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Misleading
misleading

CLAIM ID

4fcfb26f

Hunter Biden's business group shopped Joe Biden's influence in Colombia in an investment pitch to Chinese energy firm.

There is no evidence that Joe Biden knew about his son's business dealings, or that he used his influence to his son's benefit.

According to right-wing news organization, The Daily Caller, Hunter Biden, his uncle James Biden, and three other business partners sought an investment deal with a Chinese energy company in 2017. The Daily Caller claims they used President-elect Joe Biden’s good relationship with the then Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to try to make the partnership happen.

Biden’s group SinoHawk sought a $10 million seed investment from CEFC China Energy in their investment pitch, and proposed joint ventures in places like Colombia. “Mr. Biden pledged his strong personal support of the peace process and offered congratulations to Mr. Santos while underscoring ‘the importance of maintaining bipartisan support for Colombia in the United States Congress,’” the investment proposal reads, alongside a photo of Joe Biden. The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal fell through; SinoHawk never received money from or completed deals with the Chinese oil company. According to the newspaper, Hunter, Joe Biden’s brother James, Gilliar, and Walker were also involved—but there was no role for Joe Biden.

The claim implies that Joe Biden knew about Hunter Biden's dealings and that he was aware that his son had used his relationship with the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to try to make the deal happen. However, that is misleading.

A Senate committee is currently investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Tony Bobulinski, a California-based businessman who was part of the consortium with Hunter Biden, has provided the documents to the committee about Biden’s business dealings. Bobulinski also said that he met with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in early May 2017 to discuss the Chinese deal. Bobulinski claimed that emails, text messages, and audio recordings he released show Joe Biden was entangled in a 2017 venture involving a Chinese firm. Bobulinski provided some of his records to outlets like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. "Both reported that they do not show Joe Biden had business dealings with SinoHawk Holdings or took money from the Chinese company," noted Politifact. The Journal reported that the text messages and emails Bobulinski shared from 2017 "don’t show either Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture." According to people familiar with the matter, the venture in China "never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals," the outlet reported. "Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden."

Joe Biden has long denied discussing business with his son. No credible news outlets have reported any wrongdoing or role held by Joe Biden, and Biden’s campaign has denied that their candidate got involved in, or stood to gain from, the venture or any other overseas business arrangements. Even if Hunter used a photograph of his father and mentioned his relations with the Colombian President in the document, it does not imply that Joe Biden knew about the document or its contents.

There’s reason to be skeptical about Bobulinski’s allegations, which credible news organizations like the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The Associated Press have not corroborated. The New York Times reached the same conclusion about Bobulinski’s records, as the financial disclosures and tax records for Joe Biden show no indication of any income related to the venture at hand.

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