Members of the Biden family helped a Chinese businessman with suspected links to the Chinese Communist Party in a bid to obtain visas to the United States for himself and family members.
Emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop show the Biden family solicited help from a former Obama administration immigration official working in private practice to secure visas for Ye Jianming and his family. At the time, Hunter Biden, his uncle Jim Biden, and his aunt Sara Biden were in business with Ye’s energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy. On the same day the Bidens embarked on the visa quest, Sept. 12, 2017, a CEFC executive authorized a $99,000 line of credit for Jim and Sara Biden, according to records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The emails highlight the strong relationship between the Bidens and China, which the White House has tried to downplay in light of recent reports in the establishment media about their business dealings. The White House has said that Joe Biden knew nothing of his son’s foreign business, but a former Hunter Biden business partner has said he met with the father and son duo in 2017 about a consulting deal involving CEFC. One email found on Biden’s laptop referred to payments from a deal with CEFC for "the big guy," which the Hunter associate said was a reference to Joe Biden. Hunter Biden also referred to his father and Chinese partners in a 2017 email as "business partners" and asked for keys for his entire family to an office he shared with CEFC.
The Biden clan’s relationship with CEFC has come under intense scrutiny because of Ye’s alleged ties to the Chinese military. CEFC was also a key part of China’s ambitious plan to snatch up energy companies across the globe. CEFC helped promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a program that Beijing uses to increase its global influence. In one email to Ye, Hunter Biden wrote of the mutual benefit that his work for CEFC would provide China and the United States. Biden negotiated a deal that would allow CEFC to have access to a liquified natural gas terminal in Louisiana, saying it would be "good for both the United States and China simultaneously."
Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Biden’s relationship with CEFC as part of a broad probe into his finances and foreign business dealings. Prosecutors have reportedly asked witnesses during grand jury proceedings about payments from CEFC to Biden. One grand jury witness was asked to identify "the big guy" mentioned in emails, according to the New York Post. Federal prosecutors are also seeking Jim Biden’s financial records, CBS News reported.
CEFC paid Hunter Biden’s firm $5 million for consulting work beginning in August 2017. CEFC paid him another $1 million to represent a CEFC executive, Patrick Ho, who was charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with trying to bribe African officials for oil drilling rights. The Justice Department obtained
According to emails from the laptop, Sara Biden, the president’s sister-in-law, inquired with John Sandweg, an acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Obama administration, about visas for Ye and his family. Sara Biden contacted Sandweg at the request of Gongwen Dong, a CEFC employee who handled the company’s U.S. operations. Hunter and Jim Biden were copied on the emails.
Sandweg offered up several options for the immigration case. Dong picked an option that would allow for visas for Ye, his wife, and his children through a loophole that provides temporary visas to executives for the American subsidiaries of foreign companies. Sandweg did not respond to a request for comment, but a person familiar with the matter told the Free Beacon that Sandweg's firm did not file any visa applications for Ye because the company did not provide supporting documents needed for the process. Ye was reportedly arrested by Chinese authorities in early 2018 on suspicion of offering bribes.
Notably, Sara and Jim Biden received a $99,000 line of credit authorized by Dong on Sept. 12, 2017, the same day Sara Biden reached out to Sandweg. Dong and Hunter Biden signed the document authorizing the transaction. It is unclear if the credit line is related to the Bidens’ help with the visa issues. According to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), the Bidens used the funds to pay for airline tickets, restaurants, and hotels. The Republican senators said this week the financial transactions are evidence that Hunter and Jim Biden are "financially connected to the communist regime."