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Psaki dodges Post report on Hunter Biden biz partner’s WH visits

Psaki dodges Post report on Hunter Biden biz partners WH


White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question Monday about The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden business associate Eric Schwerin’s 19 visits to the White House complex while Joe Biden was vice president.

“On Hunter Biden, the New York Post is reporting, looking at White House visitor logs that there were 19 visits to the White House while the president was vice president by Hunter Biden’s business partner, including one with the vice president,” PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins said at Psaki’s regular briefing.

“Can you help us understand why that business partner had access and what those meetings were about?”

Psaki replied, “I don’t have any information on that. I’m happy to check and see if we have any more comment.”

Those visits during the Obama administration cast further doubt on Biden’s claim that he was uninvolved with his son’s business activities, which are under investigation by the US attorney’s office in Delaware.

Moments earlier on the White House lawn, Biden continued walking and did not verbally respond when a reporter for The Post asked him why he met with his son’s business associates.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki avoided answering a question about The Post’s reporting on business partner of Hunter Biden visiting the White House while his father Joe Biden was vice president.
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Schwerin’s White House visits included a Nov. 17, 2010, meeting in the West Wing with Biden himself. There were eight other meetings between Schwerin and aides to Joe and Jill Biden from 2009 to 2013.

Often a guest at the White House complex is merely recorded as visiting a specific person, when in fact they may speak with many others during their time at the executive complex, meaning Joe Biden may have met with Schwerin on more than one ocassion.

The reply was Psaki’s lastest brush-off of inquiries about the first son’s business dealings. Such questions are becoming increasingly frequent after the Washington Post and New York Times last month belatedly verified documents from a former Hunter Biden laptop that were first reported by The Post in October 2020.

Rosemont Seneca president Eric Schwerin visited the White House complex 19 times, according to visitor logs.
Rosemont Seneca president Eric Schwerin visited the White House complex 19 times, according to visitor logs.
Twitter

The first son is under investigation for possible tax fraud, money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes and documents indicate that Joe Biden was linked to many of the enterprises under review.

Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate Schwerin — who was president of Hunter’s firm Rosemont Seneca Partners — had access to Joe Biden’s personal finances, including that he was involved in the elder Biden’s taxes and discussed the vice president’s financial future with him.

Psaki said this month that President Biden is sticking to his 2019 claim that he had “never spoken” with Hunter Biden about “his overseas business dealings” — despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Documents and photos reported by The Post indicate that Hunter Biden introduced his dad to business associates from China, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine — including at the vice president’s residence in Washington.

The links between the elder Biden and his son’s business ventures often are murky.

Then-President Donald Trump’s defense team at his 2020 impeachment trial cited Obama-era visitor logs that indicated Biden met with his son’s business partner Devon Archer April 16, 2014, around the time Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where he earned a reported $1 million per year. Joe Biden led US policy toward Ukraine at the time.

President Biden ignored questions about his son's business partners on the White House lawn on April 25, 2022.
President Biden ignored questions about his son’s business partners on the White House lawn on April 25, 2022.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Documents and a photo subsequently reported by The Post indicate that Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates — including Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi, a trio of Kazakhs and the Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. A Senate report in 2020 said Baturina in 2014 paid $3.5 million to a firm linked to Hunter Biden.

A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group at the dinner and one day after the gathering, Pozharskyi emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father.

Last month, Psaki pleaded ignorance when asked by The Post about potential conflicts of interest involving President Biden’s decision-making with regards to China and Russia. Baturina, who is believed to be Russia’s richest woman, doesn’t face US sanctions targeting other Russian billionaires in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In China, Joe Biden allegedly was involved with his son’s dealings with CEFC China Energy, which the Washington Post reported this month paid Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim Biden $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018.

 Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says that he spoke with Joe Biden in May 2017 about the Chinese venture. A May 13, 2017, email recovered from a laptop that formerly belonged to Hunter indicated that the “big guy” would get a 10 percent equity stake in a corporate entity established with CEFC.

Bobulinski alleges that the president was the “big guy” and emails show that in September 2017, Hunter Biden asked for a new sign and more keys to an office he was renting in DC’s House of Sweden office building. The sign was to say, “The Biden Foundation and Hudson West (CEFC-US)” and the keys were for his father, Jill and Jim Biden, and a Chinese executive named Gongwen Dong. 

Hunter Biden is currently under investigation for possible tax fraud, money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes.
Hunter Biden is currently under investigation for possible tax fraud, money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A spokeswoman for the agency that oversees the property told the Washington Post, however, that the sign was never changed and the keys were not picked up.

Also in China, Hunter Biden cofounded an investment firm called BHR Partners in 2013 less than two weeks after flying with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Hunter introduced Joe Biden to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in the lobby of a hotel in China’s capital. The fund is controlled in part by state-owned entities and facilitated the 2016 sale for $3.8 billion of a Congolese cobalt from a US company to the firm China Molybdenum. Cobalt is a key component in electric car batteries.

Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark said less than a week after President Biden’s November summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the first son divested a 10 percent stake in BHR Partners. Hunter Biden and the White House provided no further details.

An email from Hunter Biden's laptop referenced a "big guy" getting a cut in a business deal.
An email from Hunter Biden’s laptop referenced a “big guy” getting a cut in a business deal.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Photos and emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate that Joe Biden in 2015 hosted his son and a group of Mexican business associates at the vice president’s official residence — posing for a photo with Hunter and a group that included Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán Velasco.

In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of his Mexican associates while aboard Air Force Two for an official visit to Mexico, complaining that he hadn’t received reciprocal business favors after “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.”

Since his father became president, Hunter Biden launched a new art career seeking as much as $500,000 from anonymous buyers of his novice works, which experts say is ripe for potential influence-peddling. Hunter received at least $375,000 last year for five prints at a Hollywood art show attended by one of his father’s ambassador nominees, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.



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