Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, recently came into the spotlight over a $1 million payment he received for legal services from Patrick Ho, a former Chinese business associate.
This revelation, brought to light in documents released by the House Ways and Means Committee, has raised questions about the nature of the services provided.
Hunter Biden’s $1 million legal retainer agreement raises questions
In September 2017, Hunter Biden and Patrick Ho, an executive of the now-defunct Chinese infrastructure firm CEFC, signed an attorney engagement letter.
This document, which agreed to pay Hunter Biden $1 million as a retainer for future legal services, has been central to the ongoing controversy.
Despite the agreement, IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler, in his affidavit, clarified, “Hunter Biden is not included as an attorney on record for the Patrick Ho case in the Southern District of New York.”
“This engagement letter related to the $1 million allegedly paid for the legal representation of Patrick Ho.” This statement raises doubts about whether the legal services were performed.
Timing and legal implications of Hunter’s $1 million payment
Ziegler further disclosed, “The $1 million payment was paid to Hunter Biden and his entity Owasco LLC on or about March 22, 2018, 9 days prior to Hunter Biden leaving for California for his self-proclaimed exile.”
This timing has added to the controversy surrounding the payment.
Ho’s arrest in November 2017 on bribery charges connected to his work at CEFC and subsequent three-year prison sentence in 2019 has been pivotal in the unfolding narrative.
Ho’s involvement in international bribery attempts, attempting to influence officials in Chad and Uganda, has added a layer of complexity to Hunter Biden’s dealings with him.
Hunter Biden’s financial dealings with CEFC and legal troubles
Hunter Biden has admitted in court to earning just under $1 million in 2017 through Hudson West III, a business entity formed with CEFC associates.
His comparison of CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming to CCP leader Xi Jinping, as revealed in a memo, has further attracted attention to his dealings with Chinese entities.
The controversy extends to a failed guilty plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, where Ho is mentioned to have sent $1 million to Hunter Biden.
The indictment against Hunter Biden by a California grand jury outlines tax-related charges and details the $1 million payment.
Hunter Biden faces numerous legal challenges
Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, has argued that the charges are a result of his client’s last name, stating, “Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought.”
Apart from the controversy surrounding the $1 million payment, Hunter Biden faces other legal challenges. He was indicted on federal gun charges related to a 2018 incident and has pleaded not guilty.
His battle with addiction has also been a public topic, especially following an op-ed he wrote for USA Today.
Whistleblower testimonies accuse DOJ officials of favoritism towards Hunter
The case has been complicated by testimonies from whistleblowers like Ziegler and Gary Shapley, who have accused DOJ officials of showing favoritism towards Hunter Biden.
These testimonies, along with other critical witness statements, have been central to the House Republicans’ investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
Hunter probe part of broader impeachment inquiry into President Biden
The investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities is part of a more extensive impeachment inquiry into President Biden by House Republicans. This inquiry focuses on the Biden family’s financial dealings with foreign entities.
With a scheduled deposition and potential contempt charges looming, Hunter Biden’s case continues to evolve.
House Republicans are considering further actions, including a floor vote to strengthen the impeachment inquiry.