Smoking guns: Joe Biden referred business and mingled finances with son Hunter, messages show
Joe Biden asked son Hunter about "future earnings potential" in messages that conflict with Democrats' earlier portrayals of first family's financial affairs.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- pay some of his bills
- longtime Joe Biden donor
- Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends
- named after the Heinz family's Rosemont Farm
- registered in August 2008
- billion-dollar construction contract in Iraq
- millions of dollars
- visitor logs
- met with Joe Biden
- invited a bevy of foreign oligarchs
- Russians did not attend
- the Garden Room meeting
- Drill Down with Peter Schweizer
President Joe Biden was more involved in Hunter Biden's financial and business dealings than previously acknowledged, allowing his son to pay some of his bills, diverting one of his tax refunds to his son, rubbing elbows with the first son's foreign clients and even directly referring a friend who wanted to "do some work" with his son, according to email and text messages reviewed by Just the News.
Jeff Cooper "asked for you," Joe Biden texted his son, sending along the phone number of a well-to-do trial lawyer and longtime Joe Biden donor. "Wants to do some work with you. Love Dad."
The summer 2018 message is one of the clearest pieces of evidence gathered by FBI and congressional investigators that Joe Biden was not simply a passive bystander in his son's globe-trotting business pursuits, but rather at times assisting and benefiting financially, the messages show.
For instance, a string of spring and summer 2010 emails show Hunter Biden and a partner at his Rosemont Seneca firm assisted the White House with documents for Joe Biden's tax returns after his first year in office. Afterwards, they chose to divert the then-vice president's Delaware state tax refund to Hunter Biden to pay off money the father owed his son, the emails state.
"I am depositing it in his account and writing a check in that amount back to you since he owes it to you," Rosemont Seneca official Eric Schwerin wrote in June 2010 about Joe Biden's tax refund. "Don't think I need to run it by him, but if you want to go ahead."
Another Schwerin email a month later entitled "JRB bills" — using the future president's initials— listed a series of expenses from Joe Biden's lakefront home in Wilmington, Del., that Hunter Biden had paid.
They included $1,239 of air conditioner repairs at "mom-mom's cottage," and another $1,475 to paint the "back wall and columns at the lake house." There was $475 "for shutters" and $2,600 for building or repairing a "stone retaining wall at the lake."
Other emails suggested Joe Biden — often referred to as "Pop," the "big guy," and "my chairman" in sensitive communications — was looking to Hunter Biden and Schwerin to find him riches for when he left office.
Since Peter Schweizer's blockbuster 2018 book "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends," there have been hints that Hunter Biden was providing a cut of his business to his father in the Obama White House and afterwards.
An infamous 2017 email, for example, suggested 10% of a major Chinese deal was being reserved by Hunter for the "big guy," and a wandering text message Hunter Biden sent his daughter Naomi complained that "unlike pop, I won't make you give me half your salary."
But Just the News and the Government Accountability Institute reviewed 100,000-plus email and text messages on the laptop that Hunter Biden abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware (later seized by the FBI) as well as bank records and memos obtained under FOIA, by the FBI in other court cases, or voluntarily shared by two of Hunter Biden's estranged business partners.
Those messages contain several references suggesting Joe and Hunter Biden at times commingled finances and business affairs.
Shortly after Joe Biden had been sworn in as vice president in 2009, Hunter Biden joined forces with two of his close friends from Yale: Devon Archer and Christopher Heinz (stepson of then-Senator and future Secretary of State John Kerry).
Heinz and Archer effectively merged the Heinz business, Rosemont Capital (named after the Heinz family's Rosemont Farm in Pennsylvania), with Hunter Biden's Seneca Global Advisors (registered in August 2008 by longtime Biden associate Eric Schwerin and named, like other Biden businesses, after one of the finger lakes in upstate New York).
Rosemont Capital formed the “trunk” of the Biden-Archer-Heinz business tree. Soon, there were Rosemont Seneca branches springing out globally in every direction: Rosemont Realty, Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners, Rosemont Seneca Bohai, and Rosemont Seneca Thornton, to name a few.
With these entities in place, Joe Biden's brother James and son Hunter were able to cash in with foreign interests in regions of the world where the elder Biden held substantial sway.
James Biden, for example, landed a billion-dollar construction contract in Iraq while the vice president oversaw the U.S. military occupation there. Hunter Biden (along with Devon Archer) scored "millions of dollars" from the corrupt Ukrainian oil and gas company, Burisma, coinciding with Joe Biden's "point man" appointment in the region.
Neither Hunter Biden nor James Biden had any experience in Ukrainian energy or Iraqi construction, respectively. So why were they hired?
A lawyer for Hunter Biden declined to return repeated messages seeking comment.
Joe Biden has claimed he never discussed his son's business dealings and insinuated he never met with his son's business partners. But messages and documents conflict with that portrayal, showing Joe Biden referred potential work from the likes of Jeff Cooper to Hunter Biden and also met with his son's foreign business partners on numerous occasions.
Cooper is longtime Joe Biden donor and trial lawyer who worked with Beau Biden's firm in Delaware on asbestos litigation dating back to 2005. From 2012 to 2014, Hunter Biden was listed as a manager of Cooper's Eudora Global, LLC.
Just the News reached out to Cooper for comment but he did not immediately return calls.
In a 2011 email, Hunter Biden's business partners discussed cultivating relationships with a wealthy group of Chinese entrepreneurs that one associate described as "China Inc." as part of a "new push on soft diplomacy for the Chinese." The "China Inc." entrepreneurs were desperate to get a meeting at the White House.
It appears Devon Archer or Hunter Biden was able to deliver and 30 members of the Chinese Entrepreneurs Club (CEC) indeed visited the White House on Nov. 14, 2011, according to White House visitor logs. But those logs fail to disclose precisely whom the Chinese entrepreneurs met with: Vice President Joe Biden himself.
A trip itinerary posted by the CEC indicates the delegation met with Obama's then-recently-confirmed Commerce Secretary John Bryson but, like the visitor log, makes no mention of a meeting with the vice president. But Joe Biden did meet with his son's associates. The secret meeting was revealed in an obscure document by one of the founders of the CEC.
In December 2013, Hunter Biden flew to Beijing with his father aboard Air Force Two for the latter's official visit with Chinese Communist Party leaders. While the vice president was there on official business, the second son was there to line up a billion-dollar private equity deal with the Chinese. Hunter Biden admits that Joe Biden met with his Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li, in the lobby of a Chinese hotel.
In April 2014, Hunter Biden's closest business partner, Devon Archer, met with Joe Biden in the White House. It is not clear what they discussed, but the meeting did take place, according to the Obama administration's Secret Service WAVES visitor logs. The meeting took place on the same day that Ukraine-based Burisma Holdings wired the first payment (totaling over $100,000) to the Rosemont Seneca Bohai account, which served as a clearinghouse for much of Hunter Biden's and Archer's foreign income.
In spring 2015, Hunter Biden invited a bevy of foreign oligarchs, including the former mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov and his billionaire wife Elena Baturina, to dinner at the Cafe Milano in Washington D.C. Hunter also invited a Burisma representative named Vadym Pozharskyi and several Kazakh oligarchs.
The Russians did not attend, but the Kazakhs and the Ukrainian did and were able to meet with Vice President Joe Biden in the venue's secluded “Garden Room.” As with other Joe Biden meetings with Hunter Biden's foreign business associates, the Garden Room meeting was conveniently not disclosed on Joe Biden's official schedule.
And in February 2016, Hunter sent an angry email to the grandson of a former Mexican president stating, "I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F'ing White House and the Vice President's house and the inauguration and then you go completely silent — I don't hear from you for months." Hunter Biden was furious that he had "delivered on every single thing" the Mexican oligarch had ever asked without reciprocation.
On March 19, 2010, the vice president's counsel emailed Hunter Biden and Eric Schwerin to “check in” on a number of issues relating to Joe Biden's taxes. A bullet point reading "2008 Tax Audit Letter" indicated that a case needed to be made to the IRS that the "VP was not required to pay self-employment tax."
The email raises questions, including: Why would the vice president's counsel be asking Hunter Biden and his business partner for help with Joe Biden's tax "issues?"
Ten days later, Eric Schwerin emailed the Senate "Disbursing" office seeking to change Joe Biden's "state of withholding" IRS status. Hunter's business partner sent the emails from his Rosemont Seneca Partners private email account. A few months later, in June 2010, Schwerin wrote that he was depositing Joe Biden's state income tax refund check into Joe Biden's account and then writing a check to Hunter Biden for the full refund amount, telling the vice president's son, "he owes it to you."
According to his public tax returns, Joe Biden paid $17,718 in state and local income taxes in the preceding year, 2009; it is unclear how much of that was refunded and deposited into Hunter's account.
Less than one month after passing along Joe Biden's tax refund to Hunter Biden, Schwerin worked with Hunter Biden on a plan titled "JRB Future Memo" outlining ways for Joe Biden to make more money once he left the White House.
Schwerin asked Hunter Biden, "Does it make sense to see if your Dad has some time in the next couple of weeks while you are in DC to talk about it?"
"Your Dad just called me (about his mortgage)," Schwerin wrote, "and mentioned he'd be out a lot soon and not really back until Labor Day so it dawned on me it might be a good time [to meet with Joe Biden about the memo] (also he could use some news about his future earnings potential!)."
Why was Joe Biden calling Schwerin about his mortgage? And why was Hunter Biden's business partner and the manager of his LLCs handling Joe Biden's taxes and preparing memos about "future earnings potential" barely a year and a half into the vice president's first term?
The emails about Joe Biden's mortgage, taxes, and future earnings potential are hardly the only evidence that the vice president and his son were commingling finances.
Even before Joe Biden was elected vice president in 2008, Hunter was paying for the then-senator's personal cell phone. In a 2018 text message conversation with his secretary, Hunter wrote, "My dad has been using most [phone] lines on this [AT&T] account which I've through the gracious offerings of Eric [Schwerin] have paid for past 11 years."
Using conservative estimates based on the costs outlined in Hunter Biden's emails, covering Joe Biden's $190-per-month AT&T bill for eleven years amounts to approximately $25,000 in direct financial benefits to a sitting politician. The undisclosed gift total surpasses $30,000 when the home repairs are included.
When Joe Biden left office in 2017, he had much more financial freedom, as he no longer had to disclose his financial interests. The Chinese intelligence-linked company CEFC China Energy waited until February 2017 — weeks after Joe Biden returned to the private sector (for the first time in decades) — to begin enriching the Biden family for deals struck between 2015 and 2016.
The Bidens' CEFC dealings resulted in a nearly $6 million windfall (and a three-carat diamond) that went directly into Hunter and James Biden, according to the emails and evidence Senate investigators published. Just as Joe Biden was leaving the White House, CEFC was beginning to offer the Bidens big money (including a proposed 10% "held by H[unter]" earmarked for the "Big Guy").
Hunter Biden finally decided to stop paying his dad's cell phone bill because, as one email indicates, "he [Joe Biden] wants to start paying it."
By 2019, the emails show, the cash flow had reversed with Joe Biden making a commitment to pay off his drug-addicted son's bills, according to one poignant message.
"Hello VP team," Hunter Biden's assistant wrote to two of Joe Biden's staffers in January 2019. "I spoke with Hunter today regarding his bills," the email stated, revealing that the former vice president would "cover these bills in the short-term as Hunter transitions in his career."
The emails, memos, and other documents raise many questions in the shadows of a U.S. attorney's investigation in Delaware focused on Hunter Biden's business dealings.
But perhaps it really is as simple as this explicit text message:
“I Hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family [for] 30 years," Hunter Biden texted his daughter in January 2019. "It's really hard. But don't worry, unlike Pop, I won't make you give me half your salary."
Hunter Biden and his business associates also took note one time when his father talked about wanting a son who could enrich the family.
"Extra Bonus Quote of the Day," Schwerin wrote Hunter Biden in July 2014, citing a media report of the vice president's comment.
"'I should have one Republican kid who'd grow up to make money.' - Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by WLWT, when talking about the professional choices made by his children," the email added.
Seamus Bruner is Director of Research at the Government Accountability Institute, which produces investigations at the Drill Down with Peter Schweizer.