President Joe Biden spoke with his son, Hunter, about a business deal Hunter struck with a Chinese businessman, a voicemail left by Joe to Hunter and found on the younger Biden’s abandoned laptop reveals.
The elder Biden, then out of office, called Hunter on December 12, 2018, soon after The New York Times published a story on one of Hunter’s business partners, Ye Jianming, the chairman of the Chinese energy giant CEFC. Joe left a voicemail to his son saying he wanted to speak about the article, adding, “I think you’re clear,” according to a copy of the voicemail reported by the Daily Mail.
The president said on the voicemail: “Hey pal, it’s dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance give me a call, I love you.”
The New York Times story included references to Hunter’s discussions with Jianming and one of Jianming’s top lieutenants, former CEFC vice-chairman Patrick Ho. Ho was arrested in the United States in 2017 and later sentenced to three years in prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Jianming was a prominent Chinese oil magnate before Chinese authorities arrested him in 2018. He has not been seen publicly since, and CEFC has fallen into bankruptcy.
Prior to his arrest, Jianming pursued a number of business deals in the United States, including with Hunter Biden, meeting with Hunter in a Miami hotel in 2017, per the Daily Mail. At the time, Hunter was managing an investment firm he helped found, Rosemont Seneca Partners.
A May 13, 2017, email found on a laptop Hunter abandoned at a computer repair store in 2019 showed proposed equity splits among Hunter and his partners in any deal with CEFC. The email outlines “remuneration packages” for six people, including Hunter and Joe Biden, according to people familiar with the email. The email proposed a “20” split for “H,” which sources identified as Hunter, and a split of “10 held by H for the big guy?” Multiple sources, including Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski, identified “the big guy” as Joe Biden.
After Ho was arrested in the U.S., his first call was to Hunter’s uncle, James Biden, according to The New York Times. Ho later hired Hunter to represent him on a $1 million retainer, as reported by the Washington Examiner. A recording found on Hunter’s abandoned laptop from May 11, 2018, showed him talking about his relationship with Ho and complaining about The New York Times’ interest in it at the time, the Daily Mail reported.
“I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho — the f***ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner [Jianming], who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing,” Biden said in the 47-minute recording. “The richest man in the world is missing, who was my partner.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Hunter also spoke of Jianming and the Chinese tycoon’s disappearance: “He was missing since I last saw him in his $58 million apartment inside a $4 billion deal to build the f***ing largest f***ing LNG port in the world … and I am receiving calls from the Southern District of New York from the U.S. attorney himself.”