Just days after Politico confirmed reports that material obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop was “genuine,” Business Insider obtained a series of 2015 emails that appear to show that Hunter Biden offered to use his influence among global powerbrokers to help unfreeze Libya’s assets — assets the Obama administration locked down — for a cool $2 million.
“Insider obtained emails indicating that Hunter Biden asked for a $2 million annual retainer plus ‘success fees’ to help unfreeze Libyan assets during the Obama administration,” the outlet noted Thursday. “The communications offer ‘a window into the mechanics of Beltway influence-peddling and the stock that was put in Biden’s political connections.’”
The emails seem to shed a light on how Hunter Biden transacted his influence, particularly with his own father who, at the time, was vice president.
“The Obama administration froze up to $15 billion in assets during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule,” Business Insider noted. “In 2015, long after Gaddafi’s ouster and death, two Democratic donors with business in the Persian Gulf pitched Hunter Biden about joining their cause.”
Although they never note the specific reason they were looking at Hunter Biden as a strategic partner, the issue came up during the Obama administration, and Hunter Biden, per the emails confirmed by Politico, was already working in the space.
“A person who had independent access to Hunter Biden’s emails confirmed he did receive a 2015 email from a Ukrainian businessman thanking him for the chance to meet Joe Biden,” Politico said earlier this week. “The same goes for a 2017 email in which a proposed equity breakdown of a venture with Chinese energy executives includes the line, ’10 held by H for the big guy?’ (This person recalled seeing both emails, but was not in a position to compare the leaked emails word-for-word to the originals.)”
The donors appear to believe that Hunter Biden had the right connections.
“Since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M.Q. [Gaddafi, also spelled Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there,” one donor wrote to another.
The two then go on to list the cons of hiring Hunter Biden, and his price — “$2” — which, according to experts who were familiar with Hunter Biden’s work at the time, meant “$2 million.”
The emails chronicle the pair’s efforts to court both Hunter Biden and Libyan officials, but it does not appear the plan got off the ground. One of the donors’ attorneys told Business Insider that he “has no recollection of seeing those emails contemporaneously” and “knows to a certainty that he never spoke to and has no recollection of talking about Hunter Biden.”
Both stories have upended earlier claims — including White House claims — that the story surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop, which first appeared in the New York Post and then was throttled on social media networks over concerns it was based on “misinformation.”