Newly released emails sent by Democratic donors and business contacts of Hunter Biden's reveal that the president's son wanted a $2 million retainer for his help freeing up billions of dollars in Libyan assets that were frozen by the Obama administration, Business Insider reported.
The emails are not directly connected to other controversial emails from Hunter Biden's laptop regarding business dealings with Ukrainians, but they do show how Biden's status as the then-vice president's son and his connections within the Obama administration were seen as valuable by those who wanted to buy influence.
The first email reported by Insider is from Jan. 28, 2015, and was sent by Sam Jauhari, a Democratic donor with businesses in the Persian Gulf. He sent the email to Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani, an Obama campaign donor involved in the project to unfreeze the Libyan assets. The email assesses Hunter Biden's strengths as a potential partner but also his weaknesses, namely drug addiction and other vices, and what he wanted in return for his help:
Per phone conversation I met with #2 son. He wants $2 per year retainer +++ success fees. He wants to hire his own people - it can be close circle of people for confidentiality. His dad is deciding to run or not.
His positives are he is Chairman of UN World Food Program, son of #2 who has Libya file, access to State, Treasury, business partner SofS [Secretary of State] J. [John] Forbes K [Kerry] son and since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M. Q. [Muammar Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there.
His negatives are that he is alcoholic, drug addict - kicked [out] of U.S. Army for cocaine, chasing low class hookers, constantly needs money-liquidity problems and many more headaches.
We should meet in Gstraad or London to decide next steps.
Some details of the email are erroneous. Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve, not the Army. And he was the chairman of World Food Program USA, a nonprofit charity based in Washington, D.C., that supports the U.N. World Food Programme, not a member of the actual U.N. body.
The fact remains, however, that Jauhari and al-Rahbani were interested in buying Biden's influence. While Muammar Qaddafi was in power, the Obama administration froze $15 billion in Libyan assets. Jauhari and his partners believed they could earn as much as 5% of whatever funds they could free for Libya, profits in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. According to Insider, the $2 figure is shorthand for $2 million. Beyond his $2 million retainer, Hunter Biden stood to gain a portion of "success fees" if the deal went through.
As the email shows, Hunter Biden's relationship with his father, President Joe Biden, was valued because of the doors knowing the vice president would open. These interested parties sought to pay Hunter Biden to convince government officials like his father to change U.S. policy toward the Libyan assets so that everyone involved could make money.
The second email is from Feb. 26, 2016, and shows the plans for the Libya project were carried into 2016. According to Insider, in this email "Jauhari and al-Rahbani receive a report by John Sandweg, a Washington lawyer who had served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Obama."
Sandweg had contacted Biden's team about the deal and reported their conditions:
I spoke with HB's team yesterday. They are interested in the project, but emphasized that for them to get involved, the team (lobbyists, lawyers and PR) would need to be a small group of folks they have a tight relationship with. They do not want a large group involved and they only want people with whom they have a close relationship with due to the sensitivities surrounding their involvement.
Though the deal never went through, the fact remains that Hunter Biden was willing to be involved, as he gave his partners a quote. He also wanted to keep the deal secret, as evidenced by his desire to "hire his own people" for "confidentiality." Why? "His dad is deciding to run or not." Buying and selling influence with the vice president might not look good for a possible presidential bid.
Indeed, Joe Biden's connections to his son's business deals became an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign after the New York Post reported emails from Hunter Biden's laptop indicating that the younger Biden introduced his father to potential foreign business partners.
Taken together, all these emails show a clear pattern of the Biden family being willing to sell influence gained from public office to profit personally.