by WorldTribune Staff, October 14, 2019
Pressure is increasing on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family despite overwhelming U.S. media support.
Saying that he won’t work for any foreign-owned companies or serve on their boards if his father is elected president, Hunter Biden announced he was stepping down from a director’s position at a Chinese private-equity firm.
The 49-year-old son of 76-year-old Joe Biden (77 next month) was “lowering his controversial business profile as it becomes embroiled in the 2020 election and Democrats’ efforts to impeach” President Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal noted in an Oct. 13 report.
A statement released by his lawyer claimed that Hunter Biden “always understood that his father would be guided, entirely and unequivocally, by established U.S. policy, irrespective of its effects on Hunter’s professional interests. He never anticipated the barrage of false charges against both him and his father by the President of the United States.” The statement said Hunter Biden would “continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs.”
Trump has alleged that Hunter Biden got rich in China while his father was vice president, saying he “walked out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund.”
Hunter Biden was a director of BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Co., a Chinese investment firm. He also served on the board of Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings while his father, as vice president, oversaw U.S. policy on Ukraine.
Trump alleged that BHR Partners was officially registered 12 days after Hunter Biden flew to Beijing in December 2013 with his father aboard Air Force Two as his father made an official visit as vice president. People familiar with the situation, including Hunter Biden’s lawyer, said the timing of the firm’s legal formation was a coincidence, the Journal report said.
Although Hunter Biden’s lawyer has said that his client’s stake in the Chinese company is only valued at $420,000, a FactCheck.org analysis estimates its value to be in the millions.
“It is difficult to imagine, if not incomprehensible, that a 10% stake in those economics is worth only $420K,” Steven Kaplan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business told FactCheck.org. “The distinction they appear to be making is they capitalized the management company with $4.2 M even if the fund manages $2 B. The value of that management company is likely far in excess of $4.2 M if they are managing $2 B.”
FactCheck.org cited Kaplan estimating that Hunter Biden’s share in the investment company could be valued at around $20 million and up to “hundreds of millions of dollars” over the investment lifetime.
While on the board of Burisma, Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month, according to an official with ties to the company. “He did very little, according to people with knowledge of the situation. He came to Ukraine a handful of times for meetings, but did more to help burnish Burisma’s image abroad, attending the company’s first international energy conference in Monaco where he spoke about transparency, according to these people,” the Journal reported.
While Hunter Biden was at Burisma, prosecutors opened several investigations into the gas company.
Meanwhile, Trump said on Oct. 4 that he is hoping to make a deal with China on trade but if it “is not going to be 100 percent for us, then we’re not going to make it.”
“We’ve had good moments with China. We’ve had bad moments with China,” Trump said. “Right now, we’re in a very important stage in terms of possibly making a deal. If we make it, it will be the biggest trade deal ever made.”
The president added: “I would like to get along with China if we can, and if we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s OK, too.”
Peter Schweizer, author of “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends” and Jacob McLeod, a senior researcher with the Government Accountability Institute, explained Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China when his father was vice president in an op-ed for the New York Post.
The op-ed, titled 6 facts about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, can be viewed here