By: The Editorial Board – wsj.com – May 10, 2023
House Oversight Chair James Comer’s staff report shows in detail that Hunter had extensive dealings with unsavory foreign actors. This yielded millions of dollars for Biden family members via a web of shell companies that would be hard to untangle without subpoena power. Why so much complexity?
The 36-page report shows Biden family members and business associates created nearly 20 separate entities shortly before and during Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency. The entities with obscure names—Hudson West III, Hudson West V, Owascu, JBB SR INC—transferred cash from foreign entities. Bank records show that more than $10 million was delivered to Biden family members, associates and companies from these foreign entities, and in curious ways.
In some cases “Biden associates would receive significant deposits from foreign sources,” then “transfer smaller, incremental payments to Biden bank accounts,” the report says. These “complicated and seemingly unnecessary” transactions appeared to be an “effort to conceal the source and total amount received from the foreign companies.”
Some payments came from such shady characters as Chinese national Ye Jianming, his associates, and his company CEFC. Mr. Ye had a background in Chinese military intelligence and used CEFC to promote President Xi Jinping’s agenda globally. One of Mr. Ye’s deputies, Patrick Ho, was convicted in the U.S. in 2018 on international bribery and money laundering.
Mr. Ye’s emissary to the U.S., Gongwen Dong, in 2017 established a corporate entity with Hunter—each with 50% ownership. Over 14 months the entity dispersed more than $4 million to Hunter-related companies and another $75,000 to companies related to the President’s brother, James Biden. Mr. Dong used a separate set of complex corporate entities and transfers to send Hunter another $100,000 payment.
In 2017 another Ye-related company—State Energy HK—paid some $3 million to Hunter’s business associates. At least $1 million was then funneled in 16 separate payments over three months to five different bank accounts, all related to the Biden name. They included companies associated with Hunter and James Biden, an unknown bank account identified simply as “Biden” and a payment to Hallie Biden—the widow of Hunter’s deceased brother Beau and later Hunter’s girlfriend.
The report lays out a similarly complex web of payments to Hunter and associates from an entity that appears to be connected to a Romanian businessman who has been convicted of bribery. In total, Mr. Comer says the committee has identified at least nine Biden family members that received foreign income, including Hunter, James, James’s wife Sara, Hallie, Hunter’s ex-wife (Kathleen Buhle), Hunter’s current wife (Melissa Cohen), and three children or grandchildren of Joe or James.
The Bidens have a right to make a living, but one important question is what Hunter did to earn these payments. Hunter’s spokespersons aren’t saying, and his attorney scorned the Comer report as “repackaged misstatements of perfectly proper meetings and business by private citizens.” But a fair conclusion is that these foreigners were buying influence with a powerful family.
Emails and text messages made public in 2020 by former Hunter business partner Tony Bobulinski—related to a separate attempted deal with CEFC—quote Hunter demanding more because CEFC is “coming to be MY partner to be partners with the Bidens,” and noting that “I’m the only one putting an entire family legacy on the line.” In another email reported by the New York Post, Hunter boasted that Mr. Ye would pay him millions for “introductions alone.”
The press is mostly dismissing the report because it reveals no evidence that President Biden received any money. But the committee has already exposed that Joe Biden dissembled in 2020 when he claimed that “my son has not made money in terms of this thing about—what are you talking about—China. I have not had it. The only guy that made money from China is this guy,” referring to Donald Trump. Mr. Comer isn’t done, and we shall see where the money trail leads.
The report shows the Biden family profiting from Joe Biden’s political power. Payments from Chinese nationals are also a familiar way that the Communist Party has tried to compromise America’s political class. There may not be a smoking gun, but there’s plenty of suspicious smoke worth investigating.
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Source: The Biden Family Business – WSJ