Despite the US president's denials, a 2018 voicemail indicates he was aware of Hunter's business in China
US President Joe Biden was aware of his son Hunter's dubious Chinese business dealings in 2018 despite the elder Biden's repeated denials of any such knowledge, a recently unearthed voicemail from Hunter's "laptop from hell" published by the Daily Mail on Monday reveals.
The December 2018 voicemail from the elder Biden to his son indicates that Joe had read a New York Times article mentioning Hunter's relationship with a representative of Chinese oil conglomerate CEFC. Joe Biden, who at the time was in between his stints as vice president and president, describes the Times article as "pretty good," suggesting Hunter is "clear."
While the Times article does not go into detail about Hunter's multi-million-dollar dealings with CEFC, which have been confirmed in emails extracted from the laptop, it does mention that Hunter met with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming at a Miami hotel in 2017 to discuss "a partnership to invest in American infrastructure and energy deals."
The article also includes a quote from Joe Biden's brother, James Biden, suggesting that Ye's deputy, Patrick Ho, intended to call Hunter after being arrested in the US on bribery charges. James also revealed he passed on Hunter's number - implying a much closer relationship between the younger Biden and the Chinese oil giant than a one-off meeting would indicate.
The voicemail was extracted from a backup of Hunter Biden's iPhone stored on the laptop, which had been left abandoned in a Delaware repair shop. The phone also coughed up a text message conversation between Hunter and his business partner Devon Archer, who joked: "Nice quote from uncle jimmy. I hope you thanked him for that [tongue-sticking-out emoji]," to which Hunter replied that the comment had been taken out of context.
However, Ho did ultimately end up reaching out to Hunter - and paying him $1 million to represent him as his attorney. The younger Biden, in one of many videos filmed from the laptop's camera, recorded himself telling a prostitute about how a Times reporter was "calling about [his] representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho - the f***ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner, who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing." That partner, whom he also describes as "the richest man in the world" in the May 2018 video, is Ye, the chairman of CEFC. While it is not clear what role if any Ho plays in China's intelligence apparatus, the Daily Mail did obtain a copy of a FISA warrant indicating that federal agents were monitoring him as a potential Chinese spy.
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The voicemail is far from the only evidence that Joe Biden knew of his son's overseas business dealings. There are also photographs of the then-vice president at a Washington DC dinner with Ukrainian, Kazakh, and Russian associates of Hunter's in 2015, and the elder Biden met another of his son's Chinese business partners when he took Hunter on an Air Force 2 trip to the country in 2013.
A more recent report claims Joe Biden wired his son a total of $100,000 which Hunter used to pay for Eastern European prostitutes, while the elder Biden was preparing to run for president in 2018 and 2019. However, it was not clear if he was aware of what his son was spending the money on.