Hunter Biden briefed Chinese energy investors on American natural gas production and sales shortly after a state-run energy corporation entered into a memorandum of understanding with the state of West Virginia.
The Chinese Energy Investment Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of West Virginia in November 2017, which allowed the two sides to enter negotiations to develop shale gas fields. One month later, Biden offered a presentation to Chinese investors discussing various American shale formations that would be profitable investment opportunities. Biden was receiving payments from CEFC China Energy at the time of the presentation, obtained by the Daily Caller from his laptop, although the presentation does not specify which firm received it.
Biden named the presentation “Natural Gas [CH]_Mervyn Slides_v9_12.12.17,” suggesting a connection to Mervyn Yan, a CEFC official named in a Washington Post report. Yan reportedly helped wire money to Hunter and James Biden, President Joe Biden’s brother who also participated in the business venture.
In the presentation, Biden flagged several major energy fields for potential investment, including Texas’ Permian Basin field, Arkansas’ Fayetteville field and West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale formation. Notes on one slide suggest that Biden believed the maps he provided for the presentation were incomplete, particularly in west Texas, although they do not offer recommendations for future investment.
See the presentation here:
CEFC China Energy paid Hudson West III, a corporation registered in Delaware, $5 million between August 2017 and August 2018. Hudson West III, whose letterhead is included throughout the slide show presentation, wired nearly $4.8 million to Hunter Biden’s law firm through September 2018, according to a joint report issued by the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senate Finance Committee.
Hunter Biden believed that using the shell company would allow him to avoid registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, he wrote in a 2017 text message to business partner Tony Bobulinski. The Delaware-registered Hudson West III would also allow Biden and his business partners to bid on federal and state-funded projects, he added.
Hunter also told Bobulinski that Joe Biden’s brother James had “very particular opinions” on foreign registration. James Biden is also the focus of a Republican-led investigation, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told CBS News on April 6.
Bobulinski has alleged that Joe Biden “was plainly familiar, at least at a high level” with “the Biden family’s plans with the Chinese.”
Despite Hunter’s attempts to conduct business with Chinese energy companies in the aftermath of an official Trump administration state visit to China, his father has cracked down on U.S. natural gas production in his time in the White House. President Joe Biden issued a natural gas lease moratorium on federal lands in his first week in office. Although a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to resume issuing leases in June 2021, the Department of the Interior has not held the legally-required lease sales. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: White House Keeps Misleading Public On Oil, Gas Leasing. Here Are The Facts)
The Biden administration’s budget, released in late March, implied that the federal government will not hold federal oil or natural gas lease sales for at least another 18 months. The Department of the Interior projected that profits from lease sales would drop from $395.5 million in fiscal year 2022 to $25 million in 2023.
The authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop was first confirmed by the Daily Caller News Foundation in October 2020, even as outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post suggested that it was Russian disinformation. Both newspapers recently published stories related to Hunter Biden’s ongoing legal troubles in which they admitted the the laptop and its contents are authentic.
Grassley and fellow Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin reportedly received copies of the laptop from Jack Maxey, a former co-host of Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Maxey told the Daily Mail. The two senators have highlighted various documents in floor speeches, noting Hunter and James Biden’s business dealings with CEFC, as well as Hunter Biden’s time on the board of the Burisma Energy company.
Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz moved to enter the entire laptop into the congressional record during a March 29 hearing.