Five stories Joe Biden told about the family business that turned out to be untrue
New evidence exposes several falsehoods -- from the ‘Russian disinformation’ laptop that wasn’t to Chinese money the First Family netted.
In a colorful exchange last week with a journalist, Joe Biden snapped when asked about recent testimony from family friend Devon Archer that the president had met and talked on the phone with his son Hunter’s business partners. “I never talked business with anybody. I knew you'd have a lousy question,” the president fired back at Fox News’ Peter Doocy.
“Why is that a lousy question?” Doocy asked.
“Because it’s not true!” Biden exclaimed.
The exchange was extraordinary, not just for its tense atmosphere, but also because the president and his surrogates have moved the goal posts after years of claiming he had never engaged with Hunter Biden’s business clients.
The change in message reflects a harsh reality: there is now significant evidence and testimony that undercuts the seminal claims Joe Biden made about his family’s overseas business to get elected in 2020 and to deflect from a burgeoning scandal since.
In the 2020 presidential debate, for instance, Biden said: "My son has not made money from China. The only guy who has made money from China was this guy," he said, directing his comments at Trump.
Those who have exposed those falsehoods say Americans should expect the story to get even darker in the coming months.
Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), who led the first comprehensive probe of Hunter Biden’s business pursuits back in 2020, told Just the News that “The mainstream media, they're not aware of the fact or they're not reporting the fact that Joe Biden lied through his teeth, repeatedly to the American public saying, ‘I never talked to Hunter about his overseas business deals.’ I mean, we've known that was a lie for years.”
“It won't surprise any of us that Joe Biden was far more involved in Hunter’s schemes, in his grifts than certainly we know at this point in time,” the senator added.
There are five claims the president and his defenders have made that now conflict with current evidence:
- Joe Biden never discussed business with his son or family.
- Joe Biden never met with his son's business partners.
- The Biden family did not get money from China.
- Hunter Biden "has done nothing wrong."
- The Hunter Biden laptop that emerged late in the 2020 election was Russian disinformation.
Here is the evidence that conflicts with the president's claims:
1. Joe Biden never discussed business with his son or family.
Then-candidate Biden made this claim at a campaign event in South Carolina in August 2019. "I have never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their business, period," he said.
He and his surrogates have held the line on it ever since, insisting the president never discussed business with his family or met with Hunter Biden’s associates.
In October 2020, Biden’s presidential campaign released the following statement: "Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever."
And after he became president in an April 2022 White House briefing, then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if Biden maintains his prior denials, especially given the contemporaneous reporting that Eric Schwerin — a Hunter Biden business associate — visited the White House several times during the Obama administration.
“And given this reporting on Eric Schwerin, does he also say that he has never spoken to his son’s business partners about his son’s business dealings?” the reporter asked.
“He maintains his same statements that he’s made in the past,” Psaki answered.
Testimony from two family friends, Rob Walker and Devon Archer, as well as evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop seized by the FBI in 2019 confirm that President Biden in fact had frequent contact with Hunter Biden’s business associates, specifically with executives from a Chinese energy company tied to the Communist party and whose top executive Patrick Ho was convicted of bribery in the United States.
Archer said the president was on his son’s phone – usually making small talk with the business partners about 20 times that he witnessed – and he attended two dinners as vice president with Hunter Biden’s business partners at the Café Milano restaurant in Washington D.C. in April 2014 and again in April 2015.
Joe Biden has contradicted his own story, acknowledging in a 2019 interview that he had in fact talked to his son about Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden's Ukraine client.
In the October 2019 interview with “New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath”, Biden said that Hunter Biden “did say at one point that it came out that he was on the board, I said, ‘I sure hope to hell you know what you’re doing.’ Period.”
2. Joe Biden never met with his son's business partners.
Among Hunter Biden's partners who attended the 2014-15 dinners with Joe Biden were Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, Kazakhstani oligarch Kenes Rakishev, and Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi—who functioned as Hunter Biden’s point of contact on the board of the Ukrainian gas company. Pozharskyi sent an email to the younger Biden thanking him for being able to meet the Vice President the next day in April 2015.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent (sic) some time together,” Pozharskyi wrote Hunter Biden.
Walker, a longtime Biden family friend and business associate, also told the FBI in an interview that Joe Biden personally attended meetings with Hunter Biden’s partners, including one with China-based CEFC Energy and its top executive, according to testimony by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, the agency’s supervisory agent for the Biden case.
“And did Rob Walker tell you that President Biden had ever showed up to a meeting with his son’s business associates?” Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) asked Shapley last month at a House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing.
“He told us that [Joe Biden] had shown up to the meetings…the witness described an instance where CEFC executives were meeting at the Four Seasons and that the subject’s father, President Biden, showed up at that meeting,” Shapley answered
“So President Biden was there physically?” the lawmaker pressed.
“That’s what the witness said, yes,” the agent answered.
Text messages released to Congress by Shapley show Hunter Biden also invoked his father in pressing CEFC to pay him millions in 2017.
“I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter Biden wrote to CEFC official Henry Zhao, according to emails and Shapley's testimony.
“Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” Hunter Biden added in the encrypted WhatsApp message. “And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, 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.”
Joe Biden recently denied he was present when his son made the threat. “No I wasn’t, and I won’t,” the president said.
But four days after Hunter Biden's pressure message, Gongwen “Kevin” Dong—another associate of CEFC—sent Hunter Biden a text message that acknowledged Joe Biden. Kevin Dong relayed that the director sent “His best regards to [Hunter], Jim and VP,” a direct reference to Joe Biden, according to the records Shapley submitted to Congress.
Biden partner Walker also confirmed to the FBI that at least one Biden business partner had considered giving Joe Biden a stake in the Chinese energy deal if he didn’t run for president. He gave the answer when asked about an email by the partner suggesting that 10% of the deal had already been set aside for Joe Biden through Hunter.
Walker told agents on Dec. 8, 2020: “I think that maybe James was wishful thinking or maybe he was just projecting that, you know, if this was a good relationship and this was something that was going to happen, the VP was never going to run [for president], just protecting that, you know, maybe at some point he would be a piece of it, but he was more just, you know — it looks terrible, but it’s not. I certainly never was thinking at any time the VP was a part of anything we were doing.”
An FBI informant's report from June 2020 also claims that Joe and Hunter Biden coerced Burisma into paying them $10 million in return for helping the energy firm deal with a Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whom Joe Biden would later pressure Ukraine to fire by withholding $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. It is unclear what the FBI has done to investigate the claim, though the bureau says the allegation is still under investigation. Biden publicly bragged about the firing, but his supporters insist that the pressure was applied not to help his son, but because Shokin wasn't pursuing corruption among the country's politicians.
3. The Biden family did not get money from China.
"My son has not made money in terms of this thing about — what are you talking about — China. I have not had it," Biden declared during an October 2019 debate with then President Donald Trump. He has maintained the claim for years afterwards that his family never received money from China.
Bank records released by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer directly contradict that claim, showing millions of dollars flowing from China to the Biden family, including a $3 million payment that was then broken up with $1.3 million going into family member coffers.
As previously reported by Just the News, in 2017, Hunter Biden received $1 million from “a company he formed with the CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate,” according to the agreement. The next year, he would receive even more: $2.6 million from the same source.
These payments came from CEFC China, the energy company headed by Ye Jianming, who had ties so close to the Chinese Communist Party that CNN noted "it was often hard to distinguish between the two." CEFC also had received funding from the state-owned China Development Bank. Sen. Charles Grassley, in a letter to then-Attorney General Barr, stated that CEFC’s company mission was “[t]o expand cooperation in the international energy economy and contribute to the national development” in China’s interest.
4. Hunter Biden has “done nothing wrong.”
Hunter Biden’s own failed plea agreement with prosecutors also directly contradicts his father’s claim, wherein Hunter was prepared to admit receiving millions of dollars in China-linked payments in 2017-18 alone.
The president has repeatedly defended his son over the years, as recently as June when he told MSNBC: “First of all, my son's done nothing wrong. I trust him. I have faith in him. And it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him."
But Hunter Biden has -- at least once -- admitted he needs to take responsibility for cheating on his taxes. He had agreed to plead guilty in July in Delaware federal court to two misdemeanor charges alleging he intentionally failed to pay taxes on millions in income in 2017-18 alone. Under the deal, he would have been spared prison time on a charge of lying on a federal gun background check form.
That deal has since fallen through, and Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty on July 26. Prosecutors now plan to prosecute the first son in federal court, according to a new filing filed Friday.
The IRS whistleblower, as well as evidence first reported by Just the News from the Hunter Biden laptop, show Joe Biden’s son failed to pay taxes on $400,000 in income in 2014 from his job at Burisma in Ukraine. Prosecutors let the statute of limitations expire on that alleged crime, according to Shapley.
5. The Hunter Biden laptop was "Russian disinformation."
Joe Biden claimed during his last debate with Donald Trump in 2020 that Hunter Biden’s laptop -- abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop -- was a fake and part of a Russian disinformation campaign, citing a letter signed by 51 intelligence experts that made the claim.
“Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said that this has all the characteristics — four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage,” Joe Biden said.
But that claim has since been debunked.
Documents first published by Just the News show the letter from 51 intelligence experts was actually arranged by former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell at the instigation of Joe Biden’s campaign and was not based on any evidence of Russian operations. Morell acknowledged he organized the letter simply to give Joe Biden a talking point at the debate.
Evidence that Shapley gave Congress also shows the FBI had authenticated the laptop in late 2019 and again in early 2020, well before the letter was released.
“We have no reason to believe there is anything fabricated nefariously on the computer and or hard drive,” stated a contemporaneous memo from 2020 summarizing the FBI’s authentication efforts. “There are emails and other items that corroborate the items on the laptop and hard drive."