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Impeachment witness struggled to define Hunter Biden’s value to Chinese company

Mervyn Yan helped facilitate payments from a joint venture with Chinese company CEFC to both Hunter and James Biden, but couldn't define the value received.

Published: February 8, 2024 12:30pm

Updated: February 8, 2024 12:57pm

In a newly released transcript from the House Oversight Committee, impeachment witness Mervyn Yan could not define what value Hunter Biden provided to a joint venture he had established with a Chinese energy company.

Yan, worked as an “independent contractor” for CEFC China Energy (CEFC) also told investigators how he wired Hunter and James Biden monthly salaries despite their failure to secure any infrastructure projects for Hudson West III, the joint venture between Hunter Biden and CEFC, according to the transcript reviewed by Just the News.

At the time, CEFC was headed by the enigmatic Ye Jianming, a wealthy Chinese businessman who rose from relative obscurity and had connections to the Chinese Communist Party and government. Ultimately, Ye disappeared in China in late 2017 or early 2018 after he reportedly came under suspicion of the Chinese authorities. His legal status is yet to be confirmed.

In total, Hunter Biden received over $5 million from CEFC and CEFC-connected entities during their partnership. Yan helped manage some of these funds through Hudson West III, which was funded directly by CEFC.

Congressional investigators, who were trying to determine the compensation structure for the Biden’s from the CEFC entities, asked Yan what value Hunter Biden brought to the table for the company.

“And then what did you think Hunter Biden brought to the table?” an investigator asked. “I don’t know,” Yan answered. Later, Yan told the investigators that what Hunter Biden was meant to connect CEFC with “infrastructure investment projects in the United States.”

“So you bring [Hunter Biden] in, and I am just asking what expertise did you perceive he was bringing to the arrangements?” the investigators asked. “It was the transactions,” Yan answered, referring to the potential projects.

One of those investment projects was the Monkey Island LNG terminal in Louisiana. In an interview with the FBI as part of the wide-ranging probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes, James Biden told investigators that he and his nephew worked to secure a CEFC investment in the natural gas facility. The investments in the project never materialized.

In his interview, Yan confirmed to investigators that none of the five energy deals Hudson West III attempted during his time at the company ever succeeded, despite Hunter Biden being responsible for helping to secure those deals.

“[Hudson West III] in 2017 appears to have tried to land five different energy deals. Is that -- do I have that correct?” the investigators asked. “That’s right. Five of them actually on paper,” Yan answered. “But none of them materialized, meaning none of the deals actually happened, correct?” the investigators followed up. “That’s correct,” Yan said.

Despite the apparent failure of Hudson West III to actually invest in any American infrastructure projects, Yan told the committee staff that he continued to transfer substantial monthly salaries to both Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden in 2017, 2018, and beyond.

“What was your understanding that Hunter Biden was going to get this $100,000 a month for? What was the basis for giving him $100,000 month? So it is $1.2 million year,” the investigators asked. “In my understanding, reading the statement, this is just a draw; it is just a draw from the initial operating budget. That's -- that's it. I don't determine the numbers,” Yan answered.

“If you did a lot of work, if you pulled in 10 deals, he was going to get $100,000 a month. If he did no work and sat at home, he was still going to get the money?” the investigators asked later. “That's in the statement, yes -- that's in the joint venture agreement,” Yan said.

Yan also confirmed a previous report from Senate investigators that James Biden and his wife, Sara Biden, along with their nephew Hunter, received credit cards from Hudson West LLC, though Yan claimed to have no knowledge of what the Bidens spent.

A 2020 Senate investigation by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson produced a report, “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns,” which first identified the Bidens’ use of the company credit cards.

After Hudson West III was formed, CEFC representative Gongwen Dong and Hunter Biden applied to a bank to open a line of credit under the company’s name, according to documents reviewed by Senate investigators.

Hunter, James and Sara Biden became authorized users of several credit cards. The Bidens then used these cards to “purchase $101,291.46 worth of extravagant items, including airline tickets and multiple items at Apple Inc. stores, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants,” according to the Senate report.

The credit cards were collateralized by funds directly from Hudson West III, which came directly from CEFC China Energy. Additionally, the transactions were flagged as suspicious by U.S. authorities, according to the report.

Rob Walker, another Biden associate turned impeachment witness, recently confirmed key aspects of Hunter Biden’s relationship with CEFC, including the financial benefits he was directed to provide to James and Sarah Biden as well as at least one meeting between then-Vice President Biden and the Chairman of CEFC Ye Jianming.

Yan told the committee that he never met or contacted Joe Biden and did not believe that he ever benefited from his son’s arrangements with CEFC through Hudson West III. Democrats have argued because this lack of evidence connecting Joe Biden directly to his son’s business dealings, the impeachment lacks foundation.

In a press release, Democratic Ranking Member Jamie Raskin of the Oversight Committee called Chairman Comer’s work "a clueless investigation — that even House Republicans are calling a ‘parade of embarrassments’ and ‘a disaster." Raskin, who has railed against the investigation in defense of the Bidens, continued to say "Mervyn Yan testified to the Committee today that he has no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and that, to his knowledge, President Biden was not involved in, did not profit from, and took no official actions in relation to his family’s business dealings.” 

“Further undercutting Republicans’ lies about President Biden, Mr. Yan testified that he never once did business with or had any personal or professional communication with President Biden,” Raskin continued. In June of last year, Raskin claimed that prosecutors "shut down an investigation into allegations that Joe Biden engaged in a bribery scheme while vice president." That turned out to be inaccurate.

Oversight Chairman Comer believes the information that Yan confirmed will provide the foundation for interviews with future impeachment witnesses. “Mervyn Yan admitted on the record the Bidens had no experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors and was not sure what they brought to the table. His testimony raises many questions about the Bidens’ dealings with the Chinese government linked energy firm and we hope to learn more tomorrow from Rob Walker, another Biden family associate,” Comer said in late January after Yan’s interview.

Next week, Tony Bobulinski, another Biden associate with a front row seat to Hunter’s initial relationship with CEFC and its Chairman Ye Jianming, is set to appear for a closed door interview with the committee. The following week, the president's brother, James Biden is scheduled to appear for an interview.

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