Ten days after the New York Times admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop story was real, the Washington Post published a lengthy examination of emails and other documents detailing Biden's multimillion-dollar payout from business dealings with a Chinese energy company.
The Post's report confirms key details about the Biden family's lucrative deals with CEFC China Energy, which had first been reported by the New York Post and others in October 2020. At the time, the mainstream media outlets including the Washington Post smeared the Biden emails story as Russian disinformation, and then-candidate Joe Biden used those reports as a shield against questions regarding his involvement with Hunter's business relationships.
Government records, court documents, bank statements, and emails from Biden's laptop reviewed by the Washington Post now confirm that the Chinese energy conglomerate paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden. New documents obtained by the Post include a copy of a $1 million legal retainer, emails related to the wire transfers, and $3.8 million in consulting fees that are confirmed in bank records and agreements signed by Hunter Biden.
While potential energy projects that Hunter Biden discussed with CEFC were never completed, Hunter Biden still received at least $3.79 million in payments from the company through consulting contracts, the Washington Post reported.
Biden was also given a $1 million retainer, issued as part of an agreement to represent Patrick Ho, a CEFC official who was later charged in the United States in connection with a multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe leaders from Chad and Uganda. The Post obtained a copy of the retainer agreement, which contained the signatures of both Hunter Biden and Ho, who has since been convicted and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Hunter Biden's business deals with China and with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Ltd. have been controversial and may have been criminal. Federal prosecutors are investigating Biden for potential tax crimes involving failure to pay taxes on foreign income related to these business relationships. Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to link President Joe Biden to his son's activities, claiming that the Biden family profited from their patriarch's public service. Former President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers have also accused Joe Biden of having conflicts of interest involving Hunter Biden's previous tenure as a member of Burisma's board.
In a separate story, the Washington Post explained that outside security experts worked to verify the emails obtained from Hunter Biden's laptop, which is currently in the custody of the FBI. The experts reportedly could not verify most of the nearly 129,000 emails contained on the laptop, nor did they find clear evidence of tampering, which would suggest the contents of the laptop's hard drive were fabricated. The emails related to Hunter Biden's deals with CEFC were corroborated by the other documents obtained by the Washington Post.
The newspaper acknowledged that the contents of Biden's laptop have "sparked debate and controversy," noting that Facebook and Twitter in 2020 "restricted distribution of stories about the drive’s contents out of concern that the revelations might have resulted from a nefarious hacking campaign intended to upend the election, much as Russian hacks of sensitive Democratic Party emails shaped the trajectory of the 2016 election."
The Post did not explain why it only now has attempted to verify the contents of Biden's laptop, 18 months after the New York Post broke the story and well after the 2020 presidential election.
The Post's report stated that there is no evidence that President Joe Biden "benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC." Reached for comment, the White House directed the Washington Post to previous statements that Joe Biden "has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever.”
But this claim was contested in 2020 by Tony Bobulinski, a man who claimed to be a former business associate of Hunter Biden. In the weeks after the New York Post broke the Hunter Biden laptop story but before the 2020 presidential election, Bobulinski said that his company, Sinohawk Holdings, had formed a partnership with CEFC and the Biden family.
One of the now-verified Hunter Biden emails reported by the New York Post detailed "remuneration packages" for six individuals identified only by initials who were party to the business venture with CEFC. The email, written by James Gilliar of the international consulting firm J2cR, names Hunter Biden as the "Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC (China Energy Co)" and notes his pay was to be "850." Hunter Biden was identified with the letter "H" in the email, according to the New York Post.
Among the terms of the deal, the email stated, "10 held by H for the big guy?"
Bobulinski claimed that the "big guy" referred to Joe Biden in a statement to the New York Post.
"Hunter Biden called his dad 'the Big Guy' or 'my Chairman,' and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing," Bobulinski said in 2020. "I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line."
He also accused Joe Biden of telling a "blatant lie" when he denied having any knowledge of his son's business relationship with CEFC China Energy.
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have sought more details on the Biden family's business relationships with "communist China." On Monday, the lawmakers gave speeches on the Senate floor defending the conclusions of a September 2020 report they put together on the financial connections between Hunter Biden and China, Ukraine, and other foreign countries.
“Our report exposed extensive financial relationships between Hunter and James Biden and Chinese nationals connected to the communist regime,” Grassley said. "More precisely, these were Chinese nationals connected to the Chinese government’s military and intelligence services.”
He focused on CEFC, noting the now-defunct company's ties to the Chinese government.
“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."
The Iowa senator said he and Johnson would soon release new documents detailing "additional connections between the Biden family and the communist Chinese regime.”