First son Hunter Biden joined first lady Jill Biden to receive the White House Christmas tree Monday — just two days after his lawyer claimed, without offering details, that Hunter had divested his 10 percent stake in an investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities.
Hunter Biden, his wife Melissa Cohen and their nearly two-year-old son Beau joined the first lady as a horse-drawn wagon delivered the tree. The first lady broke off a sprig from the tree and gave it to the toddler before planting a kiss on her grandson.
Scandal-plagued Hunter arrived at the White House after the New York Times on Saturday highlighted the role of his China-based firm, BHR Partners, in a $3.8 billion deal in 2016 that transferred control of a Congolese cobalt mine from a US company to the firm China Molybdenum. Cobalt is a key component in electric car batteries.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, told The Times his client “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,” referring to a corporation that previously owned Hunter’s share of the firm.
BHR Partners was registered 12 days after Hunter joined his father aboard Air Force Two for a 2013 trip to Beijing.
It’s not immediately clear how much money, if any, Hunter Biden was paid for his stake in the company or who may have bought him out of his share.
All details regarding the divestment are shrouded in mystery. The White House referred questions about the transaction to Clark, who didn’t respond to The Post’s requests for comment.
It’s unclear, for example, if Hunter Biden was paid by Chinese government-linked entities that control the company — or if he simply transferred his ownership to another person, such as a family member, without compensation.
It’s also unclear if the divestment happened before or after his father, President Biden, held a 3 1/2 hour virtual summit last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Biden often speaks of China as an electric-car rival, despite his son’s role in helping the Chinese acquire cobalt. The president said earlier this month that he consulted his son about his trip to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland — making a rare admission of Hunter Biden’s influence on official policy.
The links between the elder Biden and his son’s business ventures are often murky.
The then-second son was paid a reported $1 million per year to serve on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while then-Vice President Biden controlled the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. He had no relevant industry experience.
And last month, Hunter Biden earned $375,000 from the unknown buyers of five prints of his novice artworks ahead of a West Coast art show. The show was attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Biden’s nominee to be ambassador to India, triggering new ethics questions.
A 2017 email recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop described a 10 percent set-aside for “the big guy” as part of a prospective deal involving a Chinese energy company. Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski said Joe Biden was the “big guy.”
Documents and photos from the laptop indicate Joe Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates — including a trio of Kazakhs and the Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. A Senate report released last year said a firm linked to Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from Baturina in 2014.
A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group both at the dinner and one day after the gathering, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father.
Photos and emails published by The Post also indicate that Joe Biden in 2015 hosted his son and a group of Mexican business associates at the vice president’s official residence. In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of those 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.”
Biden said in December that members of his family would not hold any business role that conflicts with “or appears to be in conflict” with his job as president, but until his lawyer’s weekend statement, the White House had repeatedly said the first son was still working to “unwind” his Chinese holdings.