The 51-year-old, despite being a debut artist and having had no formal training, is selling pieces of artwork for up to $500,000. That some enterprising billionaire, motivated by their wish to gain the ear of the president, could ‘buy a painting’ from his influence-peddling son has led to a bipartisan backlash.
In October 2020, during the run-up to the presidential election, conservative news outfit the New York Post obtained emails from a laptop abandoned at a computer repair shop purported to belong Hunter Biden and containing details of his business dealings.
The Post, after authenticating the emails and obtaining confirmatory witness testimony, published two articles accusing Hunter Biden of setting up business deals in Ukraine and China that traded on the Biden family name and of peddling influence with his father. The deals purportedly earned Hunter and his uncle Jim Biden (the president’s younger brother) millions of dollars.
- 14 October 2020: The New York Post published an article titled: Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.
- Messages between Hunter Biden and Vadym Pozharsky, an adviser to the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, revealed that Hunter had arranged a meeting between Pozharsky and his then vice-president father in 2015. President Biden denies that this meeting ever took place. Hunter Biden was at the time being paid $50,000 per month to occupy a seat on Burisma’s board, despite having no experience in the industry.
- In 2016, Joe Biden called for the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whose office was investigating several companies, including Burisma.
- 15 October 2020: The New York Post published a second article, titled: Emails reveal how Hunter Biden tried to cash in big on behalf of family with Chinese firm.
- Emails show that in 2017, Hunter and Jim Biden were pursuing a business deal with Chinese energy and finance company CEFC China Energy from which Joe Biden would financially benefit. The then vice-president was not mentioned by name in any of the emails, but Hunter referred to ‘my family’ and recipients of the emails have confirmed that an individual referred to as ‘the big guy’ was Joe Biden.
- Emails sent by Hunter Biden requested $30m for providing ‘introductions’; he is known to have received $6m from his business dealing in China.
- In 2017, CEFC representative Patrick Ho was arrested in the USA and found guilty of bribery and money laundering offences.
- In 2018, CEFC founder Ye Jianming was arrested in China for Economic crimes.
With the help of Democrat-supporting media, Joe Biden was able to hide the scandal. Twitter banned the dissemination of links to the New York Post articles and Facebook manipulated algorithms to stop the story being seen.
Corporate media consistently treated the story as a ‘conspiracy theory’, latching on to the baseless ‘concerns’ of former intelligence officials who cited the possibility of ‘Russian disinformation’ to justify its suppression.
A selection of headlines gives a flavour of this suppression campaign:
- Huffington Post: Anatomy of a smear: questions surrounding the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story.
- Washington Post: The truth behind the Hunter Biden non-scandal.
- NPR: We don’t want to waste time on stories that are really not stories.
- CNN: News anchor stops discussion of emails on live TV.
- 60 Minutes interview: President Donald Trump has email scandal dismissed by interviewer.
Since his father’s election in 2020, Hunter Biden has been interviewed by CBS News and has onfirmed that the laptop “could be” his, while Democrat media has been forced by the weight of evidence to backtrack, beginning to acknowledge the authenticity of the emails as more and more damaging details come to light.
In September 2021, it was revealed by Business Insider that leaked emails did indeed show that Hunter Biden had requested $2m and ‘success fees’ for his help in recovering Libyan assets frozen by the Obama administration in 2015 whilst his father was vice-president.
Joe Biden has always denied any participation in or knowledge of his family’s business dealings. But with both Hunter and Jim under federal investigation for their business practices, it seems only a matter of time before the president is also embroiled in the scandal.
Emails recovered by the Daily Mail suggest that Hunter and Joe Biden shared bank accounts and paid each other bills. His protestations notwithstanding, it seems increasingly improbable that no money from influence peddling ever passed through the president’s hands.