Hunter Biden’s Associate Says He Was Given Millions by Chinese Energy Industry, but Never Saw Biden Père

The associate, Mervyn Yan, says the Bidens worked extensively with a Communist Party-linked energy firm.

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images
Hunter Biden departs a House Oversight Committee meeting on January 10, 2024, at Washington, D.C. Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

A close business associate of Hunter Biden and his uncle James, Mervyn Yan, has told House investigators that while he never had contact with President Biden during his years of work with the Biden family and foreign business partners, he did have knowledge of the first son’s lucrative deals overseas, which were won even though members of the family had no experience in infrastructure or energy markets. 

Mr. Yan appeared before the House Oversight Committee, which is leading the impeachment inquiry into the president, to detail his business relationship with members of the Biden family. In a letter sent to House Republicans before his testimony began, his attorney said that he had never spoken with the elder Mr. Biden. 

“Throughout his interactions with Hunter and James Biden, Mr. Yan never met, spoke to, did business with, or had any personal or professional communication with President Biden, who was then the former Vice President of the United States,” the attorney, Soumya Dayananda, wrote. 

Mr. Yan told investigators that he first met the younger Mr. Biden in 2017, and they began their work relationship in 2018 at a consulting firm — Hudson West — that the first son had started with other lobbying partners.

Messrs. Yan and Biden were introduced by a mutual friend, Kevin Dong, a Chinese national who helped connect the Biden family to capital and business associates in Communist China. Mr. Dong had a working relationship with the chairman of a Chinese energy firm, CEFC, Ye Jianming. Both the president’s son and brother began making millions of dollars from CEFC — including a one-off $5 million payment to the first son — even though neither man had ever worked in the energy sector. 

Mr. Ye — who worked in close affiliation with the People’s Liberation Army — allegedly tried to contact the younger Mr. Biden in order to create better relations between the American government and the Chinese energy market.

The meeting — which never came about — was set up by a Serbian official, Vuk Jeremic, who himself has been accused of corruption in his native country. Messrs. Biden and Ye set up a partnership at Washington after Mr. Biden’s time as vice president ended in 2017. Mr. Ye was then called back to Beijing, reportedly by President Xi, and his whereabouts are unknown. 

Last year, the Oversight Committee disclosed the existence of text messages where Hunter Biden threatened a CEFC executive, Henry Zhao, and demanded that he either send payment or face the “grudge” of the Biden family. Mr. Biden even said his father was sitting next to him when he sent those messages. 

“I am sitting here with my father and would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Mr. Biden wrote in a July 2017 message to Mr. Zhao. “Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” Mr. Biden wrote, referring to the CEFC chairman, Mr. Ye. 

“I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction,” he continued. “I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Mr. Zhao later sent the payment. 

Mr. Biden’s supporters have said he was high on drugs or drunk when he sent the texts and that they shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

On February 13, the chairman of the Oversight Committee, James Comer, will hold a deposition for another former Biden family associate, Tony Bobulinski, who was involved in Mr. Biden’s CEFC dealings around the same time as Mr. Yan. 

Mr. Bobulinski, who is a U.S. Navy veteran and consultant, says he was approached by a Biden family associate in 2015 about the prospect of entering into a joint venture that would include himself, Hunter and James Biden, and a Chinese Communist Party-linked energy firm, CEFC. 

Mr. Comer tells the committee he wants to ask Mr. Bobulinski about how that infrastructure, real estate, and technology investment scheme that the Bidens and CEFC worked on together furthered the Bidens’ influence and wealth. 

Mr. Bobulinski made national headlines just before the 2020 election, when he held a press conference prior to a presidential debate between the elder Mr. Biden and President Trump. He said assertions that the now-president knew nothing of these foreign business dealings were categorically false. 

“I am making this statement to set the record straight about the involvement of the Biden family — Vice President Biden, his brother Jim Biden, and his son Hunter Biden — in dealings with the Chinese,” Mr. Bobulinski said at the time. “I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed business with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden.”


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