Hunter Biden’s former business partner has come forward to confirm that Joseph R. Biden was involved in a deal with Cina and got a cut of the action.
Tony Bobulinski, who was the CEO of a firm with Hunter Biden, said in a statement that the former vice president was the “Big Guy” reference in his son’s emails and was set to get a 10% share.
What’s more, he said the Chinese business, which has ties to the Chinese Communist Party, was making “a political or influence investment.”
“It wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line,” he said in the statement, which was first obtained by the New York Post.
Mr. Bobulinski made a statement to reporters in Tennessee before the presidential debate and added details about Joseph Biden’s deep involvement in the China deal and other foreign deals dating back to 2015.
“It was made clear to me that Joe Biden’s involvement was not to be mentioned in writing, but only face to face,” he said.
He said Hunter Biden used the Chinese credit line as his “personal piggy bank.”
“I’ve heard Joe Biden say that he’s never discussed this with Hunter,” Mr. Bobulinski said. “That is false. I have first hand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden.”
Mr. Bobulinski showed three cell phones that he said were loaded with evidence of the business deals. He vowed to turn the phones and a trove of business documents over to the FBI and a Senate committee investigating the Biden’s business deals abroad.
The elder Mr. Biden, who is now the Democratic presidential nominee, was no longer vice president at the time the deal with Chinese energy firm CEFC went down. But Mr. Bobulinski’s statements raised red flags about how deeply he was involved in Hunter Biden’s business while in the Obama administration.
The revelation in his statements contradicts claims by Joseph Biden that he never discussed his son’s high-flying business deals in foreign countries.
“I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial [return on investment]. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment,” Mr. Bobulinski said in his earlier written statement.
Mr. Bobulinski has agreed to turn over business records to Senate committees investigating the Biden family’s deal-making abroad.
The Biden campaign did not respond to The Washington Times’ request for comment about Mr. Bobulinski’s statement.
On previous occasions, the former vice president flatly denied any wrongdoing by himself or his son. He also has lashed out at reporters or voters who ask about it.
When the Post last week revealed emails allegedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer that suggested his involvement in suspicious deals, the former vice president dismissed it as a “smear.”
The explosive accusations from Mr. Bobulinski landed as Mr. Biden prepared to debate President Trump on Thursday in their second and final face-off before the Nov. 3 election.
For years, alarms sounded about Mr. Biden’s conflicts of interest involving his son and overseas deals, but vigorous investigations never materialized.
Mr. Trump’s pursuit of an investigation into Mr. Biden’s involvement with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings resulted in his impeachment in December by the Democratic-run House, though he was acquitted by the Republican-run Senate.
Other emails on the laptop computer implicated Mr. Biden, while vice president, in his son’s sweetheart business deals in foreign countries.
The emails show that an executive at Burisma, which paid Hunter Biden millions of dollars as a board member despite having no experience in the energy field, was able to meet with the vice president in Washington in 2015, thanks to the son. The Biden campaign said the executive was not on the vice president’s official schedule but allowed that they might have met briefly.
The emails also show Hunter Biden was guaranteed $10 million annually from a corrupt Chinese billionaire for what Hunter Biden called “introductions alone.”
Democrats and the left-leaning news media mostly dismiss the scandal.
Their stance, however, invites criticism for applying a double standard given the way Democratic Party leaders clung to allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, which fell flat, setting a new bar for scoring political points without any proof.
For Mr. Trump, the allegations go to his charge that Mr. Biden is soft on China and part of a corrupt political system.
National Public Radio on Thursday announced its reasoning for not covering the Hunter Biden story.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” said the taxpayer-supported news service, drawing a swift rebuke from Donald Trump Jr.
“Defund NPR. American taxpayer dollars should not be out there being utilized to push false propaganda and cover up for Joe Biden’s corruption!” the president’s son tweeted.
Mr. Bobulinski also scolded the news media for shielding the Bidens.
“If the media and Big Tech companies had done their jobs over the past several weeks, I would be irrelevant in this story,” he wrote. “I could no longer allow my family’s name to be associated or tied to Russian disinformation or implied lies and false narratives dominating the media right now.”
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance have requested that Mr. Bobulinski provide all documents relating to his business affairs with the Biden family as well as various foreign entities and individuals, he said.
“I have extensive relevant records and communications and I intend to produce those items to both Committees in the immediate future,” Mr. Bobulinski said in the statement.
He authenticated some of the emails from a laptop computer that was abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware. The shop owner said the computer was Hunter Biden’s and that he handed it over to the FBI and gave a copy of the hard drive to Trump counsel Rudolph W. Giuliani. The former New York mayor gave the contents to the Post.
An email discussing the China deal appeared to reference the former vice president. Mr. Bobulinski confirmed that it did.
“The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other ‘JB’ referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother,” he said.
“Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.”
Democrats and many major news outlets have attempted to discredit any links of Hunter Biden to the laptop computer and emails by calling it “Russian disinformation.”
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe this week said the information was not Russian disinformation, and the FBI and Justice Department concurred.
Mr. Bobulinski, who served in the Navy and comes from a military family, said he came forward out of a sense of patriotism and declared himself not part of a Russian disinformation scheme.
“I would ask the Biden family to address the American people and outline the facts so I can go back to being irrelevant — and so I am not put in a position to have to answer those questions for them,” he said.
“I don’t have a political ax to grind; I just saw behind the Biden curtain and I grew concerned with what I saw. The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist-controlled China.”
He concluded his statement with: “God bless America.”
• Rowan Scarborough and Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.