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THE BESTSELLER Laptop From Hell, by columnist Miranda Devine, is one of the essential journalistic works of the last decade. It portrays, in detail, how the tabloid New York Post revealed one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history just weeks before the 2020 presidential election: the alleged involvement of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in the shady business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden.
The reality, however, is that over the past year, details of Hunter’s controversial business dealings in Ukraine and China were overshadowed by the constant revelations of the president’s son’s troubled private life.
Hunter’s computer —also known as the Laptop from Hell — contains much shocking material, including drug use, home pornography, family secrets, and a range of evidence of alleged crimes that indirectly diverted attention from his business dealings.
However, this July 21, both Fox News and CNN reported that the federal investigation against Hunter Biden reached a critical point. Officials in charge of the process are evaluating the possibilities of filing charges against the president’s son. At the same time, prosecutors are engaged in a power play against the Department of Justice, where some officials prefer not to take on sensitive political issues in an election year.
A source told Fox News that “officials are weighing possible charges for tax violations, foreign lobbying, and false statements.” The most serious they are investigating, according to the source, is “possible foreign lobbying violations.”
This revelation is a reminder of something important: the Laptop From Hell abandoned by Hunter Biden in Delaware contains much more than drugs, homemade porn, and troubled private life. Its contents could bring down the president’s son and leave Joe Biden himself in a terrible spot.
Ukraine, Hunter and Joe
During the presidential campaign and after winning the election, Biden insisted that he was unaware of and had no connection to his son’s foreign business dealings. However, content exposed from Hunter’s computer suggests otherwise.
According to a New York Post report published weeks before the election — journalistic content that Twitter partially censored and Facebook and ignored by much of the press for months — Hunter Biden introduced a senior executive of the controversial Ukrainian gas firm Burisma to his father.
The man in question was Vadym Pozharskyi, an advisor to Burisma, who wrote an email to Hunter saying, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It’s realty an honor and pleasure.”
Pozharskyi’s introduction to Joe Biden, according to the Post, came less than a year after Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian government officials to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the company over a corruption scandal.
At the time, Biden claimed that Shokin was corrupt, which is why he pressured Ukraine to get out of the prosecutor’s office. Still, the former prosecutor defended himself by saying that the then vice president threatened that the Obama Administration would not send $1 billion in aid to Ukraine, citing his investigation against Burisma.
Joe Biden’s pressures on Ukraine came when Hunter Biden was already on Burisma’s board of directors, where he remained from 2014 to 2019, earning more than $50,000 a month.
The president’s son admitted in an interview to the BBC that the firm possibly sought his hiring because of what the Biden family represents politically.
CEFC China Energy, Colombia and the famous “Big Guy”
Another controversial company linked to Hunter Biden is the firm CEFC China Energy, an energy company with close ties to the Liberation Army that filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after its chairman, Ye Jianming, fell out of favor with the Chinese Communist Party and was arrested on alleged bribery charges.
The Hunter-CEFC relationship is complex, broad, and controversial; however, the primary connection to his father relates to a 2017-dated email sent by James Gilliar, a former partner of Hunter Biden’s at Oneida Holdings. This consortium sought to finalize a joint venture agreement with CEFC China Energy.
According to the Daily Caller, that email presents a capital split for several people, including Hunter, Jim Biden (the president’s brother), and a man referred to as ‘Big Guy.’
It reads that “H” will receive 20%, RW another 20%, JG and TB the same amount, JIM 10%, and the ‘big guy’ another ten; RW being the initials of Rob Walker, Hunter Biden’s partner, TB those of Tony Bobulinski, a key name in this story, JG those of James Gilliar, H that of Hunter, and Jim the diminutive for James Biden.
The only undisclosed name is the ‘Big Guy’ one, but Tony Bobulinski, a big partner of the Biden family, mentioned that this ‘Big Guy’ supposedly refers to Joe Biden.
Bobulinski is not just any partner. He was directly involved in the firm Oneida Holdings when it was seeking a million-dollar deal with the Chinese company CEFC.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson and an email sent to the New York Post, Bobulinski, who had several run-ins with Hunter Biden amid the negotiations between CEFC and Oneida, stated that Joe Biden was indeed aware of Hunter’s dealings with the Chinese company and was often asked for his advice in entering into these negotiations.
Likewise, Hunter Biden had no qualms about doing business on his father’s behalf with the Chinese company. In a business scheme presented to CEFC China Energy, the president’s son offered the diplomatic-political connections his father had in South American countries such as Colombia to open doors for the Chinese firm to Latin America.
According to a Washington Post analysis —where unpublished details of the business dealings between Hunter and the Chinese energy conglomerate were revealed — over 14 months, CEFC China Energy and its executives “paid $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter Biden and his uncle, according to government records, court documents and newly disclosed bank statements, as well as emails contained on a copy of a laptop hard drive that purportedly once belonged to Hunter Biden.”
While the Washington Post said they found no details about Joe Biden “personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC,” the newspaper acknowledged that “the new documents (…) illustrate the ways in which his family profited from relationships built over Joe Biden’s decades in public service.”
Will the Laptop From Hell pass to posterity?
The president’s son’s controversies are not limited to his troubled personal life or business dealings with Burisma or CEFC that could even bind the president or at least leave his words exposed.
There is also, for example, Hunter Biden’s alleged involvement in the controversial Chinese company BHR Partners. Or the 19 meetings that his father, Joe Biden, held with Eric Schwerin, Hunter’s key partner, between 2009-2015 at official sites such as The White House or the West Wing.
At this point, with the investigations on Hunter Biden reaching a turning point, it is impossible to predict what will happen and what will be the end of this saga; leaving in the air the main doubt: will the Laptop From Hell go down in posterity as one of the biggest political scandals of the last decades or will it be forgotten in the face of the apathy of much of the press?
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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