Congress secures first Hunter Biden whistleblowers as memos unmask lucrative gas deals with China
Internal company memos show Hunter Biden effort to score American LNG ports, gas deals, and drilling ventures for Beijing.
President Joe Biden boasts proudly today he is leading an "incredible transition" from fossil fuels, but just three years before he won the presidency his family worked to score billions of dollars in deals helping executives in communist China gain access to U.S. natural gas, oil and energy infrastructure, according to internal business memos and interviews with congressional investigators.
Memos obtained by Just the News from the Hudson West III LLC partnership that presidential son Hunter Biden operated with a prominent Chinese business executive named Gongwen Dong show the Biden family pursued at least 21 major deals in 2017 and 2018 for Chinese interests seeking U.S. energy assets, including liquified natural gas export terminals, LNG trade deals, drilling exploration firms, pipelines and other key energy assets.
Many of the deals targeted assets in the oil-rich Gulf Coast, including Louisiana, and aimed to help an energy-hungry China gain access to U.S. oil and gas, according to a summary memo of the 21 deals. Just the News found the memo on a Hunter Biden laptop turned over to the FBI in 2019 and corroborated its authenticity with a Biden business associate directly familiar with the deals and memos.
"Discussed both oil and LNG trading/exporting opportunities," one memo sent to Hunter Biden read. "Our team was more interested in pursuing the LNG spread trading opportunities, due to the timing of upcoming winter peak usage season and the spiking natural gas price in China."
That LNG deal and others like it never went forward, but Hunter Biden's team chose to pivot in 2018 to other oil and gas deals, ranging from pipelines to drilling assets, the memo shows.
"Explore U.S. natural gas industry midstream investment opportunities (including natural gas pipeline projects with international and U.S.-based financial institutions)," the memo recommended as one of the 2018 opportunities.
Another goal, the memo stated: "Explore potential investment opportunities in the petrochemical and energy production space."
The Hudson West III opportunities memo stated it was seeking to acquire interests in some drilling and exploration companies, like Noble Energy's parent firm, that had fallen on hard times when oil and gas prices plummeted during the Trump administration. "Explore potential investment opportunity in distressed international energy company affiliates (for example, the Noble Group and affiliates)," the memo read.
The Hunter Biden-connected firm also dabbled with the notion of getting better prices by targeting minority-owned energy firms that got preferential treatment in some markets. The "model involves the support and nurturing of minority business and commodity brokers" and the benefit would be to "gain further discount and better service terms from its oil major partners," the strategy memo stated.
According to evidence released by Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), Hudson West III's goal was to find deals to benefit its primary partner in Beijing, CEFC, the Chinese energy giant led by Chinese businessman Ye Jianming, whom Hunter Biden met back in 2015.
The size of some of the deals Hudson West III sought were massive, ranging from $800 million to as large as $2.8 billion, one internal company memo stated.
Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and its likely chairman next year if the GOP wins control of Congress, told Just the News on Thursday night that he has secured cooperation from at least two of Hunter Biden's former business associates, who have authenticated that Hunter Biden's strategy was to help China secure U.S. oil and gas interests.
"What we know is that Hunter Biden's company Hudson West III was negotiating a deal with the Chinese energy company CEFC to not only purchase American natural gas, but also to try to start purchasing interest in American drillers for natural gas so they can start to take control of the American natural gas industry through the drillers," the congressman said in an interview with the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show.
"We have two whistleblowers," he added. "And I'm confident they're going to come forward in a Republican majority when I can conduct hearings, and I have the gavel for oversight, to tell us in detail what their objectives were. And these people were associates of Hunter Biden. And the ultimate goal — and the Bidens knew this — was for China to start to take ownership in all the different parts of the natural gas industry in the United States."
Earlier this month, Comer wrote the Treasury Department asking for financial records related to Hunter Biden's dealings with the Chinese, disclosing to Secretary Janet Yellen that his staff obtained a detailed business plan in Mandarin — including maps of U.S. shale gas deposits — showing the president's son used Hudson West III to create a "plan to sell American natural gas reserves to China."
Chris Clark, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, did not immediately return a call or an email seeking comment.
But in a 2019 interview with the New Yorker magazine, Hunter Biden acknowledged he pursued several energy deals for CEFC after meeting Ye for dinner in 2015. He told the magazine Ye gave him a 2.8 carat diamond as a gift after the first encounter and that one of the first deals Biden pursued was for a Louisiana LNG terminal, the same one listed in the memos obtained by Just the News.
"I was more proud of it than you can imagine," Hunter Biden told the magazine three years ago.
None of the deals in the memos obtained by Just the News appear to have been consummated, but Hunter Biden and Hudson West III received $5 million in payments from Chinese entities tied to Ye and CEFC shortly after it was formed, according to the information previously made public by Grassley, Johnson and Comer.
Though no deals were struck, Hudson West III incorporation documents show Hunter Biden was to receive a one-time $500,000 retainer payment and monthly payments of $100,000 from the firm after it was capitalized while his uncle, presidential brother James Biden, was to get $65,000 a month. Hunter Biden took the title of "co-chairman," while his Chinese business partner Gongwen Dong took the title "president."
None of the Hudson West III memos reviewed by Just the News mention Joe Biden. But Comer revealed in the letter to Yellen that one of Hunter Biden's former business associates has told Congress that the president was directly involved in the China energy deal.
"According to additional information provided by a whistleblower, Joe Biden was involved with this arrangement as a business partner, and documents reveal he even had office space to work on the deal," Comer wrote Yellen on Tuesday.
Comer provided Treasury a copy of a fall 2017 email from Hunter Biden asking that keys be made for his new Hudson West III office in Washington D.C. for his father, stepmother, uncle and his Chinese business partner in the venture.
"Please have keys made available for new office mates: Joe Biden Jill Biden Jim Biden, Gongwen Dong (Chairman Ye CEFC emissary)," Hunter Biden wrote in the email to a colleague.
A legal billing document from one of Hudson West's law firms shows that both Hunter Biden and James Biden attended meetings with lawyers and oil and gas executives pursuing the deals mentioned in the company's strategy memo.
For instance, one entry in the billing records from late 2017 referred to discussions with "petroleum groups" and noted there was a "telephone call from Hunter Biden on the Hudson West members. Hunter and the Chairman of a chinese [sic] business are members."
Another entry for billable hours referred to "business advice for fuel brokrage [sic] deal" between Hudson West III, an energy firm and "Hunter and Jim Biden."