Emails reveal plans by Hunter Biden, associates to conquer a turbulent world ... for money
Evidence in FBI hands shows Biden called Italian region president, lobbied French ambassador, and targeted sovereign wealth funds
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
The world was on fire in February 2014, and Joe Biden was President Obama's point man for many of the crises. Russia had shocked the West by invading the Crimean region of Ukraine. Syria was engulfed in a bloody civil war with ISIS. And Iraq was rocked by a wave of terrorist bombings that killed more than 100 civilians.
Hunter Biden, the vice president's son, and his colleagues at Rosemont Seneca Partners and related businesses found it the perfect time to conquer a turbulent world for more business, according to emails on a Hunter Biden laptop hard drive seized by the FBI in December 2019 from a Delaware repair shop.
One of their plans was to target the sovereign wealth funds of America's richest allies, from Eastern Europe to the Middle East.
"I've been researching sovereign wealth funds lately in hopes of coming up with a plan to add another large manager (multi-billion dollar fund) to RSPI's platform, without over-relying on the Taft Hartley channel," Daniel McHale, the RSP Investments managing director, wrote Hunter Biden and a colleague named Eric Schwerin in an email dated Feb. 3, 2014. RSP Investments was the broker arm of the Rosemont Seneca empire that Hunter Biden helped engineer.
"I think this would provide us additional near-term cash flow while increasing the odds of landing a large allocation," McHale added. "Also, similar to Taft Hartley funds, it's a segment of the market where we could have a definable edge."
The email attached a "list of the largest sovereign wealth funds" in the world with a combined wealth of more than $3 trillion, from China and Russia to Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar.
Schwerin wrote back setting up a meeting to advance the plan, while cautioning that Hunter Biden did not have the sort of financial broker's license that could directly work with the sovereign wealth funds.
"Let's you and I set up a call to talk about outreach of sovereign wealth funds," Schwerin wrote. "As you know, since Hunter isn't licensed he can't do any direct marketing to any of these funds on behalf of RSPI. I'll call you later and we can discuss further."
The email is one of thousands that lay out the audacious ambition of Hunter Biden and his business colleagues to cash in on the Biden name by approaching foreign countries, governments and businesses even as the younger Biden's father was Obama's point man for a significant part of the nation's foreign policy.
Hunter Biden's odyssey with the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma — a firm the Obama-Biden State Department deemed corrupt — is well-chronicled now. Hunter Biden and one of his partners scored more than $3 million in fees on that deal. So too is Hunter Biden's famous trip aboard his father's Air Force II to Beijing, China, where he landed a major investment deal.
But the emails on the laptop the FBI seized offer new and sweeping details about the ambitions of the Biden business empire, and efforts to contact, influence or appeal to world leaders or their representatives in Washington D.C., particularly in the early months of 2014.
The younger Biden's access to his father's official calendars and government events, like state dinners, factored into the hunt for business.
For instance, Hunter Biden directly corresponded with the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to the United States, Yousef-Al-Otaibi, about one business deal for which he was seeking help.
"Mr. Ambassador, I have a meeting today at noon regarding InfoSpan and was wondering if there is any update," Hunter Biden wrote Jan. 30, 2014 to the Middle East ambassador. "Sorry to be a pain regarding this. Hope all is well. Best, Hunter."
"I never heard back but let me make one last ditch effort," the ambassador wrote back. Eventually the longtime diplomat for his country could not help out.
A month later, Hunter Biden reached out to Francois Delattre, the new French ambassador to the United Nations, seeking help after the two met at an official Obama White House state dinner with French President Hollande.
"I was proud to be included in the dinner to have had the chance to meet President Hollande," the vice president's son wrote on Feb. 27, 2014. "I don't remember if I had the opportunity to mention that my business partner has a personal relationship with Ben Jenkins (info below) whom [sic] is in the midst of an attempted acquisition of TDF France.
"We are assisting Ben informally by helping him gain different perspectives ... I was hoping to get a few minutes of your time to introduce you to Ben."
The French diplomat politely directed Hunter Biden to two aides who would "Be more knowledgeable on French markets and the business environment than I."
Hunter Biden's team also plotted to try to get the vice president's son a meeting with the Chinese ambassador to the United States in early 2014 after the Beijing trip aboard Air Force 2 in December 2013 had not materialized into enough immediate business.
"We're providing notes to the Embassy now on meeting purpose. Katie's submitted to Chinese Ambassador, awaiting feedback and confirm if timing is possible," a Jan. 27, 2014 email declared, copying Hunter Biden. There is no indication whether the meeting — one that would have created immediate alarm bells in the U.S.-China relationship — took place.
As the hunt for foreign dollars expanded, Hunter Biden eventually graduated to contacts with world leaders. In a 2016 email, he forwards to colleagues at Burisma a letter he had written to Enrico Rossi, the President of the Tuscany region of Italy.
"Dear President Rossi, I hope this email finds you well," Hunter Biden wrote to the president's personal email address. "I wanted to follow up on a letter that I had sent to your office to make sure you had received it. Also, on behalf of Burisma, I wanted to invite you to the Monaco Energy Forum we are hosting in June. I've attached the invitation as I know it will be a great event focusing on promoting alternative energy sources in Europe. I am looking forward to a fruitful relationship between Burisma and Tuscany. I hope you will be able to join."