The discovery of two batches of classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president could bring renewed attention to an office the president shared with his scandal-plagued son Hunter and a Chinese energy conglomerate linked to Chinese military intelligence.
Joe and Hunter Biden were "office mates" with executives from CEFC China Energy in 2017, according to emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop. In an email to the general manager for the K Street office building, Hunter Biden said the office would be shared by his consulting firm Hudson West, CEFC China Energy, and the Biden Foundation, his family charity.
"[P]lease have keys made available for new office mates," Hunter Biden wrote in a Sept. 21, 2017 email, listing Joe Biden, his stepmother Jill Biden, his uncle Jim Biden, and Gongwen Dong, whom he identified as the "emissary" for the chairman of the now-bankrupt Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC.
While the Bidens left the office in 2018, their cohabitation with CEFC executives could raise national security concerns in light of the revelation that Joe Biden kept classified documents related to Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom in another Washington, D.C., office. Biden aides have also discovered classified records in Biden’s garage at his home in Wilmington, Del. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate how the documents, some of which are marked "top secret," ended up at the Biden properties.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the discoveries should prompt the Justice Department to conduct an exhaustive search of all of Joe and Hunter Biden’s current and former properties.
"If the DOJ and specifically the FBI haven’t conducted the widest possible search of every known location where Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and their associates may have kept classified documents—this is in no way a complete or legitimate investigation," Issa told the Washington Free Beacon.
It is unclear whether any classified materials were stored at the Bidens’ K Street office. But CEFC employees’ access to the office could be of particular concern given the energy conglomerate’s ties to Chinese military intelligence. Hunter Biden worked closely with the firm’s former chairman, Ye Jianming. According to a Senate Republican report, Ye served from 2003 to 2005 as deputy secretary general of the China Association for International Friendly Contacts, a front group for the People’s Liberation Army that "performs dual roles of intelligence collection and conducting propaganda and perception management campaigns."
Hunter Biden also forged close ties to CEFC employee JiaQi Bao, whom House Republicans suspect of working for Chinese intelligence. House Oversight Committee Republicans last year provided FBI director Christopher Wray with "evidence of Bao’s close relationship to Hunter Biden and her attempts to ingratiate herself with his father." Republicans said Bao received a degree from Tsinghua University, a recruiting hub for China’s intelligence services. Before joining CEFC, she worked for China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Bao appears to have worked in the Bidens’ K Street office, located in the heart of Washington’s lobbying district.
In a March 25, 2018, email, Bao asked Hunter if there was "anything in the office that you would like me to pick up/organize for you." Bao also urged Hunter to take as much money as he could from his partnership with CEFC. "Figure out a way to have the money transferred to the right U.S. account before any restriction levied by Chinese regulators," she wrote.
"After infiltrating the Biden family, Bao urged Hunter to encourage Joe Biden to run for president months before he announced and then supplied the Biden family campaign advice related to China," said Rep. James Comer (R., Ky.), the chairman of the House Oversight panel.
In 2017 and 2018, CEFC paid Hunter Biden $5 million to scout out energy deals in the United States and Europe. CEFC paid Biden another $1 million to serve as a legal adviser for Patrick Ho, a CEFC executive who was indicted for trying to bribe two African officials for oil rights. Biden referred to Ho as "the fucking spy chief of China," in a May 2018 voice mail, according to Senate Republicans.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.