Offer You Can’t Refuse? Hunter Biden Reportedly Asked Mobster’s Nephew to Help Uncle With China Deal
15:21 GMT 08.10.2021 (Updated: 15:38 GMT 08.10.2021)
The president’s son has faced intense scrutiny among conservatives and independent media over alleged unethical and potentially illegal activity peddling access to his powerful father in exchange for cash or no-show jobs. Democratic-aligned US media have largely ignored the allegations, while social media have even sought to silence reporting.
President Joe Biden’s son Hunter reportedly turned to the nephew of Massachusetts crime boss Whitey Bulger when the politician’s brother-in-law Jack Owens asked for help to secure a business license in China, a trove of emails from one of Hunter’s lost laptops appears to show.
Owens, owner of MediGuide, a Delaware-headquartered telemedicine and medical insurance services company, contacted Hunter in May 2014 to inform him that the firm had reached a “serious stage” of negotiations with a Chinese company and that he needed help ASAP getting a China Business License – a key document
required for foreign firms wishing to do business in the People’s Republic.
According to the emails, screenshots of which were first published by Fox News
and the Daily Mail
, Owens informed Hunter that the license needed to be “secured very quickly.”
“While this might seem to be a mundane task, I have come to understand that matters such as a Business License can end up taking an inordinate amount of time…..time we just do not have. So I would be most appreciative of any help and direction you might be able to provide to help me accomplish this task timely,” Owens pleaded, signing the email “Thanks, Uncle Jack.”
Biden forwarded the email to James Bulger, chairman of Thornton Group, a China and US-based financial advisory. Along with Bulger, who is the nephew of notorious American crime boss James Joseph ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the message was also forwarded to Thornton Group co-founder and China business expert Michael Lin.
“See email below. It’s from my Uncle Jack. Is there a way we can help him expedite this? Time is of the essence here,” Hunter wrote.
Biden received a reply back three days later from Bulger telling him that he and Lin had spoken to Owens by phone and had come up with a potential “solution for hi [sic] China problem.”
“Michael and Ran are researching the reg[ulations] and laws right now but our Thornton WOFE will likely be ok for Jacks [sic] company to use,” Bulger wrote, referring to an unidentified employee or researcher working with Thornton.
Bulger also referred to a mysterious “energy deal” with KAZ, possibly a reference to Kazakhstan, asking Biden to let him know if he had an outline on the deal and whether he would like Thornton to “flesh it out,” noting that “we have submitted our Alaska energy outline to the team.” The businessman signed the email “Safe travels, Jimmy.”
Several days later, Bulger sent a message to Owens and Lin, with Hunter in the copy, asking Jack to give Thornton a few days to study Chinese regulations and determine “our next steps here.”
The back-and-forth messages with Biden in the copy dropped off soon after that, but Bulger and Lin appear to have succeeded in getting the business license, with MediGuide indicating on its website
that it reached an agreement with AnyHealth Shanghai “to form an alliance” to help “expand Mediguide’s business in China under the name of ‘MediGuide China.'”
More than a year later, Owens put Biden in the copy of an email when responding to then-Vice President Biden’s assistant, Kathy Chung, inviting him and his wife, Valerie Biden Owens, to attend a State Department luncheon honouring Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted by the vice president.
“Yes Kathy, I would like to attend this one. I know I have passed up everything else, but this is a bit different. I just [received] this so I do not know what [Valerie] is going to do. Do you have any info to respond with picture, etc, or do you want me to do that. Thx, Jack,” he replied.
It’s not clear why Owens put Hunter in the copy.
Jack Owens is a close member of the Bidens’ inner circle. His wife Valerie is Joe Biden’s younger sister, and has served Biden as a senior campaign advisor for nearly fifty years, starting with the politician’s 1972 run for a Senate seat from the state of Delaware.
The trove of emails from Hunter’s laptop – one of three he is reported to have lost in a wild life reported to be filled with
drug-fueled benders and flings with prostitutes, is the latest example of a series of embarrassing revelations about his use of political and business connections to extract financial gain, help get around red tape or engage in unethical or potentially illegal activity.
The 51-year-old is facing a probe into his taxes by the Justice Department, which was launched as far back as 2018 and is connected to suspicious activity reports of fishy foreign transactions, including possible exchanges of money with “China and other foreign nations.” Expressing confidence
that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing, the younger Biden admitted candidly in April that a Donald Trump victory in 2020 would have been a “threat to [his] personal freedom.”
Trump has repeatedly accused Joe Biden of helping Hunter get lucrative no-show jobs and payments for access to the politician via a Ukrainian energy company, Chinese officials and businessmen, and other foreigners.
16 August 2021, 11:17 GMT
The Trump White House attempted to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 coup d’état, including the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor under pressure from then-Vice President Biden who had begun his own probe. Trump’s actions prompted the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to impeach him.
In the final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign, pro-Republican and independent media began reporting on one of Hunter’s alleged lost laptops (the authenticity of which was recently confirmed
). Pro-Biden media and tech giants including Facebook and Twitter sought to silence this reporting, banning or restricting Hunter-related stories from appearing on their platforms.
The latest scandal surrounding Hunter revolves around the sale of his paintings for up to $500,000 apiece. Republican lawmakers have expressed suspicions over the art sales, dubbing them a form of grift and nepotism, and a possible payoff to Hunter Biden in exchange for access to his powerful father. In July, GOP congressman Mike Waltz introduced legislation
known as the PAINTER Act in the House, with the bill requiring presidents and vice presidents to provide financial disclosures for all their non-dependent children. The bill has been referred to
the House Oversight Committee.