In the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election season, then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden faced mounting speculation regarding his son’s financial ties — including reported connections to China’s communist party.
Despite the elder Biden’s subsequent inauguration and assurances that he would untangle potential conflicts of interest, new developments indicate that his son is still financially linked to China.
Divestment still not complete
Contradicting prior reports, the Daily Caller pointed to evidence that Hunter Biden still holds a stake in the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners.
The younger Biden’s business ventures in China and Ukraine came under considerable scrutiny by some media sources, though mainstream press outlets largely ignored the bulk of the claims ahead of November’s election. Hunter Biden announced in October 2019 that he would step down from the board of BHR and eventually made good on his promise about five months later.
More than a week into his father’s administration, though, Chinese business records indicate that he still holds a 10% stake. As the sole beneficial owner of Skaneateles LLC, Hunter Biden has used the company to secure his stake in the foreign firm.
In 2019, Hunter Biden’s attorney released a statement asserting that he did not profit from his position and had acquired no equity in the company until his father left office at the conclusion of the Obama administration. The firm was established a short time after a controversial 2013 trip he took with his father, then the vice president, to Beijing.
A series of controversial connections
Emails that surfaced last year from a laptop said to have been discarded by Hunter Biden raised new questions and appeared to contradict his lawyer’s previous remarks.
In one December 2018 email from Hunter Biden’s then-business partner, Eric Schwerin, reportedly explained that he stood to profit “over the next couple of years” from his association with BHR.
Even Joe Biden was linked to his son’s financial ties through electronic communications that described a meeting with one of Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian business partners despite public assertions to the contrary.
The brewing scandal continued to cast a shadow over the Biden transition following November’s election, including the younger Biden’s acknowledgment in December that his taxes were being targeted in a federal investigation. Joe Biden pledged that his Department of Justice would deal with his son’s situation impartially.
In any case, Hunter Biden’s international entanglements seem to contradict his father’s promises on the matter. In December 2019, for example, Joe Biden insisted that his family would “not be engaged in any foreign business because of what’s happened in this administration.”