Hunter Biden enlisted then-vice president Joe Biden's national security adviser to help with a Serbian business partner’s campaign to become secretary general of the United Nations, a scheme that is now drawing scrutiny from the House Oversight Committee as it attempts to piece together Hunter Biden's web of foreign business dealings.
Hunter Biden arranged a meeting in July 2016 for Vuk Jeremic and Colin Kahl, a Pentagon official who served as then-vice president Joe Biden’s national security adviser, emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop show. Jeremic, an energy executive and former Serbian foreign affairs minister, was at the time looking for American support in an upcoming vote for secretary general. Jeremic recounted that Kahl, who is now undersecretary of defense for policy and an amateur DJ, "promised" to find out more about the election.
While Jeremic’s bid for the top United Nations post was unsuccessful, his ties to Hunter Biden could shed light on the troubled presidential son’s foreign business dealings. Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.) inquired about the link in a letter to Biden on Friday as part of their sprawling probe into the Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere.
The Republican inquiry could pull back the curtain on Biden’s efforts to leverage his political connections for profit. "Vuk Jeremic has been connected to Hunter Biden’s business dealings and likely holds key information," an aide to Comer told the Washington Free Beacon.
Hunter Biden first met Jeremic in 2014, when Jeremic was a director at the Mexican state-owned energy firm Pemex and Biden was on the board at Burisma Holdings, a scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy firm. Emails show they were involved in discussions for a partnership between the two companies.
On Dec. 1, 2015, Jeremic approached Biden and his associate Eric Schwerin about a meeting with Ye Jianming, the then-chairman of CEFC China Energy, a Chinese energy conglomerate with suspected ties to Chinese intelligence.
"I am confident that many interesting projects may come out of that in the future," wrote Jeremic, who was a consultant for CEFC at the time. Biden would enter a lucrative joint business venture with CEFC in 2017.
In their letter Friday, Republicans asked Biden for records related to Jeremic and CEFC executives. They are seeking details of CEFC’s $5 million consulting deal with Biden, and another $1 million that Biden received to represent Patrick Ho, a CEFC executive who was charged with attempting to bribe two African officials on behalf of CEFC for oil rights during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September 2014. It is unclear what services Biden provided Ho, whom Biden referred to in private correspondence as the "fucking spy chief of China."
Jeremic has his own ties to Ho. The Serbian made crucial introductions for Ho to the African officials he later tried to bribe, Idriss Deby and Sam Kutesa. Jeremic advised Ho to tell the African leaders "how fruitful the win-win cooperation with CEFC can be." Jeremic has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case and testified on behalf of Ho at his trial. Ho was sentenced to three years in prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
European watchdogs have scrutinized Jeremic’s U.N. ambitions and his "murky links" to CEFC. The Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank, said in a 2020 report that Jeremic’s connections to CEFC "appear to follow a pattern of political influence with the aim of serving China’s core political and business interests." The think tank said that Jeremic helped CEFC "establish new contacts within the UN framework" and made business deals on its behalf "in exchange for political prominence through meetings with Xi Jinping."
Former Biden associates have questioned whether CEFC approached Biden as part of an intelligence operation on behalf of the Chinese government. Weeks before Jeremic approached Biden about CEFC, the father of a classmate of Biden’s children contacted Biden about the firm.
The man, Scott Oh, told Biden that CEFC wanted to contribute to the World Food Program, where Biden served as chairman, and discuss "investment opportunities."
Oh also extended an invitation for the Biden family to travel to and speak in China.
"All expenses will be covered as well as speaking engagements," Oh wrote.