(Washington Examiner) – Two top Republicans who led investigations into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings have revived their arguments about the “Biden family” financial links to “communist China.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin gave floor speeches on Monday expounding upon the conclusions of a September 2020 report they had released that detailed extensive financial connections between Hunter Biden and China, Ukraine, and elsewhere — a report dismissed by Democrats as part of an effort to spread Russian disinformation, which the two senators have denied.
“Our report exposed extensive financial relationships between Hunter and James Biden and Chinese nationals connected to the communist regime,” Grassley said Monday. “More precisely, these were Chinese nationals connected to the Chinese government’s military and intelligence services.”
Much of his focus was on a Chinese government-linked company called CEFC Energy, whose since-imprisoned energy tycoon leader Ye Jianming was linked to the Chinese military.
“CEFC operated under the guise of a private company but was for all intents and purposes an arm of the Chinese government,” Grassley said. “Hunter Biden and James Biden served as the perfect vehicle by which the communist Chinese government could gain inroads here in the United States through CEFC and its affiliates.”
Grassley said he and Johnson would produce new records over the next few days “to show additional connections between the Biden family and the communist Chinese regime.”
He presented a poster he said showed a newly public bank record, displaying an August 2017 wire transfer from CEFC through Wells Fargo Clearing S
The 2020 Senate report concluded Hunter Biden “opened a bank account with” CEFC deputy Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with his uncle James Biden and James’s wife, Sara.
Grassley and Johnson said in November 2021 that they believed Attorney General Merrick Garland is misleading them about whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was used against Hunter Biden’s convicted Chinese business associate Patrick Ho.
When Ho, one of Ye’s lieutenants, was charged by the Justice Department in 2017, he reportedly called James Biden, who has said he thought the call was meant for Hunter. Ho was indicted and convicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme.
Ho had tried reaching out to Joe Biden’s son for help because Hunter agreed to represent him as part of his efforts to work out a liquefied natural gas deal worth tens of millions of dollars with Ye.
The Senate Republican report from September 2020 concluded that Ye raised concerns Ho was under investigation by U.S. law enforcement in 2017 and “Hunter Biden subsequently agreed to represent Ho.”
In August 2017, CEFC Infrastructure Investment “wired $5 million to the bank account for Hudson West III,” which was linked to Hunter Biden. In March 2018, a $1 million payment was sent from Hudson West III to Owasco, with a memo line for “Dr. Patrick Ho Chi Ping Representation.” Grassley and Johnson said “Hunter Biden was well aware of Patrick Ho’s links to the communist Chinese government.”
A November 2020 follow-up GOP report said that in 2017, Ye was “actively working to build CEFC by making investments around the world” and “these efforts involved cultivating ties with Russia and actors connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
In 2017, ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski worked with Hunter Biden to create a business dubbed SinoHawk to establish a joint venture with CEFC. The Senate GOP report concluded millions of dollars were instead sent by CEFC to accounts linked to Hunter Biden.
“A question to the liberal media and my Democratic colleagues who accused us over the last two years of distributing Russian disinformation — is this official bank document Russian disinformation?” Grassley asked Monday.
Johnson echoed this in his own speech, in which he blasted Russian disinformation claims.
“Over the course of our investigation into how Hunter Biden used his father’s position and name to enrich himself and his family, the dishonest press published countless stories reporting on the Democrats’ false charge that Sen. Grassley and I were soliciting and disseminating Russian disinformation,” Johnson said.
In July 2020, senior Democrats wrote a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray, saying they were “gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation.”
The New York Times published a report that claimed “behind the congressional Democrats’ warning are the efforts of” Andriy Derkach, whom the U.S. has since sanctioned as a Russian agent. Politico reported in July 2020 that “Democrats argue the investigation is based on Russian disinformation aimed at tipping the outcome of the election toward President Donald Trump.”
Grassley and Johnson denied such motives and claimed they never received anything from Derkach.
Johnson on Monday cited other claims by Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claiming in September 2020 that the Republican report “reads as if [Vladimir] Putin wrote it.” Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden also claimed that the Johnson-Grassley investigation was “laundering Russian propaganda.”
Johnson said Monday: “No government entity ever warned us that our investigation into the Biden family’s financial deals was connected to any kind of Russian disinformation campaign — because it wasn’t.”
Hunter Biden himself revealed that he was under federal investigation for his taxes shortly after the 2020 election.
A New York Times report earlier this month said Hunter Biden’s foreign work is being scrutinized under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Hunter Biden held a lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma when his father was vice president. He also pursued business deals in China and elsewhere during and after his father’s tenure. Joe Biden has denied any knowledge of his son’s business endeavors.