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Hunter: the ‘designated bag man’ for the president

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Kaniz Nusaiba, The TBH Desk

In December 4, US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer released subpoenaed bank records revealing Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to US president Joe Biden. Hunter Biden, the son of the US president, is currently under an investigation by the Department of Justice for using the Owasco PC corporate account for tax evasion and other serious crimes.

Following subpoenas to obtain Biden family associates’ bank records, Chairman Comer issued subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden’s personal and business bank records. The House Oversight Committee has identified over 20 shell companies and uncovered how the Bidens and their associates raked in over $24 million dollars between 2015 and 2019 by selling Joe Biden as “the brand.” Financial records obtained show Hunter Biden’s business account, Owasco PC, received payments from Chinese-state linked companies and other foreign nationals and companies.

Payments to Joe Biden from Hunter’s Owasco PC corporate account are part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes. As the Bidens received millions from foreign nationals and companies in China, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Kazakhstan, Joe Biden dined with his family’s foreign associates, spoke to them by speakerphone, had coffee, attended meetings, and ultimately received payments that were funded by his family’s business dealings.

FOX News contributor Miranda Devine raises potential questions for Hunter Biden as House Republicans prepare for their closed-door deposition with the president’s son. She claims that “Hunter Biden was the designated ‘bag man’ for the president”. Patt Fallon, the republican congressman from Texas claims ahead a bit that was the ‘bag’ man for family corruption of Bidens.

The legal troubles of Bidens

US President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, is facing a second criminal case after federal prosecutors filed a new set of charges related to his tax affairs. An indictment alleges that he failed to pay at least $1.4m (£1.1m) in federal taxes that he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019.

It comes after a plea deal, which had been expected to see Mr Biden admit to a number of tax and gun offences in order to avoid prison time, fell through in July.

In September, prosecutors announced they were indicting Mr Biden, 53, with three counts of lying on the application form he used to purchase a handgun in 2018.

And all the while congressional Republicans, who have forged ahead with inquiries into Mr Biden’s foreign business dealings, have opened an impeachment inquiry into the president.

In June, prosecutors with the US Department of Justice struck a two-part plea agreement with Hunter Biden’s legal team.

Under the deal, he was to be charged with two misdemeanour counts for failing to pay his taxes on time in 2017 and 2018.

He was also to admit that he had illegally possessed a gun while being a drug user, and agree to drug treatment and monitoring in lieu of a more serious felony charge and possible jail time.

Republicans argued the president’s son was receiving a “sweetheart deal”.

That claim was bolstered by two tax investigators, who testified to Congress that they believed political considerations had hampered the probe and benefited Mr Biden.

At a hearing in Delaware in August, the deal crafted over several months dissolved under scrutiny from the federal judge overseeing the case.

Both sides negotiated unsuccessfully in full view of reporters, before District Judge Maryellen Noreika refused to “rubber-stamp” what she called an “atypical” agreement.
David Weiss, the US attorney in Delaware, began investigating allegations of Mr Biden’s criminal conduct in 2019.

On 11 August, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Mr Weiss as special counsel, providing him with extra resources and the power to bring charges in other jurisdictions.

Republicans had previously advocated for the appointment of a special counsel, but criticised the choice of Mr Weiss even though he was a Trump appointee.

They pointed to Mr Weiss’ role in brokering the controversial plea deal, as well as the justice department’s delay in appointing a special counsel, to argue that he would “protect” Mr Biden from further prosecution and slow down their own inquiries.

On 14 September, prosecutors said they had indicted Mr Biden on three gun charges related to his purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver handgun in October 2018, two months after a stint in rehab.

Two of the counts allege Mr Biden lied that he was not a drug user on the federal application form he filled out to buy the weapon. They each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

A third count relating to firearm possession while using narcotics carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

In October, Mr Biden pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The continuing legal battleproceeded without Christopher Clark, who had been Mr Biden’s lead attorney for the previous five years.

Mr Clark withdrew from the case on 15 August, writing in a court notice that he could be called as a witness in any potential trial to discuss the plea agreement.

The baton was taken from him by Abbe Lowell, a legal fixture of scandal-ridden Washington who has previously represented Bill Clinton, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

After Mr Lowell began providing counsel to Mr Biden last December, his legal team began taking a more aggressive posture.

On 18 September, Mr Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service over the congressional testimony of its two tax investigators earlier in the year.

The suit, which seeks $1,000 per unauthorised tax disclosure it alleges, argues the two agents “targeted and sought to embarrass” Mr Biden by publicly sharing his confidential tax information.

Some of the most embarrassing details of Mr Biden’s life were revealed by the contents of a laptop he apparently abandoned at a Delaware repair shop in 2019.

Mr Biden also recently sued Trump ally Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney Robert Costello for “unlawful hacking” and the “total annihilation” of his digital privacy.

He had earlier sued the repairman, John Paul Mac Isaac, for invasion of privacy and publication of private information.

On 7 December, federal prosecutors filed nine new tax charges against Mr Biden.

The indictment alleges that he “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4m in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019”.

The charges include failure to file and pay taxes, false tax return and evasion of assessment.

Prosecutors say that, instead of paying his taxes, Mr Biden spent his money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature”.

They added that he “individually received more than $7 million in total gross income” between 2016 and mid-October 2020, but “wilfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 taxes on time, despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes”.

Mr Biden eventually paid all his taxes and fines back in 2020 – with the help of a loan from his personal attorney.

Questions have been raised over the past two decades about Hunter Biden’s business practices, and whether he had leveraged his name and access to his powerful father to make money and land clients.

Particular attention has been paid to what he was doing in China and Ukraine during Joe Biden’s vice-presidency.

In 2013, the younger Mr Biden became a founding board member at BHR, a private equity firm backed by some of China’s local governments and largest state banks.

He went on to a hold a 10% equity stake, although attorney George Mesires has claimed that Mr Biden did not acquire the stake until after his father’s tenure as vice-president ended in 2017. He remained with the board until 2020.

In 2014, Mr Biden joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company where he made about $1.2m per year.

His father was at the time engaged in anti-corruption work as the Obama administration’s point man on US-Ukraine relations.

The elder Mr Biden argued the country’s top prosecutor Viktor Shokin was blocking corruption investigations and he rallied the international community to push for his ouster.

But Republicans allege Mr Shokin, who was removed by parliament in 2016, was fired because he was investigating Burisma.

The president has long maintained he never discussed business with his son or his associates.

But Devon Archer, a long-time business partner, testified behind closed doors to lawmakers that Mr Biden had frequently put his father on speakerphone during calls with various contacts.

Congressman James Comer, who is leading the inquiry in the House of Representatives oversight committee, has alleged that the then-VP was “the brand” sold to enrich the Biden family.

On 9 August, Mr Comer cited bank records obtained by his panel that he said showed the Biden family and its associates had earned $20m from oligarchs in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine during his vice-presidency.

On 13 September, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, alleging a “culture of corruption” within his family.

Mr McCarthy said the inquiry would focus on “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” by Joe Biden, though several Republicans questioned whether there was enough evidence to seek the president’s removal.

The White House has said it is an “inquiry based on lies”.

Separately, Hunter Biden’s alcohol and drug abuse, and relationship strife have provided ample fodder for the tabloids – and at least some measure of pain to his family.

In 2019, a DNA test confirmed that, despite his repeated denials, Hunter Biden had fathered a child with an Arkansas woman who filed a paternity suit against him.

Lunden Alexis Roberts has since settled that suit, with her child – Navy, now 4 – receiving an undisclosed amount in monetary child support as well as some of Mr Biden’s paintings.

Ms Roberts also agreed to drop a previous effort to have her daughter’s last name changed to Biden.

Amid pressure from US media, President Biden was forced to acknowledge his seventh grandchild for the first time in late July.

Family’s Influence Peddling Schemes

There is mounting evidence that Joe Biden was involved in his family’s influence peddling schemes, including while he served as Vice President. However, Democrats and their corporate media allies continue to ignore this overwhelming evidence as they seek to distract the American people from the Biden family’s corruption. Below are over 20 examples of Joe Biden’s involvement.

1) In July 2023, former Biden business associate Devon Archer described how Joe Biden was “The Brand” and was used to send “signals” of power, access, and influence to enrich the Biden family from foreign sources.

2) Devon Archer alone was aware of at least 20 times in which then-Vice President Biden spoke on speakerphone with Hunter Biden’s foreign business associates. Democrats would have Americans believe that these phone calls with then-Vice President Biden were simply to discuss the weather.

3) In February 2014, then-Vice President Joe Biden dined with oligarchs from Russia and Kazakhstan who funneled millions of dollars to Hunter Biden and his business associates.

4) In April 2015, then-Vice President Biden dined with Hunter Biden’s foreign business associates, including Ukrainian Burisma executive Vadym Pozharsky. Burisma was then being investigated by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin for corruption.

5) The then-Vice President Biden had coffee with Hunter Biden’s Chinese business associate, Jonathan Li of BHR, in Beijing and wrote a college letter of recommendation for his daughter.

6) In 2015, then-Vice President Biden hosted Hunter Biden and Devon Archer and other business associates at the official residence of the Vice President. The topic of discussion was filling the top seat at the United Nations. The Kazakhstani government official who wanted the U.N. position attended both dinners at Café Milano with then-Vice President Biden.

7) Using the pseudonym “Robert L. Peters,” Vice President Biden was informed by his staff of a call in 2016 with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Copied on that official email? Hunter Biden, who was sitting on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma.

8) On December 4, 2015, Biden business associate Eric Schwerin wrote to Kate Bedingfield in the Office of the Vice President providing quotes to use in response to media outreach regarding Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. Later that day, Ms. Bedingfield responded to Mr. Schwerin saying, “VP signed off on this[.]” According to Devon Archer, after a Burisma board of directors meeting in Dubai on the evening of December 4, 2015, Hunter Biden “called D.C.” to discuss pressure that Burisma asked him to relieve.

9) In May 2017, James Gilliar, a Biden family associate, emailed Hunter Biden and other associates to formalize how they would divide the profit from their deal with CEFC, a Chinese Communist Party linked energy company. Gilliar indicated Joe Biden would receive 10 percent, which has been confirmed by former Biden family associate, Tony Bobulinski.

10) On May 20, 2017, James Gilliar told Tony Bobulinksi, another business associate, “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face[.] I know u know that but they are paranoid[.]”

11) In a September 21, 2017, email, Hunter Biden wrote that Joe Biden is his business partner and provided Joe Biden’s personal cell phone if the recipient seeks confirmation. Emails also show that Hunter Biden, CEFC officials, and Joe Biden would share offices under the Hudson West/CEFC/Biden Foundation name.

Hunter in White House: what the president knew

According to media reports, president Biden was “familiar” with what his son Hunter Biden planned to say during defiant remarks outside the Capitol on Wednesday in which the younger Biden blasted the investigation from House Republicans into his business dealings.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly dodged questions about whether Hunter Biden should comply with a congressional subpoena for testimony, but she confirmed to reporters the president had some insight ahead of his son’s comments.

“Hunter Biden is a private citizen, so I certainly would refer you to his representatives,” Jean-Pierre said. “The president was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say, and I think what you saw was from the heart from his son.

“And you’ve heard me say this, you’ve heard the president say this, when it comes to the president and the first lady, they are proud of him continuing to rebuild his life. They are proud of their son,” Jean-Pierre added.

Hunter Biden spoke outside the Capitol complex on Wednesday morning, making a public statement instead of appearing for his scheduled deposition following a subpoena from House Republicans.

“For six years, I’ve been the target of the unrelenting Trump attack machine shouting. ‘Where’s Hunter?’” Hunter Biden said in a statement to reporters. “Well, here’s my answer. I am here.”

“Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business — not as a practicing lawyer. Not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not my investment at all nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist,” he said, running through some key aspects of the GOP probes.

“There’s no evidence to support the allegations that my father was financially involved in my business, because it did not happen,” Biden added.

Republicans have signaled they will move to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress because of his refusal to testify in a closed-door deposition.

Reporters at the White House peppered Jean-Pierre with questions about whether the president believed his son should comply with the subpoena, including one who cited the president’s 2021 comments that those who ignore congressional subpoenas should be prosecuted. Biden later walked those comments back.

Jean-Pierre also would not confirm when the president last spoke to Hunter Biden.

“The president is also focused on the important work of the American people,” Jean-Pierre said, pointing to talks over border policy and Biden’s meeting on Tuesday with the president of Ukraine.

BNP’s lobbyist?

For several years, Hunter Biden has connections with a consulting-cum-lobbyist firm named Blue Star Strategies, which had earlier registered its work for the Ukrainian company Burisma under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Through the same company Hunter Biden also crafted a plan to lobby the State Department on behalf of the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners.

On January 17, 2022, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told reporters that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has spent US$3.75 million for a US lobbyist firm as part of their anti-Bangladesh campaign.

The BNP hired US lobbyist firms called Akin Company Associates, Blue Star Strategies and Rasky Partners while Jamaat signed agreements with an organization named ‘Peace and justice’.

According to information obtained from the US, BNP spent US$2.7 million annually from February 2015 to April 2017. It spent US$120,000 per month in retainer fees.

According to information obtained by this newspaper, Blue Star Strategies was hired by BNP through Abdus Sattar, an UK-based leader of the party in August 2018. Agendas behind appointing Blue Star Strategies by BNP were to “promote the goals of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for the upcoming [2018 general elections] elections in Bangladesh”. In addition, Blue Star Strategies also developed a strategy “that educates officials, policy influencers and the media [in the United States] about the BNP and its interests in free and fair elections” and drafted a “narrative to communicate the BNP’s goals”.

The contract was signed by Abdus Sattar as an individual—but the documentation suggests that he was acting on behalf of the BNP. In the section of the form which states that the name of the “foreign principal” was Abdul Sattar, it is confirmed that he is a “foreign political party”, meaning, Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

In addition, in the section of submitted documentation asking for details “if the foreign principal is a foreign political party”, Blue Star Strategies stated: “Bangladesh Nationalist Party, 28, 1 VIP Rd, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh”.

The documents confirmed that there were payments made to Blue Star Strategies which totalled at least US$278,582 over a two-year period. An amount of US$10,000 was paid to Blue Star Strategies in August 2018, another payment of US$197,790 in September 2018 and US$70,792 between March to September 2019.

The last payment was made from an account at the Singapore-based Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd. It may be mentioned here that BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his business partner Giaus Uddin Mamun were also banking with the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

As part of the same contract with Blue Star Strategies, another lobbyist firm named Rasky Partners was paid US$86,627 by Blue Star Strategies to work with it in lobbying for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Humaiun Kobir, BNP National Executive Committee Member, Secretary of International Affairs and Advisor to the Acting Chairman has been coordinating BNP’s connections with Rasky Partners.

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