Hunter Biden Asked Father to Write College Recommendation Letter for Chinese Business Associate’s Son: Leaked Emails

By Michael Washburn
Michael Washburn
Michael Washburn
Reporter
Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter who covers U.S. and China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We're Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”
April 7, 2022 Updated: April 10, 2022

Joe Biden, at his son Hunter’s request in 2017, wrote a college recommendation letter for the son of a Chinese executive who did business with Hunter, leaked emails suggest.

The emails purportedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop and obtained by Fox News show exchanges in early 2017 between Hunter Biden, his business partners at the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca, and Jonathan Li, CEO of Chinese investment firm BHR. At the time of the initial email, Joe Biden was vice president.

In an email dated Jan. 3, 2017, Li wrote to Hunter Biden and his associates at Rosemont Seneca, Devon Archer and Jim Bulger, stating: “Gentlemen, Please find the attached resume of my son, Chris Li. He is applying the following [sic] colleges for this year.”

Li then listed Brown University, Cornell University, and New York University, before requesting, “Please can you provide some advice for his applications.”

In a reply, Bulger acknowledged receipt of the resume, stating, “Lets [sic] see how we can be helpful here to Chris.”

A few weeks later on Feb. 18, 2017, Rosemont Seneca’s president, Eric Schwerin, sent an email to Li, copying Hunter Biden, Archer, and Bulger.

Schwerin wrote, “Jonathan, Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the recommendation letter that he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University.”

Schwerin then assured Li that the original letter had gone by FedEx directly to Brown University President Christina Paxson and should reach her “the following Tuesday at the latest.”

In his reply to Schwerin, Li acknowledged the help of not only Schwerin, but Hunter Biden as well.

“And Hunter, thank you very much too. All the best to you all,” Li wrote.

Hunter Biden was an unpaid board member of BHR until about October 2019 and held a 10 percent stake in the firm until at least May of last year. By November, he had divested his stake, according to The New York Times.

“Because of privacy, we do not inquire of our Registrar’s office, Admissions office, or any other office when we receive media requests such as these for information about applicants to Brown,” a spokesperson from Brown University said in response to an inquiry by The Epoch Times about the alleged recommendation letter.

“Given both the requirements of federal law and Brown’s own commitment to the confidentiality of student records, we do not entertain these requests because we would not be at liberty in any circumstance to share information on any specific applicant to Brown or recommendation letters in support of any prospective student’s application,” the spokesperson said in an email.

The White House and Hunter Biden’s lawyer didn’t respond by press time to a request for comment.

The news about the emails surfaced amid a federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s “tax affairs.”

In January, David Weiss, U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, issued a subpoena to JPMorgan Chase Bank seeking the bank records of Hunter Biden, James Biden (the president’s brother), and two other people. The records reportedly are related to transfers that President Biden’s son and brother received from an account associated with the Bank of China.

Michael Washburn
Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter who covers U.S. and China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We're Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”