Joe Biden paid Hunter’s bills tied to Chinese firm deal: email

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Joe Biden paid Hunter's bills tied to Chinese firm deal: email

President Joe Biden agreed to cover more than $800,000 in bills racked up by his son — including legal fees tied to the winding down of his controversial overseas business dealings — ahead of the 2020 election, according to an email that surfaced Tuesday.

The email — and an attached spreadsheet detailing the debts — call into question Biden’s repeated claim that he’s never discussed son Hunter Biden’s business with him.

The Jan. 17, 2019, message was written by Hunter Biden’s then-personal assistant, Katie Dodge, and sent to accountant Linda Shapero, founder of the Global DEEZ firm in Leesburg, Va.

“I spoke with Hunter today regarding his bills,” Dodge wrote. “It is my understanding that Hunt’s dad will cover these bills in the short-term as Hunter transitions in his career.”

Dodge’s email — which included the greeting, “Hello VP team” — was cc’d to Hunter Biden and Richard Ruffner, who was a personal aide to Joe Biden while he was vice president, after he left office and during his winning White House bid.

The spreadsheet shows Hunter Biden’s debts included more than $130,000 in legal fees due “ASAP” to the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels, with $28,382 owed for “BHR Restructuring.”

That appears to be a reference to the Chinese company Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management, in which Hunter Biden held a 10 percent stake through a company called Skaneateles LLC.

email from Katie Dodge
Hunter’s then-personal assistant, Katie Dodge, sent the Jan. 17, 2019 email to Global DEEZ firm founder and accountant Linda Shapero.
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 18, 2022.
Hunter Biden’s $800,000 tab included more than $130,000 in legal fees due “ASAP” to the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels.
AP/Andrew Harnik

BHR is primarily owned by Chinese investors, including the state-controlled Bank of China.

Hunter Biden owed Faegre Baker another $20,909 for “Burnham Restructu,” which appears to refer to the Burnham Financial Group, which former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer and others invested in as part of a plan to create their own financial services conglomerate.

Hunter had an office at the New York headquarters of an asset-management firm that was intended to be merged into Burnham as a part of a deal called a “roll-up,” the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019.

Spreadsheet of Hunter's bills.
Hunter’s bills ranged from car payments to his children’s tuition.
Spreadsheet of Hunter's bills.
Dodge included a list of Hunter’s bills for which she was aware of, she wrote in the email.
Spreadsheet of Hunter's bills.
Dodge noted that Joe would cover Hunter’s bills for the “short-term.”
Spreadsheet of Hunter's bills.
All of Hunter’s bills for Faegre Baker were due “ASAP.”

The president’s son — who wasn’t accused of wrongdoing — barely used the office and the firm never merged with Burnham, the Journal said, citing testimony from a 2018 trial in which Archer and two co-defendants were convicted of defrauding the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe in a $60 million bond-issuance scam.

His bills from Faegre Baker also included $82,239 for “Confidential Investi,” for a total of $131,530, according to the spreadsheet.

In December 2019, Faegre Baker merged with another firm to form Faegrea Drinker Biddle & Reath, where partner George Mesires represented Hunter Biden as recently as October 2020.

George Mesires headshot.
George Mesires of Faegrea Drinker Biddle & Reath, which billed Hunter $131,530, represented Hunter as recently as October 2020.
LinkedIn

The White House didn’t immediately respond when asked if the president agreed to pay his son’s bills without reviewing them or asking what they were for.

Mesires didn’t immediately respond when asked if his firm’s bills had been paid.

In December, another lawyer representing Hunter Biden, Chris Clark, told The New York Times that he “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles.”

The assertion came after the White House refused to say whether the first son had divested himself in line with his dad’s campaign promise that his family members “will not be engaged in any foreign business.”

Chinese records show Hunter Biden was no longer on BHR’s board of directors as of April 2020, according to the Times.

Other debts listed in the spreadsheet included payments and insurance for a Porsche, a Ford truck and a boat; tuition for Hunter’s daughters to attend the University of Pennsylvania and the private Sidwell Friends School; and $37,000 a month to his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle.

A section titled “CREDIT CARDS” included a total outstanding balance of $157,033 and another section, titled “OTHER EXPENSES,” listed monthly dues of $320 and $60, respectively, to the Yale Club of New York City and the 116 Club, a private watering hole near the US Capitol in Washington, DC, that’s favored by politicians and lobbyists.

Kathleen Biden speaks at The United State of Women Reception hosted by Civic Nation at Hay-Adams Hotel on June 13, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Hunter owed $37,000 a month to his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

But more than half of the combined $818,665 in debts listed on the spreadsheet involved various state and federal taxes that totaled $412,309.

The email and the spreadsheet, first reported by the Daily Mail, were stored on a laptop computer that was abandoned at a repair shop in the Biden family’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., in 2019.

The Post exclusively revealed its existence after obtaining a copy of the hard drive in October 2020, and key emails on it were recently authenticated by the Times and the Washington Post.

Additional reporting by Ergys Perhati

President Joe Biden hugs first lady Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden after being sworn-in during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021.
Hunter’s personal assistant wrote a 2019 message stating that “Hunt’s dad will cover these bills in the short-term.”
AP/Carolyn Kaster

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