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Hunter Biden friend tells Congress how first family’s name scored Chinese deal worth millions

The first son “had an interesting last name that would probably get people in the door,” Rob Walker told lawmakers.

Published: February 13, 2024 4:57am

Updated: February 13, 2024 2:29pm

The Biden family name was so key to scoring a Chinese energy deal that partners drafted a letter in Hunter’s name to get things started and scored their first big multimillion dollar payment after Joe met with the principals, a former business partner told Congress in explosive new impeachment inquiry testimony.

“He had an interesting last name that would probably get people in the door,” Robinson “Rob” Walker told House lawmakers when asked why Hunter Biden was at the table for the start of a deal with CEFC China Energy that began in late 2015 and carried through late 2017.

Walker, a longtime Hunter Biden friend, is one of the key family insiders to assist both the FBI and IRS investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes and now the congressional inquiry considering impeaching President Joe Biden.

Walker confirmed to lawmakers that the Chinese deal with Hunter Biden began while his father was still vice president but the monies paid to the Biden family did not start flowing until after Joe Biden left office in 2017.

In a transcribed interview last week with the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee that was reviewed by Just the News, Walker described how he met Hunter Biden in the 1990s while both worked inside the Clinton administration, how he recommended jettisoning the future first son from one business venture for suspected cocaine use and how he had a falling out with him when the future Hunter Biden declined to pay back a $50,000 personal loan.

And while Walker said Joe Biden didn’t directly participate in the daily business operations of his son, his family name was important to deals from China to Romania as was Hunter’s proximity to a sitting U.S. vice president.

Walker confirmed that a year or so after Hunter Biden and his partners began arranging a lucrative consulting deal with CEFC, Joe Biden attended a meeting in early 2017 in Washington D.C. right after he stepped down as vice president with about nine principals of the Chinese energy firm, including the company’s chairman Ye Jianming.        

Joe Biden has steadfastly insisted since the 2020 election campaign that he had nothing to do with his son’s Chinese business deals and that his family never received any money from China.

The impeachment inquiry has produced evidence to contradict both claims, and Walker added to that evidence with his recounting of the Chinese energy meeting in a Washington D.C. hotel in early 2017.

“The former Vice President was not there the entire time. He was there maybe 10 minutes,” Walker recounted under questioning from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. 

“Did he speak? Did he give a little presentation?” Jordan asked.

“He spoke nice, you know, normal pleasantries. I think he probably did most of the talking and then left,” Walker answered

“And he addressed the entire group?” the lawmaker pressed.

“Yes,” Walker responded.

Walker laid out how he, Hunter Biden and another business partner named James Gilliar met in Miami with CEFC officials in February 2017, right after Joe Biden left office and Donald Trump became president.

The goal of that meeting was to discuss formalizing a deal with one of CEFC’s affiliates called State Energy HK. Several days after the Miami gathering, the luncheon that Joe Biden attended was held in Washington at the Four Seasons hotel.

And shortly after that lunch, CEFC paid Walker’s company, called Robinson Walker LLC, $3 million in the first money from the deal, according to Walker's testimony.

Hunter Biden would direct about $1 million of that money to himself and various family members. Walker said Hunter Biden asked him to break his $1 million share into smaller sums between $5,000 and $50,000 and distribute it to various accounts including those belonging to his uncle, James Biden, and Hunter Biden’s then-girlfriend, Hallie Biden, the wife of his late brother Beau.

“Why not just send him the $1,065,000 that he was owed at that point?” Walker was asked.

“I don’t recall specifically. But the way I viewed it at the time, it was his money, and that’s how he wanted it,” Walker answered.

Several times Walker confirmed that the Biden family name was key to the Chinese and other deals.

For instance as the CEFC deal was heating up in early 2016 while Joe Biden was still vice president, Walker said the business partners drafted a letter to a top CEFC official named Director Zang from Hunter Biden on Hunter Biden’s stationary.

According to the transcribed interview, the letter read in part: "I hope this letter finds you well. We anticipate working together on a number of opportunities in the US and abroad. I believe we have presented a collection of projects that parallel the interests of you and your team and we look forward to discussing them in detail. As we await your next visit to the United States, please continue to coordinate all matters with my confidant and trusted advisor, James Gilliar." 

When asked why the letter was put in Hunter Biden’s name, Walker answered: “I think what is common with U.S. companies working with individuals abroad, those individuals tend to -- they don't -- they aren't taken seriously unless they have a calling card like this or something that says that they represent. So if -- you wouldn't -- this is just normal, customary business practice

“But why use Hunter Biden to send the letter instead of Rob Walker or James Gilliar, especially if James Gilliar had the original relationship? “ a congressional investigator asked.

“Hunter in our relationship was -- everybody had different roles. He was the one that I imagine Zang would expect it to come from,” Walker answered. 

“Is it because he was the son of the Vice President at the time?” the investigator pressed. 

“Well, I think in Zang's eyes -- that I worked for Hunter and that James worked for us or for Hunter, and so that would be -- he was viewed as the principal of this organization by Zang, “ Walker answered. 

“And that's because of his last name?” 

“I can't answer for Zang, but, sure, he had an interesting last name that would probably get people in the door,” Walker responded.

Walker also relayed to congressional investigators the tale of how Hunter Biden scored $60,000 of a $180,000 monthly payment from a Romanian oligarch in legal trouble in his own country named Gabriel Popoviciu. Hunter Biden's share of the money was just for setting up a single meeting with former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Walker suggested Freeh eventually helped the foreign businessman clear his name.

“Hunter brought in Louis Freeh.  And, in our initial meeting, Judge Freeh made it real clear that he didn't want to have anything to do with this and he was just listening because Hunter had brought him in,” Walker related. “And so bringing the former FBI director into the case to help Gabriel, I think, was kind of a big deal

“I can't talk about Gabriel's feelings, but my -- I would imagine he's a pretty thrilled person because he is -- has been exonerated, and I think Louis Freeh was working with him until just a few months ago,” Walker added.

“Did Hunter Biden do anything else on this representation?” Walker was asked.

“No, but he was a very good person at strategy, was really good at talking to Gabriel about what was happening, not what would he -- what he was doing, but what people should be touched, whether it was by me or by Judge Freeh,” he answered.

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