In an interview Thursday with Fox News, investigative reporter Peter Schweizer said the Biden campaign’s response to the New York Post story Wednesday presenting new evidence Joe Biden was aware of his son’s lucrative business deals during his vice presidency “fits the pattern” of dishonesty he has seen in recent years.
Schweizer exposed Hunter Biden’s Ukraine and China deals in his 2018 book “Secret Empires.” His subsequent book “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite” presented evidence that five members of Joe Biden’s family profited from his position as vice president under President Obama.
The Post reported Wednesday an email purportedly sent to Hunter Biden from an adviser to the board of the Ukrainian firm Burisma on which Hunter Biden served met with Joe Biden. The Post reported Thursday another email shows that among the business deals Hunter Biden pursued in China while his father was vice president was one he said would benefit not only him but his family. The younger Biden asked for $10 million from the Chinese firm CEFC China Energy for “introductions.”
Facebook immediately restricted distribution of the Post’s initial story on Wednesday, insisting it needed time to fact-check it, and Twitter followed by blocking any links to it.
On Wednesday, the Biden campaign cast the allegations in the Post story as “Russian disinformation,” arguing that there was no meeting with the Burisma executive on Joe Biden’s schedule for the day in question.
Schweizer noted to Fox News the Obama White House archives shows Biden’s schedule on that day had two blank hours in the morning and three in the afternoon.
“There’s plenty of time in which they could have met, and they don’t blanket deny it,” he said.
In fact, Politico reported Biden’s campaign “would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with [the Burisma adviser Vadim] Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule.”
“But they said any encounter would have been cursory.”
Schweizer noted to Fox News that Hunter Biden himself has gone on record saying he talked with his father about Burisma.
And contrary to the Bidens’ denials, the New Yorker reported a Chinese business executive said he met with Joe Biden during the 2013 trip to Bejing on Air Force Two in which Hunter Biden accompanied his father and struck a $1.5 billion deal with a state-owned Chinese firm.
Schweizer said that while he has not seen the newly disclosed Hunter Biden emails, the reporting on China fits the pattern.
The New York Times and others have reported in the past that Hunter Biden was working with the Chinese firm CEFC, he noted.
“I think Joe Biden needs to be asked about this and his feet need to be held to the fire,” Schweizer said, “because this is a core issue as to jb and the financial, let’s say incentives, that he might be working under for given his family’s commercial interests.”
Schweizer said one reason media has ignored the story of the Biden family’s commercial dealings is because it’s somewhat complicated “and a lot of news coverage has become very superficial.”
“But there is no question there is covering for Joe Biden,” he said. “If this was a story about the Trump family, the media would be aggressively covering it.”
Timing the key
In an interview in February with SiriusXMs Breitbart News Daily shortly after the publishing of “Profiles in Corruption,” Schweizer said the key to understanding the business deals is the timing.
“The timing is clear: February of 2014, Putin moves into Crimea, that creates this whole crisis,” he said. “In March of 2014, Joe is point person on Ukraine policy. Within three weeks, Ukrainians suddenly decide, ‘Hey Hunter Biden is the guy, the expert, we want to join this company. And yeah, we need to pay him a million dollars a year,'” said Schweizer.
“You look at that and think, ‘This is absurd.’ … It’s not like he was advising Ukraine in 2005,” he said.
Schweizer also recalled that when the Obama administration “pivoted” its foreign policy to Asia, Hunter Biden accompanied his father on a trip to Beijing on Air Force Two.
“Joe goes over there on one of his first significant trips, and what does he do? His son comes with him, and 10 days after the trip, the son suddenly announces this billon-and-a-half-dollar private equity deal,” Schweizer said.
“It’s clear, it’s crystal clear what’s going on.”
NBC: ‘Seems kind of sleazy’
In February, Biden got testy with the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie for confronting him about the apparent conflict of interest in his son Hunter’s position with a corrupt Ukrainian firm.
Biden charged that Guthrie didn’t know what she was talking about as she pressed him on an arrangement that “seems kind of sleazy” to many people.
The former vice president – who was the point man for Ukraine policy while his son was paid a total of $3.1 million by Burisma while it was under investigation for corruption – said it’s “a good thing that no one’s found anything wrong with his dealing with Ukraine except they say it sets a bad image.”
Guthrie then asked: “Do you think it was wrong from him to take that position –”
Biden interrupted: “No.”
Guthrie finished her question: “– knowing that it was really because that company wanted access to you?”
“Well that’s not true,” Biden retorted. “You’re saying things – you do not know what you’re talking about. No one said that. Who said that? Who said that?”
Guthrie pressed further.
“Don’t you think that it’s just one of those things where people think, ‘Well that seems kind of sleazy. Why would he have that job if not for who his father was?”
Biden said his son is “a very bright guy” but admitted the “appearance” wasn’t ideal.
“Well, he said he regretted having done it,” Biden said of his son. “Speak for himself. He’s a grown man.”
See Biden’s exchange with the ‘Today’ show’s Savannah Guthrie:
WND reported in January Schweizer’s documentation in his book “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite” that five Biden family members have been engaged in influence peddling.
“The ship really came in as far as these financial deals when he was vice president,” said Schweizer in an interview at the time on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”
Along with Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son-in-law Howard, brothers James and Frank, and sister Valerie also cashed in on the vice presidency.
See Schweizer’s interview with Sean Hannity:
In a column for the New York Post featuring an excerpt from his book, Schweizer observed that political figures have long used their families “to route power and benefits for their own self-enrichment.”
Biden, in the book, “emerges as the king of the sweetheart deal, with no less than five family members benefiting from his largesse, favorable access and powerful position for commercial gain.”
The deals include foreign partners and, in some cases, U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Schweizer’s evidence, he says, refutes the claim Joe Biden’s made when the subject came up in 2019.
“I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else — even distant family — about their business interests. Period,” Biden said.
Schweizer wrote: “As we will see, this is far from the case.”
Joe Biden has been close to his younger brother James since James served as finance chair of Joe’s 1972 Senate campaign. After Joe became vice president, James was a welcomed guest at the White House.
Sometimes the visits, Schweizer wrote, “dovetailed with his overseas business dealings, and his commercial opportunities flourished during his brother’s tenure as vice president.”
One example is James’ hiring by the construction management firm HillStone International after its president visited the White House and met with Biden adviser Michele Smith in the Office of the Vice President.
“James appeared to have little or no background in housing construction, but that did not seem to matter to HillStone,” Schweizer noted.
James Biden was joining HillStone just as the firm was starting negotiations to win a massive contract in war-torn Iraq. Six months after James was hired, the firm announced a contract generating $1.5 billion over three years to build 100,000 homes in Iraq. HillStone also received a $22 million federal government contract to manage a construction project for the State Department.
David Richter, son of the parent company’s founder, told investors at a private meeting, according to a Schweizer source in attendance, that securing government contracts is much easier when you have “the brother of the vice president as a partner.”
An investment company called StartUp Health announced its launch in 2011 in the Oval Office, where its leaders met with President Obama and Vice President Biden.
A day later, the new company was featured at a large health care tech conference run by the Department of Health and Human Services. And StartUp Health executives became regular visitors to the White House, attending events in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
How did the company gain such access?
Schweizer pointed out the chief medical officer of StartUp Health, Howard Krein, is married to Joe Biden’s youngest daughter, Ashley.
Joe Biden helped Krein promote his company through his last months in the White House, including at a StartUp Health members conference in which 250 people got to chat in a closed session with the vice president.
Vice President Joe Biden’s March 2009 trip to Costa Rica for a one-on-one visit with President Oscar Arias “came at a fortuitous time for his brother Frank, who was busy working deals in the country,” Schweizer wrote.
Just months after the visit, a new multilateral partnership “to reform Real Estate in Latin America” among Frank Biden and others was announced.
Joe Biden at his presidential kickoff rally in Philadelphia, May 2019 (Wikimedia Commons)
“The Costa Rican government was eager to cooperate with the vice president’s brother,” Schweizer wrote. “As it happened, Joe Biden had been asked by President Obama to act as the administration’s point man in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Despite lacking experience in building such developments, Frank’s project received support from the highest levels of the Costa Rican government.
In June 2014, Vice President Biden announced the launch of the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative calling for increasing access to financing for Caribbean energy projects that he strongly supported.
“After Joe Biden brought together leaders for CESI, brother Frank’s firm Sun Fund Americas announced that it was ‘engaged in projects and is in negotiations with governments of other countries in the [Caribbean] region for both its Solar and Waste to Energy development services,'” Schweizer wrote.
Frank Biden’s Sun Fund Americas later announced that it had signed a power purchase agreement to build a 20-megawatt solar facility in Jamaica.
During his years in the Senate, Schweizer writes, Biden’s family “benefited financially in other ways as he leveraged political power.”
Joe’s sister Valerie ran all of his Senate campaigns, as well as his presidential runs in 1988 and 2008.
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“But she was also a senior partner in a political messaging firm named Joe Slade White & Company; the only two executives listed at the firm were Joe Slade White and Valerie,” he wrote.
“The firm received large fees from the Biden campaigns that Valerie was running. Two and a half million dollars in consulting fees flowed to her firm from Citizens for Biden and Biden For President Inc. during the 2008 presidential bid alone.”
Joe Slade White & Company worked for Biden campaigns over 18 years.