Text messages given to FBI: Chinese wanted Biden family name to help acquire U.S. energy assets

“They will be the Goldmans of China,” one of Hunter Biden’s business associated boasted about the relationship with CEFC.

Published: August 3, 2023 8:46pm

Updated: August 4, 2023 9:06am

Text messages provided to the FBI show that a Chinese energy conglomerate that struck a controversial deal in 2017 with Hunter Biden began its pursuit of a relationship with the future first family back in late 2015 when Joe Biden was still vice president, hoping to seize on the name of one of America’s most famous political dynasties to provide cover for its ambitious plan to buy up energy assets inside the United States.

“There will be a deal between one of the most prominent families from US and them (China) constructed by me,” Hunter Biden's business partner James Gilliar texted future partner Tony Bobulinski on Christmas Eve 2015, shortly after Hunter Biden had been alerted to CEFC China Energy's overture and its wealthy leader Ye Jianming.

“I think this will then be a great addition to their portfolios as it will give them a profile base in NYC, then LA, etc,” Gilliar added in the text message obtained by Just the News. “For me it's a no brainer but culturally they are different, but smart so let’s see. … Any entry ticket is small for them. Easier and better demographic than Arabs who are little anti US after trump,” Gilliar wrote.

You can view that text message here:

The text messages obtained by Just the News provide fresh evidence that the Biden family name and "influence" were key to foreign clients like CEFC in communist China.

It also corroborates bombshell testimony earlier this week to Congress from another of Hunter Biden's business partners Devon Archer, who claim Hunter Biden and Joe Biden came as a "brand" package to help foreign clients seeking influence.

The courtship between the Chinese energy firm and Hunter Biden started slowly, according to the text messages and separate emails from a Hunter Biden laptop the FBI seized in December 2019.

Hunter Biden didn’t connect with Ye for a planned dinner in Washington D.C. on Dec. 6, 2015 that was going to be hosted by Serbian businessman named Vuc Jeremic, according to the emails and news reports.

But the vice presidential son did meet later that month with CEFC Executive Director Jianjun Zang, according to Hunter Biden's schedules on his now-infamous laptop.

By mid-March 2016 – 10 months before Joe Biden would leave office – the discussions had advanced far enough that two of Hunter Biden's business partners, Rob Walker and Gilliar, had drafted a memo for Hunter Biden to sign and send to CEFC, according to an email on Hunter Biden’s laptop entitled “H to Zang Draft.”

“Take a look and let me know.  Very simple.  Once ok'd.  I'll send to Joan to sign?” Walker wrote Hunter Biden.

“Yes,” Hunter Biden replied.

Over the next two years, the Chinese energy deal would evolve into some of the most infamous moments of the Biden family scandals that were becoming publicly known from the Hunter's abandoned laptop and the reporting of news organizations ranging from The Washington Post to the New York Post. Those include:

  • Ye would meet with Hunter Biden and gift him with a 3-carat diamond mto the future first son in February 2017.
  • Joe Biden also met with CEFC officials, according to an FBI interview report of Rob Walker made public by IRS whistleblowers in their testimony to Congress
  • Emails from Bobulinski would reference a deal involving “the big guy” and a possible 10 percent share of the deal for Joe Biden.
  • Hunter Biden would send a stinging message to a CEFC executive demanding payment in summer 2017, even suggesting that his father was standing beside him as he sent the angry message.
  • Hunter Biden would set up an office in Washington DC for the venture and ask that keys be made for his father, mother and uncle as well as one of the CEFC “emissaries” from China.

By summer of 2017, Hunter Biden had met directly with Ye in Miami and sent a letter consummating plans to raise up to $500 million for energy asset purchases in target countries. You can read that letter here:

Hunter Biden and his family members would score millions in payments for consulting and in attorney's fees from the relationship even though none of the energy deals pursued by CEFC in the United States ever closed, according to the laptop documents and bank records released by Congress.

CEFC was a leading edge of China's "Silk and Belt Roads Initiative" to acquire energy assets across the globe. Ye's official biography bragged about his links to the Chinese communist government and military, saying he served as deputy secretary of the China Association for International Friendly Contact, identified as a front for China's military in a 2011 U.S. congressional report.

In the end, the CEFC relationship fell apart as Ye was reportedly was placed under house arrest in his home country and Patrick Ho, one of the Chinese CEFC executives sent to the United States was arrested by the FBI and convicted of bribery and money laundering in the United States. Hunter Biden was never accused of wrongdoing in that case though he was paid nearly $1 million in a legal retainer to help Ho’s defense, according to documents on his laptop and federal court records.

The 2015-17 text messages between Hunter Biden and his partners, which have received little public scrutiny, outline the earliest overtures from CEFC and give the clearest indication of what China hoped to gain from the Biden association: both "influence" and a trusted family name that would lend credence to China’s ambitions to enter the U.S. energy market and buy both American and Western energy assets without creating suspicion.

“Still closing the perimeters of ops with the Chinese, will know Thursday if we are driving U.S. investments,” Gilliar wrote to Bobulinski in a May 2016 text message on an encrypted messaging app, suggesting things might be “still a little premature.”

“You got anyone big in oil?” Gilliar asked. “We will participate in a big purchase of upstream assets in Europe? Bargain. Sorry downstream, not awake.”

Soon other potential Biden-related deals intersected with CEFC, including one involving a Romanian businessman named Gabriel Popoviciu, the text messages and emails show.

“I brought him to h,” Gilliar would text Bobulinski on May 20, 2017 about a contact between the Romanian figure and Hunter Biden, who apparently was referred to by his first initial.

“Chinese will do quick to finance relationship with b.” he added, apparently referring to the Biden name by its first initials. “There are several angles to discuss face to face.”

Time and again, the messages accentuated the value of the Biden name to the Chinese and other foreigners. “What is the deal in Romania and how does the B influence relative there,” one message would ask.

“B influence will mean Zang does deal,” the answer came back.

Gilliar did not return a phone call or text message seeking comment on Thursday.

The messages were among a trove provided by Bobulinski to FBI agents two years ago and to Congress more recently, according to interviews.

Their sentiments provide further substantiation to testimony a different Hunter Biden business partner – Devon Archer – provided Congress earlier this week when he said Hunter Biden functioned as a “lobbyist” who used the “brand” of the Biden name to score foreign business deals and access to his father through dinners and phone calls to impress clients, Bobulinski told Just the News on Thursday.

“I want to thank all the recent witnesses who have been willing to come out on record and tell the truth about Biden family corruption. I would encourage the American people to go back and review all the facts I detailed in 2020,” Bobulinski said.  “Joe Biden IS the Big Guy! CEFC, Chairman Ye and Director Zang were 100% focused, starting in 2015 while Joe was VP, on leveraging Joe Biden and the power his position and name wielded around the world to benefit the CCP and China. Focus on the facts.”

Congressional investigators are still tracking how much the CEFC relationship meant to the Biden family in total dollars. Congressional investigators have put estimates as high as $7 million from various Chinese accounts.

Federal court documents filed this week in Delaware -- where Hunter Biden was charged with tax and gun offenses in a bungled plea deal that fell apart -- give a glimpse: prosecutors alleged Hunter Biden was paid $664,000 in 2017 from one Chinese deal, and a $1 million legal retainer fee from Ho in 2018. A separate Chinese deal scored Hunter Biden $2.6 million in 2018 alone, prosecutors told the court.

In the 2020 presidential debate, then-candidate Biden said emphatically that "Nothing was unethical. … My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China. I have not had … the only guy who made money from China is this guy [Donald Trump]. He’s the only one. Nobody else has made money from China.”
The text messages also renew concerns that Hunter Biden may have had an obligation to register as a foreign lobbyist under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, a question that Sen. Charles Grassley first raised back in 2020 that the Justice Department has never answered. 
“Based on the information acquired to date, CEFC was controlled by a foreign government, received financial support therefrom, and may have engaged in activity to influence the U.S. Government and public for the benefit of the communist Chinese government,” Grassley wrote back then.  “Accordingly, the actions by Hunter Biden and James Biden on behalf of CEFC, Ye Jianming, and other officers connected to CEFC, potentially make them agents of the Chinese government for purposes of longstanding public disclosure laws.  The American public deserves to know when foreign entities are operating in and attempting to influence U.S. policy and public opinion.”

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