Claim: President Joe Biden never interacted with his son Hunter’s foreign business associates.
Who said it: The Big Guy himself, Joe Biden. At a press conference Wednesday, Biden asserted that "it’s just a bunch of lies" that he was involved in his son’s business affairs. And asked directly whether he ever met Hunter Biden’s partners, the elder Biden said: "I did not. They’re lies."
Why it matters: Biden has long denied any involvement in his son’s affairs. "First of all, I have never discussed with my son, or my brother, or anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses, period," he said in August 2019.
But according to an Associated Press poll in October, 68 percent of Americans—including 40 percent of Democrats—believe Biden behaved illegally or unethically when it comes to Hunter’s overseas ventures.
There is insurmountable evidence that Joe Biden met with several of his son’s business partners.
Rob Walker, a longtime Biden family friend, told the FBI in December 2020 that Joe Biden attended meetings with Hunter Biden and officials from CEFC China Energy, a Chinese energy conglomerate linked to the Chinese Communist Party. CEFC China Energy paid Hunter Biden more than $5 million in 2017 and 2018 for consulting and legal work.
Tony Bobulinski, a California businessman, has released text messages that show he met with Hunter and Joe Biden in May 2017 to discuss a business proposal with CEFC China Energy. Bobulinski, who released his correspondence with Hunter in October 2020, has accused Joe Biden of lying when he claimed to have no knowledge of Hunter’s business affairs.
Hunter Biden said in text messages and emails that his father was involved in his Chinese business ventures. In July 2017, the younger Biden sent a threatening text message to a CEFC China Energy official seeking payment as part of their business agreement.
"I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled," Hunter Biden texted the Chinese executive on July 30, 2017. "I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction."
In August 2017, Hunter Biden suggested in a text message to CEFC China Energy officials that his father wanted to meet with the chairman of the company in New York City.
Joe Biden met Hunter Biden’s partners during his previous stint at the White House.
In 2013, Hunter Biden introduced one of his Chinese business partners, Jonathan Li, to Joe Biden during an official trip to China.
And in 2015, Joe and Hunter Biden attended a dinner in Washington, D.C., with Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burisma Holdings executive who was Hunter’s primary point of contact for the company. While the Biden campaign in 2020 denied that Joe Biden ever met Pozharskyi, longtime Biden family crony Devon Archer told Congress earlier this year that the meeting indeed did occur.
Biden seems determined to deny his involvement with his son's business dealings until the cows come home—or at least until the impeachment hearings begin.
Congressional Republicans are probing Biden’s involvement in his son’s business, focusing heavily on Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter Biden worked closely with the firm, Burisma Holdings, while then-vice president Joe Biden was spearheading American policy on Ukraine. An FBI informant told the bureau that Burisma's owner claimed to have paid $10 million in bribes to the Bidens in exchange for political favors.
Republicans have released a trove of emails, bank records, and other business documents related to Hunter’s ventures in Ukraine, China, Romania, and elsewhere. Republicans are also focused on testimony from two IRS investigators involved in the Hunter Biden probe who claim they were prevented from looking into Joe Biden.