The FBI has asked Hunter Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski to sit for an interview Friday – a day after he made televised accusations against Joe Biden and attended the presidential debate as the president’s guest.
FBI officials will meet with Bobulinski the day after he spoke about texts and emails he said surrounded an effort to set up a business deal with Biden family members, and said he was turning over three cell phones stocked with information to the FBI and meet with GOP-run Senate Homeland Security Committee.
He produced three phones which he said he would hand over and which he says show ‘corruption’ by the Biden family.
Committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said in a statement: ‘I appreciate that the FBI has a job to do, and I am glad they are finally taking an interest in these concerning financial matters that our Committees have been investigating for months,”I expect that Mr. Bobulinski will speak with our committee as soon as possible and fully share his insights into the Biden family’s business dealings,’ Johnson said.
Johnson’s panel released an additional statement Friday that said: ‘This morning lawyers for Tony Bobulinski informed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Finance Committee that the FBI asked his client to sit for an interview today in addition to providing copies of his phones.
‘Consequently, the interview scheduled for this morning has been postponed. Mr. Bobulinski has agreed to honor his commitment to sit for an interview in the near future with the Committees.’
The Justice Department has a policy against announcing investigations that might interfere in the elections close to Election Day, however Johnson’s statement appears to have come on his own authority.
The FBI said it wouldn’t comment ‘in keeping with our standard practice of neither confirming nor denying the existence of an investigation.’
The meeting, even if little comes of the matter, could create the impression of an investigation into Trump’s rival in the presidential election – as the president criss-crosses the country and accuses Biden and his son of ‘corruption.’
Trump’s campaign pulled off another pre-debate surprise Thursday, putting a former business partner of Hunter Biden on camera to level the charge that Joe Biden was ‘familiar’ with his son’s business dealings in China .
But the former vice-president aggressively challenged the Trump campaign in the course of the debate, saying he has never received money from a ‘foreign source.’
Announcement: Tony Bobulinski was Donald Trump’s guest at Thursday’s presidential debate and gave a statement to reporters before it saying he could show Joe Biden lied
Handing these over: These are the three phones – two Blackberries and an iPhone – which Bobulinski says he is giving to the FBI
Announcement: Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed the FBI move as he postponed speaking to Bobulisnki himself
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided information from Hunter Biden’s laptop to the New York Post
Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski spoke to reporters at the Marriott in downtown Nashville three hours before start time of the final presidential debate – and said he will turn over three cell phones to the FBI and meet with Republican senators about his former business deals.
He said he was angry with Hunter after he wanted to use funds for a prospective deal with a Chinese energy company was his ‘Hunter’s personal piggy bank.’
‘I will be providing to the FBI the devices which contain the evidence corroborating what I have said so I will not be taking any questions at this time,’ he told reporters who make up President Donald Trump’s traveling press pool.
‘I have heard Joe Biden say he’s never discussed the business with hunter – that is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family including Joe Biden, said Bobulinski.
‘I was told this past Sunday by somebody who was also involved in this matter that if I went public with this information, it would bury all of us, man – the Bidens included. I have no wish to bury anyone,’ he said.
He described what he said was a May 2, 2017 meeting with Joe Biden to discuss a business venture involving China that would invest in infrastructure, real estate and technology in the U.S.
‘At my approximately hour-long meeting with Joe that night we discussed the Biden’s history, the Biden’s family business plans with the Chinese with which he was plainly familiar at least at a high level,’ he said.
‘After that meeting, I had numerous communications with Hunter, [partner Robert] Walker, [James] Gilliar, and Jim Biden regarding the allocation of equity ownership of the sinohawk, the firm they created.
The televised statement came after Bobulinski told conservative media outlets that text messages that appeared to show Hunter Biden’s business negotiation and references to his father were authentic.
‘To me it seems like distraction and spectacle,’ Biden backer Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told Fox News, which aired Bobulinski’s statement in full.
‘We’ve got Rudy Giuliani with one hand coming up with a hard drive and a computer, and this man on the other hand coming up with last minute cell phones,’ he said, saying it makes him ‘seriously wonder.’
Coons said the emails and texts ‘aren’t being sourced, aren’t being verified,’ and noted that Biden unlike Trump, has released his tax returns.
The Biden campaign released a statement calling the attacks a ‘smear’ and saying there is ‘no indication’ Joe Biden ever got ‘any money from anybody in these business deals.’
‘Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business deals with his family, nor in any overseas business dealing whatsoever,’ according to the statement.
Bobulinski said Hunter ‘became very upset with me’ when he challenged him about how the payment distributions would occur – and also said none ever went out to the company that a group of associates created called Sinohawk.
Warning: On May 20 2017, James Gilliar WhatsApped Tony Bobulinski in a discussion about their deal with Hunter Biden and James Biden: ‘Don’t mention Joe being involved. They are paranoid.
Who’s the chairman: Hunter Biden referred to the chairman in one exchange with an unknown member of the group involved in the deal. Later, Rob Walker texted Tony Bobulinski to say: ‘When he said his chairman he was talking about his dad’
Source: The messages were taken from a broken Blackberry and reproduced Thursday by conservative news outlets. In this message Hunter again refers to the ‘chairman,’ this time saying ‘an emphatic no.’ What that was to is unclear
A text from Hunter references a business effort to be ‘partners with the Bidens’ by a Chinese businessman who has now vanished
Mystifying exchange: This text, dated May 20 2017, suggests a plan for Joe Biden to run for president. However at the time, he was not publicly suggesting he would and has repeatedly said that he did not want to get involved until August 2017
Lucrative arrangement? Correspondence between Tony Bobulinski and Gongwen Dong suggested the ‘Bidens’ would get a $5 million interest free loan. What happened next is unknown
WHO’S WHO IN THE HUNTER FILES
Vice president’s son was well-known to be seeking business deals in China. He traveled there in 2013 on Air Force Two and introduced his father to a business partner, Jonathan Li. In 2017, after his father left office, he pursued a relationship with Ye Jianming
Chairman and founder of CEFC China Energy, 43. A wunderkind of the Chinese energy world. Gave Hunter a diamond in 2017 as they pursued a business relationship. But in November 2017 company was accused of bribery in Africa by the DOJ, and in March 2018 he was arrested in China, reportedly on the orders of Xi Jinping. Has not been seen or heard from since but a prosecution in 2018 saw a senior Communist leader accused of taking bribes from him
Zang Jian Jun
Senior executive at CEFC and also a senior figure in the China Chamber of International Commerce
Penn State wrestler and Navy veteran turned-California businessman, 48, who appears to have done other business in China. Unclear how he and Gilliar know each other. Other business ventures include an investment in a Chinese men’s clothing company called VLOV
Bill Clinton administration official who is now co-founder of a technology-focused private equity firm, Pilot Growth. His wife Betsy Massey Walker was Jill Biden’s assistant when she was Second Lady
British-born 56-year-old businessman based in the Czech Republic. Set up jc2r, the company which is in the emails, in 2015. It is no longer active. Gilliar appears to breed race horses with his wife, Erika and appears to also be an adviser to a holding company run by the leader of Abu Dhabi’s son
Joe Biden’s younger brother and a serial entrepreneur who has long faced claims of profiting from his brother’s political career. He and Hunter were in business together in 2006 when they bought investment firm Paradigm Global Advisors which they unwound in 2010 after connections to a Ponzi fraudster emerged
The Chairman and The Big Guy
Said to be Joe Biden in many of the text exchanges although Hunter’s messages do not state this directly
‘During these negotiations, I repeated to Hunter and others that Sinohawk could not be hunter’s personal piggy bank and I demanded that proper corporate governance procedures be implemented for capital distributions,’ he said.
‘Hunter became very upset with me. CEFC through July 2017 was assuring me the funds would be transferred to Sinohawk, but they were never sent to our company,’ he revealed – a statement that would seem to indicate nothing went to Joe Biden.
‘Instead, I found out from Senator Johnson’s September report that the $5 million was sent in August 2017 to entities affiliated with Hunter,’ he said.
He also said what he had told media outlets, that ‘Hunter often referred to his father as the ‘big guy’ or ‘my chairman” – language that appears in emails that appear to discuss percentage breakdowns for a business deal with a Chinese energy firm as laid out in a May 2017 email.
The dramatic appearance came as Trump and Biden were set to face off in a high-stakes final televised presidential debate.
A flurry of emails about Hunter Biden and his international business dealings emerged just hours before Thursday’s third and final presidential debate – with Joe Biden‘s family certain to play a starring role in President Donald Trump‘s attacks.
Many of the documents show Hunter Biden jealously apprising the value of his family name in contacts with his business partners. Some of the texts reference ‘the chairman’ in chats – a figure one partner has identified as the former vice president.
In one of the texts, Hunter Biden business partner James Gilliar tells another partner, Tony Bobulinski, to use discretion talking about the Biden name.
‘Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face, I know u know that but they are paranoid’, he wrote, Fox News reported, in one of numerous disclosures the network said was ‘unrelated’ to the Hunter Biden laptop information that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post.
Trump brought Bobulinski, a 48-year-old Penn State wrestler and Navy vet turned international investor, to the Nashville, TN, debate as a guest in an attempt to weaponize the messages.
Fox News reported that Bobulinski was preparing to hand over electronic devices and records of his involvement with Biden to the FBI, and speaking Friday to staff from the Senate Homeland Security Committee, whose Republican majority is investigating the Biden laptop.
The messages span the globe from China to Romania, and appear to show efforts by the former vice president’s son, who graduated from Yale Law School and founded Rosemont Seneca Partners – but has acknowledged struggling with drugs and making bad decisions – to seek to cash in on his famous name.
The messages were reproduced by conservative outlets including Fox News and The Federalist without any indication of who had provided them.
Many are pictures taken of a Blackberry with the original messages on them, making it more difficult to verify that they were sent and received by Hunter and the people named in them, including his uncle James Biden. The device featured in many of the shots appears to have a cracked screen.
One of them is dated in May 2017 and refers to a ‘campaign’ by Joe Biden, which at the time was not only not taking place, but was considered highly unlikely. Biden himself said that he only decided to come out of what was seen as a political retirement in August 2017 after the violence at the infamous United the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.
‘OK they should be paranoid about things,’ was Bobulinski’s response, written May 20.
Gilliar writes: ‘U need to stress to H, does he want to be the reason or factor that blows up his dad’s campaign.’
In another group message, Hunter Biden writes to Bobulinski: ‘Hey TONY I have no idea. In light of the fact wwe are at an impasse of sorts, and both James’ lawyers and my Chairman gave an emphatic NO- I think we should all meet in Romania on Tuesday next week.
Biden has denied any overseas business dealings and has called the release of emails from son Hunter’s laptop a ‘smear.’
Trump made plans to bring Bobulinski to the debate as his ‘special guest,’ an apparent attempt to rattle Biden and steal a play from his 2016 playbook, when he brought Clinton sex accusers to a debate.
In still another document, Fox reported on a 2017 email from Joe Biden’s brother James to his business partners.
The email lists ‘Phase one domestic contacts/ projects’ as well as ‘key domestic contacts for phase one target projects.’ It goes on to list biographical information on a host of key Democratic figures, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, California Sen. Kamal Harris (now Joe Biden’s running mate), and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
The descriptions contain standard biographical information, and no indication they took part or were even contacted. Former Florida Republican Gov. and now senator Rick Scott also was listed.
The tranche of information, much of it reported by outlets supportive of the president, comes as Trump has said he will raise Hunter Biden at the Nashville debate – and keep up his blasts of ‘corruption’ that he has debuted on the campaign trail, where he has referred to the Bidens as a ‘crime family.’
A 2017 emails asks if the chairman is ‘just doing infrastructure’ or ‘looking @ technology deals?’
Hunter Biden responds: ‘Everything – the only thing I told them I would not do is defense related technology and and arms and anything that would give the Chinese a military advantage.’
A May 19, 2017 email from partner Rob Walker writes that ‘chairman’ is in reference to ‘his dad.’