At some point the Biden White House will have to confront evidence of the president’s involvement in his son Hunter’s shady overseas business dealings.
Joe Biden insists he never knew a thing about Hunter’s lucrative deals in countries where he wielded influence as vice president.
But evidence abounds on Hunter’s abandoned laptop of Joe’s involvement.
For instance, Joe invited Hunter’s foreign associates to breakfast meetings at his vice presidential residence and to his office in the White House, the laptop shows. He took his son on Air Force Two to countries where Hunter was doing deals, and on at least one occasion, included one of Hunter’s business partners on the trip.
Among more than 100 events scheduled in Hunter’s diary at the VP’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, there are meetings which appear to overlap with Hunter’s business interests.
“Breakfast with Dad — NavObs” is one such meeting recorded for 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2015. Five photographs date-stamped on that day and taken at 10:03 a.m. and 10:04 a.m. appear on the laptop, showing Joe posing with four of Hunter’s business associates, including Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán Velasco.
One photo also features Velasco’s son Miguel Aleman Magnani, the founder of budget airline Interjet, at whose Acapulco mansion Hunter and wife Kathleen had stayed that March. Jeff Cooper, a longtime Biden family benefactor, who ran one of the largest asbestos litigation firms in the country, Illinois-based SimmonsCooper, also appears along with Hunter.
The photos were taken in the living room of the VP’s residence, which was painted at the time in a daffodil yellow chosen by Jill Biden and featured distinctive paintings by Vermont artist Wolf Kahn on loan from Addison/Ripley Fine Art in Georgetown, which are visible on the wall behind the men. Two floral chairs and a pink-toned silk rug in the photos match the décor of the living room at the time. In the background of one photo, a piano and family photographs can be seen in front of a bay window.
Slim was in town that day, as Politico noted the next day: “SPOTTED: Carlos Slim in the lobby yesterday morning of the Georgetown Four Seasons.”
Cooper and Hunter had been working on energy deals in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. A 2013 email from Cooper demonstrates their high expectations of the association with the Aleman dynasty.
“Miguel wants us to go to Mexico City,” he wrote to Hunter on Feb. 26. “This is setting up to be flippin gigantic brother.”
At the time, President Enrique Peña Nieto was reforming Mexico’s energy market to allow private capital investment in state-owned oil and gas monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Cooper’s association with the Bidens began in 2005 when he started filing multimillion-dollar lawsuits in Delaware in association with Joe’s late son Beau Biden’s firm Bifferato, Gentilotti & Biden. He would make a lot of money from the $30 billion asbestos compensation business, helped by Joe, as leader of the powerful Judiciary Committee, blocking asbestos litigation reform when a bill reached the Senate floor, as Paul Sperry from Real Clear Investigations has reported.
When Joe became vice president, Cooper put Hunter on the board of his venture capital firm Eudora Global, and gave him shares in the business, which netted Hunter around $80,000 a year, documents on the laptop show. In 2015, Hunter also received a “one-time payment” of $300,000 from Eudora.
SimmonsCooper also put up $1 million in investment capital for Hunter and his uncle Jim Biden’s abortive attempt to run a hedge fund in 2009. When the venture ended, the Bidens returned the money.
Cooper joined the VP’s entourage on Air Force Two to Mexico in 2016, when he and Hunter were trying to negotiate an ill-fated petroleum deal with Aleman Magnani.
At 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2016, about an hour after “wheels up” from Joint Base Andrews on the five-hour flight to Mexico City, Hunter wrote a plaintive email to Aleman Magnani using Air Force Two’s secure, high-speed satellite communications channel. He blind-copied Cooper.
“We are arriving late tonight on Air Force 2 to Mx City. I’m attending meeting w/ President N [Peña Nieto] and dad. Would love to see you but you never respond. I am really upset by it . . . I want you at the plane when the VP lands with your Mom and Dad and you completely ignore me.
“I’ve looked at what your family has done and want to follow in that tradition . . . We have been talking about business deals for 7 years. And I really appreciate you letting me stay at your resort villa . . . but I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration and then you go completely silent . . . You make me feel like I’ve done something to offend you.” Hunter had been useful to Aleman Magnani, apart from three tickets to the Obama-Biden inauguration ball in 2013 and meetings with his dad.
Crucially for a Mexican airline owner wanting to spread his wings, Hunter also set up two meetings for Aleman Magnani with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, on March 17, 2014, and Jan. 23, 2015, and a separate meeting with the administrator of the Federal Aviation Authority, emails on the laptop show.
When Cooper asked if he would go to the first Foxx meeting, Hunter replied: “No, but I am calling Sec. Foxx to let him know we are buddies.”
Before the second meeting, Hunter emailed Foxx’s director of scheduling and advance, Laura De Castro: “Miguel Aleman (Interjet Chairman) is a close family friend but I have no business with the company.”
Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that was paying Hunter $83,333 to sit on its board, also got involved in his Mexican ventures.
In a 2014 email, Cooper wrote to Hunter: “I met with Miguel [Aleman Magnani] last night. He has set up mtgs with the Secty of Energy and the CEO of Pemex for Jan 12. Is there any chance that anyone from Burisma could attend?”
Hunter later asked Aleman Magnani to intervene with the Mexican government to “smooth out” a visa problem for Burisma’s owner, Nikolai Zlochevskyi. Aleman Magnani does not appear to have assisted.
As a result, Zlochevskyi could not fly to Mexico to finalize a deal Cooper had brokered with Pemex, thus jeopardizing one of Hunter’s most profitable side hustles.
“Going to have to do some serious back pedaling with Burisma,” Hunter emailed Cooper on Feb. 16, 2015. “Most likely jeopardizes my board position.”
“I am shocked Miguel didn’t come through at crunch time,” replied Cooper. “. . . they clearly value the relationship with your family AND they know they could sustain serious damage here by making enemies with you . . . Maybe a call from you or your dad to his dad? Maybe that shakes things loose. Whaddya think?”
No reply can be found on the laptop, but Hunter knows that his arrival with his dad on Air Force Two the following year will demonstrate his clout to prospective Mexican business partners.
Nothing “shakes things lose” abroad quite so profitably as jetting in on the White House bird.
Miranda Devine’s book, “Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide,” is out in September.