Watchdog Sues for Records of Investments by Firms Tied to Hunter Biden

October 10, 2019 Updated: October 11, 2019

A prominent conservative watchdog group filed two lawsuits on Oct. 10, seeking records on the investments by two foreign firms tied to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Judicial Watch sued the departments of state and Treasury for records tied to the investments by Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings and China’s Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). The watchdog requested records from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) after the government failed to turn over documents pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request filed on June 24, 2019.

Hunter Biden is already facing Congressional scrutiny for his role in BHR. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is seeking records from the Treasury concerning its approval of the acquisition by Henniges, an anti-vibration technology company, by a partnership between BHR and a Chinese Communist Party-owned aviation company, Aviation Industry Corp. of China. The Treasury Department issue a brief response to Grassley which did not provide an estimate for when the records the senator is seeking would be produced.

Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian dealing came in the spotlight after an anonymous whistleblower complained that President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the matter. House Democrats initiated an impeachment inquiry based on the complaint. The whistleblower alleged that Trump’s request might constitute a campaign finance violation. The Department of Justice reviewed the complaint and determined no further action was necessary.

Judicial Watch is seeking government records related to investments by BHR, Burisma, and any entities affiliated with the two companies.

“Judicial Watch will continue to press for information to get to the bottom of this influence-peddling scandal involving Joe Biden and his son,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

According to Judicial Watch, Hunter Biden is reportedly one of nine directors of BHR. The company was registered 12 days after Biden, and his father visited China in December 2013. During the trip, Hunter Biden reportedly sealed a deal with the government-owned Bank of China to set up BHR as a $1 billion investment fund. Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry, also reportedly had a stake in the company.

In 2015, BHR teamed up with a Chinese state-owned firm to acquire Henniges Automotive, which manufactures anti-vibration technologies with military applications. CFIUS approved the transaction even though the Chinese aviation company was reportedly involved in the theft of sensitive data related to the Joint Strike Fighter program. The stolen data ended up being incorporated into China’s J-20 and J-31 aircraft.

“The appearance of potential conflicts, in this case, is particularly troubling given Mr. Biden’s and Mr. Heinz’s history of investing in and collaborating with Chinese companies, including at least one posing significant national security concerns,” Grassley wrote in his letter to the Treasury Department. “This history with China pre- and post-dates the 2015 Henniges transaction.”

Hunter Biden was reportedly being paid $50,000 a month for his role on the board of directors of Burisma in 2014 and 2015. Joe Biden bragged early last year about forcing the firing of top Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin by withholding loan guarantees to Ukraine. After he was fired, Shokin said in an sworn affidavit that he was removed because he refused to drop an investigation into Burisma under pressure from Biden.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov
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