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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are seeking records of Hunter Biden’s travel while he was under U.S. Secret Service protection as they continue to investigate potential conflicts of interest to boost his business ventures in Ukraine and China.

In a letter today to the Secret Service, the chairmen requested information on the protection Hunter Biden received while his father, Joe Biden, was Vice President of the United States.  They also sought details on Hunter Biden’s travel dates and locations while receiving Secret Service protection.

The chairmen previously requested meeting records from the State Department, National Archives and Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying organization employed by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden on its board while Joe Biden oversaw the Obama Administration’s Ukraine policy. Burisma was under investigation for corruption at the time. Grassley also previously raised concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of a U.S. company to the Chinese government and an investment firm formed, in part, by Hunter Biden.

Full text of today’s letter to the Secret Service follows:

February 5, 2020

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Mr. James M. Murray

Director

United States Secret Service

Dear Mr. Murray:

The Committee on Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (“the committees”) are reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration, particularly with respect to his business activities in Ukraine and China.  In addition to several letters that the committees have sent to other agencies as part of that inquiry,[1] the Committee on Finance also has written to the Department of Treasury regarding potential conflicts of interest in the Obama-era CFIUS-approved transaction which gave control of Henniges, an American maker of anti-vibration technologies with military applications, to a Chinese government-owned aviation company and China-based investment firm with established ties to the Chinese government.   That transaction included Rosemont Seneca Partners, a company formed in 2009 by Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz, and others.[2]

We write to request information about whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine.  In December of 2013, one month after Rosemont Seneca’s joint venture with Bohai Capital to form BHR, Hunter Biden reportedly flew aboard Air Force Two with then-Vice President Biden to China.[3]  While in China, he helped arrange for Jonathan Li, CEO of Bohai Capital, to “shake hands” with Vice President Biden.[4]  Afterward, Hunter Biden met with Li for reportedly a “social meeting.”[5]  After the China trip, BHR’s business license was approved.[6]  Then, in 2015, BHR joined with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to acquire Henniges, which was the “biggest Chinese investment into US automotive manufacturing assets to date.”[7]

In addition to business dealings in China, Hunter Biden also served as a board member for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.[8]  In April 2014, around the time Hunter Biden joined Burisma, Vice President Biden reportedly became the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.”[9]  It is unclear whether Hunter Biden received government sponsored travel or a protective detail for these endeavors.

Accordingly, to help the committees better understand Hunter Biden’s travel arrangements to conduct business related to his dealings in Ukraine and China, among other countries, while he received a protective detail, please provide the following information no later than February 19, 2020[10]:

  1. Please describe the protective detail that Hunter Biden received while his father was Vice President.
  2. Please provide a list of all dates and locations of travel, international and domestic, for Hunter Biden while he received a protective detail.  In your response, please note whether his travel was on Air Force One or Two, or other government aircraft, as applicable and whether additional family members were present for each trip.

We anticipate that your written response and most of the responsive documents will be unclassified. Please send all unclassified material directly to the Committees. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to the Committees, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security.  The Committees comply with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information.  The Committees are not bound, absent their prior agreement, by any handling restrictions or instructions on unclassified information unilaterally asserted by the Executive Branch.

If you have any questions about this request, please contact Joshua Flynn-Brown of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-4515 or Brian Downey and Scott Wittmann of Chairman Johnson’s staff at (202) 224-4751.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Chairman

Committee on Finance

 

Ron Johnson

Chairman

Committee on Homeland Security

and Governmental Affairs

[1] See, e.g., Letter from Hon. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to Hon. Mike Pompeo, Secretary, Department of State (Nov. 6, 2019); Letter from Hon. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to Ms. Karen Tramontano, CEO, Blue Star Strategies (Dec. 3, 2019); Letter from Hon. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Hon. Ron Johnson, Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to Hon. David S. Ferriero, Archivist, National Archives and Records Administration (Nov. 21, 2019).

[2] Peter Schweizer, Inside the Shady Private Equity Firm Run by Kerry and Biden’s Kids, N.Y. Post (Mar. 15, 2018), available at https://nypost.com/2018/03/15/inside-the-shady-private-equity-firm-run-by-kerry-and-bidens-kids/; Peter Schweizer, The Troubling Reason Why Biden is so Soft on China, N.Y. Post (May 11, 2019), available at https://nypost.com/2019/05/11/the-troubling-reason-why-biden-is-so-soft-on-china/; Tom Llamas et al., Biden Sidesteps Questions About His Son’s Foreign Business Dealings but Promises Ethics Pledge, ABC News (June 20, 2019), available at https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-sidesteps-questions-sons-foreign-business-dealings-promises/story?id=63820806 (stating that Hunter Biden was a managing partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners).

[3] Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, The New Yorker (July 1, 2019), available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign.

[4] Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, The New Yorker (July 1, 2019), available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Chinese FDI in the United States: 3Q 2015 Update, Rhodium Group (Nov. 12, 2015), available at https://rhg.com/research/chinese-fdi-in-the-united-states-3q-2015-update/.

[8] Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump Allies, N.Y. Times (May 1, 2019), available at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html.

[9] Id.

[10] According to 18 U.S.C. § 3056, immediate family members of the Vice President are eligible for a protective detail.

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Author: Press Release