the time Hunter Biden has joined the board of Burisma, which was founded by a corrupt pro-Russian oligarch. Mykola Zlochevsky. Trump lawyer Pam Bondi argued that Trump was right to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens because Joe Biden may have been involved in the Burisma arrangement. Archer previously joined Burisma’s board of directors.
In China, Joe Biden was allegedly involved in his son’s dealings with CEFC China Energy, which The Washington Post said this month paid Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim Biden $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018.
Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski said he spoke with Joe Biden in May 2017 about the Chinese company. An email from May 13, 2017 stated that the “big guy” would get a 10% stake in a corporate entity established with CEFC.
Bobulinski alleges the president was the ‘big guy’ and emails show that in September 2017 Hunter Biden asked for a new sign and more keys for an office he was renting in DC’s House of Sweden office building . The sign was to say “The Biden Foundation and Hudson West (CEFC-US)” and the keys were for his father, Jill and Jim Biden, and a Chinese executive named Gongwen Dong. A spokeswoman for the agency overseeing the property, however, said the sign was never altered and the keys were not collected.
Also in China, Hunter Biden co-founded an investment firm called BHR Partners in 2013 less than two weeks after flying with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Hunter introduced Joe Biden to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in the lobby of a hotel in the Chinese capital. The fund is partly controlled by public entities and facilitated the sale in 2016 for $3.8 billion of Congolese cobalt from a US company to China Molybdenum. Cobalt is a key element in electric car batteries.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, said less than a week after President Biden’s November summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the first son had divested a 10% stake in BHR Partners. Hunter Biden and the White House provided no further details.
Photos and emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop further indicate that Joe Biden hosted his son and a group of Mexican associates at the vice president’s official residence in 2015. The elder Biden posed for a photo with Hunter and a group that included Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán Velasco.
In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of his Mexican associates while aboard Air Force Two for an official visit to Mexico, complaining that he had not received a reciprocal business favors after “I brought every person you ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration.
Since his father became president, Hunter Biden has launched an artistic career by seeking up to $500,000 for his fledgling works. The White House has drawn up a plan for these sales to be nominally anonymous to avoid possible influence peddling, but ethics experts say the arrangement actually creates bigger corruption problems.
Hunter received at least $375,000 last year for five draws at a Hollywood art show attended by one of his father’s ambassador candidates, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.