President Biden’s son Hunter still owns a stake in an investment company affiliated with the Chinese government, according to the White House.
Hunter Biden owns a 10% stake in Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Co., also known as BHR. He has repeatedly pledged to divest his shares but that hasn’t happened yet, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“He has been working to unwind his investment but I would certainly point you — he’s a private citizen — I would point you to him or his lawyers on the outside on any update,” she said Friday.
BHR is a billion-dollar investment fund backed by China that was formed in 2013 by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz, the stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
A Chinese government entity also teamed up with BHR in 2015 to buy Henniges Automotive, a U.S. automotive technology company with potential military applications. The deal was approved by the Obama administration. The speed of the approval, however, raised eyebrows in Washington because of the potential conflict of interest with Hunter Biden and Mr. Heinz’s involvement.
The deal got fresh scrutiny in September 2019 from Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who at the time chaired the Finance Committee. His inquiries so far failed to reveal wrongdoing.
In October 2019, George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, said in a press statement that his client “intends to resign from the BHR board of directors by October 31, 2019.”
At the time, Mr. Mesires said that the younger Mr. Biden had not received any return on his investment, noting there had been “no distributions to BHR shareholders” since the president’s son purchased an equity interest.
The news that Hunter Biden still owns a stake in the firm also comes after his father promised that no relatives — including Hunter Biden — would have even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“My son, my family will not be involved in any business enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict with where there’s appropriate distance from the presidency and the government,” the elder Biden told CNN in December.
Hunter Biden served as an unpaid director of BHR when it launched in 2013 and then paid $420,000 in October 2017 to become a shareholder, The Wall Street Journal reported in December.
It is unclear what role Hunter Biden plays in the business, which is a private entity.
BHR is about 80% controlled by Chinese government entities, including the country’s postal savings bank, a pension fund, and the Bank of China.
Hunter Biden is under criminal investigation as far back as 2018 for his taxes and financial dealings. His Chinese investments could be under scrutiny as part of that investigation.
⦁ S.A. Miller contributed to this report.