Federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden focuses on his business dealings in China
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2021-01-13 11:27:55 UTC
(CNN)After going quiet in the months before the election,
federal authorities are now actively investigating the business
dealings of Hunter Biden, a person with knowledge of the probe
said. His father, President-elect Joe Biden, is not implicated.

Now that the election is over, the investigation is entering a
new phase. Federal prosecutors in Delaware, working with the IRS
Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, are taking overt
steps such as issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews, the
person with knowledge said.

Activity in the investigation had gone covert in recent months
due to Justice Department guidelines prohibiting overt actions
that could affect an election, the person said.

CNN contacted Biden's attorney and the campaign this week
seeking comment about the investigation. On Wednesday, they
released a statement acknowledging the probe.

"I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's
Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday,
that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter
very seriously but I am confident that a professional and
objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I
handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the
benefit of professional tax advisors," Hunter Biden said in a

Investigators have been examining multiple financial issues,
including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax
and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign
countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on
the probe.

Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believe
sparked counterintelligence concerns, a common issue when
dealing with Chinese business, according to another source.

The investigation began as early as 2018, predating the arrival
of William Barr as US attorney general, two people briefed on
the investigation said. The existence of the probe will present
an immediate test of Biden's promise to maintain the
independence of the Justice Department.

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported in October that the FBI had
opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. CNN has
learned new details about the scope of the probe, including that
it is focused on China.

A mysterious laptop
Hints of the investigation emerged after President Donald
Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, helped orchestrate
news stories centered on a laptop purported to belong to Hunter
Biden and said to include his business documents and other
personal material.

The FBI took possession of the laptop in late 2019, according to
a computer repairman in Delaware who showed reporters a copy of
a subpoena. The subpoena is real, according to people briefed on
the matter, but the FBI and prosecutors in Delaware have refused
to confirm the existence of the investigation.

It's unclear whether the laptop's contents are relevant to the
ongoing federal probe and whether investigators can even use
them, given potential chain of custody requirements for evidence.

CNN has previously reported that at least some of the
information Giuliani claims came from the laptop appears similar
to information that was being shared by others last year in
Ukraine, according to one witness who the FBI has approached for
information. Giuliani's efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens in
Ukraine last year were at the heart of Trump's impeachment. The
current investigation into Hunter Biden appears to predate those

The involvement of Trump lawyers in the published news stories
on the purported Biden laptop led to a flurry of activity by
Republican lawmakers and the Trump campaign looking to amplify
allegations of corruption ahead of the election. The FBI met
with a former Hunter Biden business associate who publicly made
claims about potential wrongdoing. The FBI issued a statement at
the time saying that "as a general matter when contacted, the
FBI reviews information from the public for consideration of any
violations of applicable federal laws."

The political implications of the probe already have been an
issue in recent months for Barr, who was under public pressure
from Trump to make Hunter Biden's business activities an
election issue. To date, the investigation doesn't involve any
allegations of wrongdoing by the President-elect, according to
the two main sources briefed on the matter. Barr has said
publicly the elder Biden was not under investigation, despite a
public campaign by Trump urging Barr to announce a corruption
probe of both Bidens.

A focus on China
Investigators appear to be focused on Hunter Biden's business
activities connected to China. Some of his business dealings in
China are publicly known through interviews and documents
released in September by Senate Republicans on the Finance
Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security and Government

After his father left office in 2017, Hunter Biden worked on
securing a deal with CEFC China Energy to invest in US energy
projects, according to documents released by Republicans.

At least one of the matters investigators have examined is a
2017 gift of a 2.8-carat diamond that Hunter Biden received from
CEFC's founder and former chairman Ye Jianming after a Miami
business meeting, one person briefed on the matter said. In
2019, Biden provided the New Yorker magazine an account of
receiving the diamond from Ye. He told the New Yorker that he
felt uncomfortable receiving the diamond and gave it to other
associates, and that he doesn't know what they did with it. "I
knew it wasn't a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was
weird," he said in his New Yorker interview.

Hunter Biden told the New Yorker that the CEFC deal fell
through, and that he didn't consider Ye to be a shady character.
Chinese authorities later detained Ye, amid Chinese media
reports of corruption allegations against him.

M I Wakefield
2021-01-13 12:05:13 UTC
Post by w***@gmail.com
(CNN)After going quiet in the months before the election,
federal authorities are now actively investigating the business
dealings of Hunter Biden, a person with knowledge of the probe
said. His father, President-elect Joe Biden, is not implicated.
Wow. That will really put a damper on his new job at the White House.

How will he ever get a security clearance?

Will Joe override the intelligence agencies, to give him a clearance
he couldn't earn, like Trump did for Jared and Ivanka?

Oh ... right.