Joe Biden’s absence from Chinese venture business records doesn’t rule out his involvement
Andrew Kerr, DCNF
- Former Vice President Joe Biden is not named in any available corporate records related to Hunter Biden’s 2017 business dealings with the Chinese energy firm CEFC China Energy Co.
- But a much-publicized email purportedly referencing the former vice president as the “big guy” shows that the stakeholders were considering having an intermediary hold his stake in the venture.
- A trove of documents from Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner, Tony Bobulinski, reveals that Joe Biden was directly referenced in numerous texts in May 2017 amid a heated dispute between Bobulinski and Hunter Biden regarding the structure of their firm.
- Joe Biden’s presidential campaign issued a statement Thursday saying the former vice president has never even considered being involved in any business dealings with his family.
Joe Biden is not named in the corporate records related to Hunter Biden’s 2017 business dealings with a Chinese firm, but a much-publicized email purportedly referencing the former vice president as the “big guy” shows that the stakeholders were considering having an intermediary hold his stake in the venture.
Daily Caller News Foundation found no records in a trove of text messages and other documents from Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski indicating that Joe Biden obtained any off-the-books stake in Oneida Holdings when its structure was finalized in May 2017.
But the document trove does contain numerous text messages from the stakeholders in the venture that directly mentioned Joe Biden and detailed concerns that the deal risked compromising the former vice president’s future 2020 campaign.
Bobulinski told reporters during a brief press conference on Thursday that he had an hour-long meeting in person with Joe Biden about his family’s business dealings in China, “with which he was plainly familiar.”
“I have heard Joe Biden say he’s never discussed business with Hunter. That is false,” Bobulinski said. “I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden.”
Joe Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement Thursday that the former vice president “has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever. He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him.”
The Bobulinski document trove includes internal corporate documents for Oneida, which was brokering a joint venture deal with the Chinese energy firm CEFC China Energy Co in May 2017.
None of the corporate documents in the trove related to Oneida identify Joe Biden by name. However, an email sent from Hunter Biden associate James Gilliar to Bobulinski on May 13, 2017, suggests that if Joe Biden was to have a stake in the firm, it would be held by an intermediary such as his son.
Gilliar’s email was sent nine days before Oneida’s structure was finalized on May 22. His message described the then-agreed upon equity distribution for Oneida’s stakeholders — Hunter Biden, Rob Walker, Bobulinksi, and Gilliar would each hold a 20% equity stake in the firm, while Joe Biden’s brother, Jim Biden, would hold a 10% stake in the venture, Gilliar said.
Gilliar then questioned whether the remaining 10% would be “held by H for the big guy.”
Bobulinski confirmed in a statement Thursday that Gilliar’s email was authentic and that the reference to the “big guy” in the message was “in fact a reference to Joe Biden.”
Gilliar told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that he was “unaware of any involvement at anytime of the former Vice President” during his discussions in 2017 surrounding Oneida and CEFC.
Gilliar did not respond to the Journal when asked about his reference to the “big guy” in his May 13 email.
The proposed equity distribution for Oneida had changed by May 16, according to a document in the Bobulinski trove. The document indicated that Jim Biden’s proposed stake in the firm had doubled from 10% to 20%, with Hunter Biden, Gilliar, Walker and Bobulinski each holding 20% as well. Joe Biden’s name is not present in the May 16 document.
Text messages from the Bobulinski document trove, dated between May 17 and May 20 of 2017, show that Bobulinski expressed deep dissatisfaction that Hunter and Jim Biden would hold a combined 40% equity stake in Oneida.
On May 17, Hunter sent a text to Bobulinski amid the dispute reminding him that CEFC was interested in entering into a joint venture with them because they want “to be partners with the Bidens.”
Bobulinski accused Hunter Biden of bringing his uncle into Oneida so he could have disproportionate decision making power in the firm in a text May 18 to Gilliar.
“H brought in Jim simply to leverage getting more equity for himself and family in the final hour, that is evident,” Bobulinski wrote to Gilliar. “With an equal vote that means walker, H and Jim can do whatever they want w Oneida. I have zero interest in being part of that.”
Bobulinski urged Gilliar to convince Hunter Biden to give one of them “supervotes” in the company. Bobulinski added that it could be damaging for Hunter Biden if it was revealed his family held disproportionate sway over Oneida’s operations.
“When the Wall Street journal peels this back u don’t want it to appear as H/Jim control it,” Bobulinski told Gilliar.
That same day Hunter Biden told Bobulinski in a text: “Just happens that in this instance the only one player holds the trump card and that’s me. May not be fair but it’s the reality because I’m the only one putting an entire family legacy on the line.”
The following day, May 19, Hunter Biden addressed the ongoing dispute in a text to a group chat between him, Bobulinski, Gilliar and Walker.
“Hey TONY I have an idea,” Hunter Biden wrote. “In light of the fact that we are at an impasse of sorts, and both James’ lawyers and my Chairman gave an emphatic NO- I think we should all meet in Romania on Tuesday next week.”
“We all want you to be a part of this partnership and respect your position that you are risking your most valuable asset /TIME/ and that’s more important than 20% equity no matter what Tom foolery the four of us may be up to,” Hunter Biden wrote.
Bobulinski responded to Hunter Biden in the group chat, saying he was “not sure which Chairman you are referencing” and that if Hunter Biden was “so worried about your family, you wouldn’t be doing this because as u said, all of your dad’s lawyers and any lawyer would advise you and Jim not to touch this with a 100 foot pole.”
Walker told Bobulinski in a separate text message the same day that Hunter Biden was referring to his father “when he said his chairman.”
The next day, on May 20, Gilliar told Bobulinski in a text message: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face, I know u know that but they are paranoid.”
Bobulinski said “they should be paranoid about things” in a response to Gilliar.
“U need to stress to H, does he want to be the reason or factor that blows up his dad’s campaign, things need to be done right and protective of that fact,” Bobulinski added.
The available texts in the Bobulinski trove indicate that by May 21 the dispute had been settled. A text that day shows that Walker provided Bobulinski the name of a shell corporation he wanted his equity in Oneida to be assigned to.
Contained within the Bobulinski trove was a final company agreement for Oneida dated May 22 showing that Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, Gilliar, Walker and Bobulinski were each allocated a 20% stake in the firm. Each of the stakeholders owned their piece of Oneida through individual shell companies.
Hunter Biden held his stake in the firm via GK Temujin LLC, and Jim Biden held his via Sino Atlantic Solutions LLC.
Also in the Bobulinski trove were founding documents for Jim Biden’s Sino Atlantic Solutions LLC showing he was the sole member of the company.
Jim Biden and Bobulinski did not return requests for comment inquiring about Oneida’s equity structure.