Joe Biden wrote a college recommendation letter for the son of a Chinese executive with links to Biden’s son Hunter — despite the president repeatedly denying ever speaking with his offspring about his business interests.
Emails obtained by Fox News indicate Jonathan Li, the CEO of investment fund BHR, reached out to Hunter Biden and his business partners Devon Archer and Jim Bulger on Jan. 3, 2017, for advice about burnishing the college application of Li’s son Chris.
“Gentlmen[sic], please find the attached resume of my son, Chris Li. He is applying the following colleges for this year,” wrote Li, listing Brown University, Cornell University and NYU.
“Please can you provide advice on his applications,” added Li, who reportedly passed along an updated version of his son’s resume in a later email.
Bulger, chairman and co-founder of the Thornton Group financial advisory firm — and the nephew of notorious Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger — cc’d Archer and Hunter Biden on his response to Li, saying they had “received the updated version of the CV” and adding, “Lets [sic] see how we can be helpful here to Chris.”
On Feb. 18, Eric Schwerin — the then-president of Rosemont Seneca, the investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden that helped stand up BHR — emailed Li: “Jonathan, Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the recommendation letter that he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University.”
“The original is being FedExed to Dr. Paxson directly at Brown,” added Schwerin, referring to the Ivy League school’s president, Christina Paxson. “It should be there by Tuesday at the latest (given Monday is a holiday here in the U.S.). Let us know if you have any questions. Best, Eric.”
Li responded: “Just see [sic] the email. It is just great! Thank you very much! And Hunter, thank you very much too. All the best to you all.”
The email chain did not include a copy of the letter from Joe Biden, who was less than a month removed from spending eight years as vice president under Barack Obama. It wasn’t immediately clear if Li’s son was admitted to Brown or any of the other schools he applied for.
Hunter Biden introduced Joe Biden to Jonathan Li during a vice presidential trip to China in December 2013, according to an account a BHR representative gave The New Yorker in 2019. Days after the trip, according to author Peter Schweizer, Rosemont Seneca signed a deal with the state-owned Bank of China to create BHR, which still lists Li as CEO and Jim Bulger as a director.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark said in November — less than a week after President Biden held a three-and-a-half-hour virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping — that his client had finally divested his 10 percent stake in BHR Partners, but offered no further details.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday reaffirmed Biden’s previous statements that he never discussed his son’s overseas business dealings with him — despite the latest emails and growing evidence to the contrary.
Asked if those statements still stood, Psaki said during a press briefing: “Yes.”
The emails were extracted from the now-infamous laptop belonging to Hunter that was left at a Delaware repair shop in 2019, according to Fox News.