GOP senators demand intelligence records on Hunter Biden’s dealings with Chinese energy conglomerate
Chuck Ross, DCNF
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson called on the Biden administration Wednesday to turn over intelligence records regarding Hunter Biden’s work with a Chinese energy company with suspected ties to the Chinese military.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, Grassley and Johnson said that it is “imperative” for Congress to understand the relationship between the Biden family and CEFC China Energy, the now-defunct energy conglomerate.
CEFC China Energy paid Biden approximately $6 million from August 2017 to September 2018 for consulting and legal services, according to a report that Grassley and Johnson released last year.
The Republicans said in the report that banking regulators flagged some of the wire payments from CEFC to Biden for “potential criminal financial activity.” Grassley and Johnson also noted that CEFC’s founder, Ye Jianming, was an official in the mid-2000s for a front group of the Chinese Communist Party.
Biden met multiple times with Jianming, including at Jianming’s home in New York.
CEFC also paid $1 million to Biden to represent Patrick Ho, a former Hong Kong official who operated a think tank funded by the Chinese energy firm.
Ho was indicted in November 2017, and later convicted on charges that he offered bribes in 2014 to two leaders of African countries for oil drilling contracts on behalf of CEFC China Energy.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that the Justice Department obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Ho based on suspicions that he was acting as a foreign agent of China.
Grassley and Johnson called on the administration to produce “all intelligence records,” including information derived from the FISAs against Ho, by April 14.
Hunter Biden was first introduced to CEFC officials in 2015. In October 2015, a consultant working on behalf of the firm emailed Biden hoping to discuss investing up to $100 million in an asset management firm with links to Biden, according to records obtained by the DCNF.
In May 2017, Biden and a group of partners formed a consulting company that planned to scout out investment projects for CEFC China Energy in the U.S., South America and Europe.
Tony Bobulinski, one of the original partners, has said that Biden cut him out of the deal and formed a side partnership with CEFC in August 2017.
It is unclear what, if anything, Joe Biden knew about his son’s arrangement with CEFC.
In another email obtained by the DCNF, dated Sept. 21, 2017, Biden referred to his father and Gongwen Dong, a CEFC employee in the U.S., as “office mates.”
“The sharing of office space with Chinese nationals and entities linked to the communist regime and its military demands additional explanation,” Grassley and Johnson wrote.
Biden has acknowledged that he is the target of a federal investigation that started in 2018. He said in a statement on Dec. 9, 2020, that the probe centered on his taxes. CNN has reported that federal prosecutors have looked into Biden’s dealings in China and Ukraine.