A witness who testified before the Hunter Biden grand jury was asked to identify the “big guy” in the first son’s planned deal with a Chinese energy conglomerate — as calls ramped up to have President Biden included in a conspiracy probe.
The question arose after the witness was shown a piece of evidence while appearing in secret before the panel in Wilmington, Del., a source familiar with the proceedings told The Post.
A bombshell email exclusively reported by The Post in October 2020 showed that one of Hunter Biden’s business partners, James Gilliar, outlined the proposed percentage distribution of equity in a company created for a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.
The March 13, 2017, plan included “10 held by H for the big guy?”
Another former Hunter Biden partner, US Navy veteran Tony Bobulinski, later revealed that “the big guy” was Hunter’s dad, then the Democratic candidate for president, saying, “I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed his dealings with Hunter. That is false.”
Hunter Biden disclosed he was under investigation for his “tax affairs” shortly after his dad was elected over former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but the probe broadened to include potential money laundering and the violation of lobbying laws, according to recent reports.
In the wake of last week’s report by the Washington Post — which confirmed $4.8 million in payments from CEFC to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden during 2017 and 2018 — the White House on Sunday attempted to distance the president from his under-scrutiny kin.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said his boss was “confident that his son didn’t break the law” and “confident that his family did the right thing.”
“But, again, I want to just be really clear, these are actions by Hunter and his brother,” Klain told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “They’re private matters. They don’t involve the president. And they certainly are something that no one at the White House is involved in.”
Former federal law-enforcement officials dismissed those claims, with one ex-fed even saying there’s already enough evidence to build a conspiracy case.
“I get that there’s spin, but this is not a complex one,” former Utah US attorney Brett Tolman told The Post.
Tolman said Bobulinski’s confirmation that President Biden was “the big guy” in a proposed 2017 deal with CEFC China Energy could be considered evidence “that other family members were involved.”
“Conspiracy is a standalone crime in our country, and you’ve certainly got enough to present to the grand jury that there’s a conspiracy among Joe, [brother] James and Hunter to bring in money, to not declare that money, to not pay taxes on that money,” he said.
“And to do so from a country like China, it’s not just red flags — there are potential crimes being committed.”
Tolman, who now runs the “Right on Crime” project of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank, also said that “depending on the nature and scope” of the case, there could be legal “predicates” for racketeering charges.
Washington, DC, lawyer Jim Trusty, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Section, called Klain’s remarks “a pretty amazing effort to distance Joe Biden from Hunter Biden” and pin any blame on the scandal-scarred first son.
“While we do not know all the evidence yet, there are credible reports of wire transfers in the millions, emails from the ‘laptop from hell’ of Hunter, and guys like Tony Bubulinski who credibly describe a kickback scheme with the now-sitting president of the US as a beneficiary,” Trusty said.
“When you see millions of dollars pouring into the hands of a reckless and unskilled man, you have to at least ask the question of ‘What did these foreign governments receive for these payments?’”
Trusty noted that “it’s not like there is an identifiable product being sold to Russian oligarchs or provided to Burisma,” the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter Biden as much as $83,000 a month to sit on its board.
“The question is whether Joe Biden’s vice presidency was for sale and whether Joe was complicit in that sort of scheme,” he said.
Former FBI agent Steve Gray, a Republican candidate for Congress from New Jersey, said, “It’s extremely apparent that Joe Biden is ‘the big guy,’ and I don’t think anyone looking at this seriously and objectively doubts that at all.”
“But look, even if somehow ‘the big guy’ did not refer to Joe Biden, there would still be a serious national security problem,” he said.
“No one in this country not named Joe Biden would be granted a security clearance with these kinds of nefarious dealings occurring with a close relative. It just wouldn’t happen.”
Gray added: “We must consider both Joe and Hunter Biden compromised by the Chinese government.”
Gray also said Hunter Biden’s Chinese business associates: “The only reason they gave Hunter Biden the time of day is because of the influence and information they could gain from his family connections. They’re seeking leverage and intelligence.”
During a campaign appearance in Iowa in September 2019, Joe Biden said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
But about two months earlier, the New Yorker magazine published a profile of Hunter Biden based on a series of interviews in which he acknowledged talking once to his father about his job with Burisma.
“Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do,’” he recalled.
CEFC China Energy was headed by Ye Jianming, who was named No. 2 on the Forbes “40 Under 40” list in 2016 but two years later was taken into custody by Chinese authorities amid allegations of economic crimes, shortly before a CEFC subsidiary defaulted on more than $325 million in bond payments.
He hasn’t been seen since and many of the now-bankrupt company’s assets were seized by the Chinese government.
The White House and the Delaware US Attorney’s Office both declined to comment.
James Biden and Hunter Biden’s lawyer didn’t return emails and Bobulinski didn’t return a message left at a phone number listed in his name.