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A GOP Senate chair is investigating Hunter Biden's business dealings in China


More potential conflicts of interest

Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden. (Kris Connor/WireImage)

A Republican senator will investigate whether Hunter Biden's business dealings with a Chinese company while his father, Joe, was vice president created a conflict of interest and possible national security issues, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has received a classified briefing on the matter that was put together by officials from the Treasury Department, Commerce Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The briefing contains information about Hunter Biden's role with BHR Partners, a Chinese equity firm at which Biden sat on the board. BHR was created through a deal between Chinese financiers and Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment firm that Biden had a stake in.

"Chairman Grassley intends to review additional material and will contact the agencies with follow-up questions in the coming weeks," said Grassley communications director Michael Zona.

Biden joined the BHR board in 2013. In 2015, BHR, in partnership with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, acquired the U.S. auto company Henniges Automotive for $600 million. Henniges produces technologies that have military applications. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China has been suspected in the past of hacking U.S. networks to steal military airplane designs for their own use.

At the time of that deal, John Kerry was secretary of state, and had to approve the transaction. Christopher Heinz, Kerry's stepson, worked with Biden at Rosemont Seneca.

Grassley first raised questions about the transaction in August, concerned that the influence of Obama administration officials might have pressured the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to approve the deal. CFIUS evaluates such deals for potential national security implications.

"There is cause for concern that potential conflicts of interest could have influenced CFIUS approval of the Henniges transaction," Grassley wrote. "Accordingly, Congress and the public must fully understand the decision-making process that led to the Henniges approval and the extent to which CFIUS fully considered the transaction's national security risks."

Biden stepped down from the board of BHR earlier this month, although he did not sell his 10 percent stake in the company. Through a statement by his lawyer, George Mesires, he denied any wrongdoing.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to remove a sentence stating that Christopher Heinz was involved with the BHR acquisition of Henniges Automotive. Heinz worked with Hunter Biden at Rosemont Seneca, but was not involved with the the aforementioned deal.

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