While Hunter Biden and his business dealings are currently under federal investigation, it is helpful to know the details about his interactions with Chinese executives.
What are the key events being investigated?
Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Chinese executives were a long time in the making, but on August 2, 2017, the younger Biden and a Chinese executive named Gongwen Dong signed a deal.
Within a matter of days, a new Cathay Bank account was opened. Within the week, millions started to change hands. A little over a year after that, it all collapsed.
While some aspects of Hunter Biden’s financial dealings with CEFC China Energy were previously released in a 2020 Republican-led Senate report, additional documents about the Biden family’s interactions with Chinese executives have recently come to light.
Over 14 months, the executives and the Chinese energy conglomerate paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden.
According to court documents, newly disclosed bank statements, government records, and emails were stored on a laptop hard drive that once belonged to the junior Biden.
Although Hunter Biden continues to be under investigation, there has been no evidence that President Joe Biden knew the details or personally benefited from his son’s business dealings with CEFC.
However, new documents show the ways the younger Biden and family profited from President Biden’s associates, such as emails related to wire transfers, a signed copy of a $1 million legal retainer, and $3.8 million in consulting fees confirmed in agreements signed by Hunter Biden, as well as new bank records.
Hunter Biden’s work overseas has been the subject of increasing scrutiny. He also is under federal investigation due to a growing inquiry into his taxes.
Witnesses continue to be called before a grand jury to testify. Federal prosecutors seek to determine if he failed to account for the income received from his China-related deals.
Republicans have pointed out that Hunter Biden’s past position on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma and the Biden family’s business deals in China as potential conflicts of interest.
The agreement between the younger Biden and CEFC became a lucrative venture. Analysis of a laptop he dropped off at a Delaware repair shop and did not come back to collect was reviewed by the FBI beginning in December 2019.
A copy of the laptop’s hard drive was obtained by advisors to then-President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, shortly before the 2020 election. In October 2020, the New York Post began publishing reports on the laptop’s contents, a story was labeled “false” by the majority of mainstream media outlets.
Although the energy projects Hunter Biden discussed with CEFC never came to fruition, accounts linked to him received $3.8 million in payments from CEFC, according to joint agreements and bank records reviewed by media outlets.
Additionally, the junior Biden reportedly received a $1 million retainer, issued as a portion of an agreement to represent a CEFC official, Patrick Ho, who would later be charged in connection with a multimillion-dollar plan to bribe leaders from Uganda and Chad.
A newly uncovered document shows that the retainer agreement contains Ho and Hunter Biden’s signatures. Ho was later convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.
In August 2017, Biden signed an agreement with an executive at Chinese energy conglomerate Gongwen Dong to pursue investments jointly. Bank records to Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, included the agreement which stated Hunter Biden would receive a one-time retainer of $500,000.
According to Grassley’s office, he would then receive a monthly stipend of $100,000 along with his uncle, James Biden, being paid $65,000 a month.
By March 2018, James Biden sought to access the $1 million retainer Hunter was owed for representing Ho. On March 21, 2018, reporting shows, Biden’s uncle wrote to CEFC officials with “wiring instructions” and provided routing numbers and an address for transferring to the account linked to Hunter Biden.
The following day, the money was wired to the account as Hunter’s uncle instructed, according to bank records.
Soon, the younger Biden began exchanging hostile messages with the remaining executives. In messages exchanged between Biden and both Mervyn Yan and Dong, the two questioned some of the charges Biden made, asking for receipts to back up those charges.
Yan allegedly wrote to Hunter that some of the expenses he was asking to be reimbursed for did not appear to be related to the Chinese energy company, including a “house in Sweden.”
The younger Biden threatened to sue both Dong and Yan for not paying him, saying they had no right to question his expenses. He also noted that the “house in Sweden” was his D.C.-based office.
On March 14, 2018, Hunter Biden is reported to have sent an email stating, “I will bring suit in the Chancery Court in Delaware — which as you know is my home state, and I am privileged to have worked with and know every judge in the chancery court.”
“You cannot sue us for not paying incorrect expenses,” Dong replied.
Yan signed a document on November 2, 2018, dissolving the company that linked the Bidens to CEFC, Hudson West III LLC.