‘Plausible deniability’: Tony Bobulinski says Joe Biden knew about Hunter Biden’s China deal pursuits

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Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski claimed Joe Biden’s brother, Jim, said that he and Biden’s son were relying upon “plausible deniability” as they pursued a lucrative deal with a Chinese Communist Party-linked company.

During an hour-long interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News conducted exactly one week before Election Day, Bobulinski, a Navy veteran, insisted he had firsthand knowledge that the former vice president was aware of the Biden family’s Chinese endeavors, contrary to the 2020 Democratic nominee’s claims.

After meeting with Joe Biden the evening of May 2, 2017 at the Beverly Hills Hilton and then briefly again the following day after the former vice president spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Bobulinski said on Tuesday that he had a two-hour conversation with Biden’s brother at the Peninsula Hotel. Bobulinksi said he thought to himself, “How are they doing this? I know Joe decided not to run in 2016, but what if he ran in the future? Aren’t they taking political risk or headline risk? … How are you guys doing this? Aren’t you concerned that you’re going to put your brother’s future presidential campaign at risk? You know, the Chinese, the stuff that you guys have been doing already in 2015 and 2016 around the world?”

Bobulonski said he asked Jim Biden directly, “How are you guys getting away with this? Like, aren’t you concerned?”

“He looked at me and he laughed a little bit and said, ‘Plausible deniability.’ … Anyone watching this interview can look up what plausible deniability, what he means, and the definition is very distinct,” Bobulinski said.

Newly released texts from Bobulinski back up his claims that Joe Biden met with him in 2017. At the time, Hunter, James, and their associates were pursuing a lucrative deal with a Chinese tycoon, complicating claims from the former vice president that he never discussed business dealings with his son.

The texts are part of a trove of hundreds of documents from Bobulinski obtained by the Washington Examiner, including dozens of WhatsApp messages, emails, letters, and business proposals. The records show that James Biden planned outreach to a host of Democratic politicians and world leaders as the group pursued business deals with China in 2017, and that Hunter Biden aimed to avoid having to register as a foreign agent. Bobulinski has provided the records to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and to the FBI. Bobulinski did a sit-down interview with the bureau on Friday. His records are separate from those purportedly on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

“So I initially was sitting — because I got there a little earlier — was sitting with Jim Biden and Hunter Biden. And Joe came through the lobby with his security and Hunter basically said, ‘Hey, give me a second, I’ll go over and give me 10 minutes to brief my dad and read him in on things.’ And so then Hunter and his father and security came through the bar and I was just stood up out of respect to shake his hand,” Bobulinski said. “And Hunter introduced me as, ‘This is Tony, Dad, the individual I told you about that’s helping us with the business that we’re working on and the Chinese.’ … You know, we didn’t go into too much detail on business because prior to Joe showing up, Hunter and Jim had coached me. ‘Listen, we won’t go into too much detail here. This is just a high level discussion and meeting.’ So it’s not like I was drilling down with Joe about cap tables and details.”

Carlson asked if it was clear to him that the Biden family had told Joe Biden about his business, and Bobulinski replied, “Crystal clear.”

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In September 2019, after being pressed by Fox News, Joe Biden said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

Joe Biden denied during the final debate last week that he has been involved in any family business dealings or any overseas deals, saying, “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.”

“Yeah, that’s a blatant lie,” Bobulinski said. “When he states that that is a blatant lie. Obviously, the world is aware that I attended the debate last Thursday. And in that debate, he made a specific statement around questions around this from the president. And I’ll be honest with you, I almost stood up and screamed liar and walked out because I was shocked that after four days or five days that they prep for this, that the Biden family is taking that position to the world.”

Bobulinski, a former Navy lieutenant who has done business around the world, is listed as one of the recipients of a May 13, 2017, email detailing a business deal between a Chinese company and Hunter Biden.

“I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings, which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much-publicized May 13, 2017, email is, in fact, a reference to Joe Biden,” Bobulinski said on Thursday, adding, “Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my chairman’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing.”

The “big guy” email is from Gilliar to Hunter Biden and others, sent May 13, 2017, and it says, “We have discussed and agreed the following renumeration packages.” The email noted that Hunter Biden would receive “850” ($850,000) and lists him as “Chair/Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC” — the China Energy Fund Committee.

CEFC is a multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate founded by Ye Jianming, a Chinese Communist Party-linked business tycoon who disappeared in China in 2018. Hunter Biden had attempted to work out numerous deals with him. The email goes on to say that “at the moment there’s a provisional agreement that the equity will be distributed as follows,” including “20” (20%) for “H” (Hunter). The email also asks about “10 held by H for the big guy.”

Bobulinski shed more light on his meetings with Joe Biden on Tuesday.

“Hunter and everyone was in town and they wanted to coordinate me meeting with Joe. And so it was set up for the night of May 2 at the Beverly Hilton,” Bobulinski said on Tuesday. “I met first met with Hunter Biden and Jim Biden and just had a light discussion where they briefed me that, ‘Listen, you know, my dad’s on the way and we won’t go into too much detail on the business front, but we’ll just spend time talking at a high level about you, your background, the Biden family. And then, you know, he’s got to get some rest because he’s speaking at the conference in the morning.’ … Because they were sort of wining and dining me and presenting the strength of the Biden family to get me more engaged and want to take on the CEO role. And, you know, develop SinoHawk both in the United States and around the world in partnership with CEFC.”

Carlson pressed him for further details about the purpose behind that discussion.

“As you can imagine, I’ve been asked by one hundred people over the last month, you know, ‘Why would you be meeting with Joe Biden?’ And I sort of turn the question around to the people that asked me why at 10:30 on the night of May 2, would Joe Biden take time out of his schedule to sit down with me in a dark bar at the Beverly Hilton sort of positioned behind a column so people can’t see us to have a discussion about his family and my family and business at a very high level where Jim Biden sat and Hunter Biden participated?” Bobulinski said. “And I’m irrelevant in the story. They weren’t raising money from me. There was no other reason for me to be in that bar meeting Joe Biden other than to discuss what I was doing with his family’s name with the Chinese CEFC.”

During a brief second meeting with Joe Biden after the former vice president’s speech at the conference, Bobulinski said Biden “just sort of asked me to keep an eye on his son and his brother.”

“Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family nor in any overseas business whatsoever,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told the Washington Examiner last week. “He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him.”

The former vice president has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by him or his son and dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop story as part of a “Russian plan.” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that “Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

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