Biden Family’s Financial Ties to China Compared to Trump’s

Since winning back the House majority, Republican lawmakers have jumped at the chance to target the Biden family over their alleged foreign transactions, echoing concerns similar to the ones that have been raised about the Trump family.

On Thursday, the GOP chairman of the House Oversight Committee published a memo alleging that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and at least two other relatives received just over $1 million from a Chinese company through indirect payments.

The latest developments surrounding the Biden family are not the first time a first family has been investigated by the Oversight panel for financial ties to businesses overseas.

Throughout his presidency, former President Donald Trump was widely scrutinized for his Chinese business connections. Those financial ties are likely to face further criticisms as he ramps up his 2024 campaign.

Here’s everything that has been said about each family’s ties to China:

Biden Family

In Thursday’s memo, Representative James Comer named Hallie Biden, the widow of the president’s late son Beau Biden, as the previously unknown recipient of the payments made by Biden family associate John Robinson Walker.

The memo said that Hallie, who was romantically linked to Hunter after Beau’s death, received two separate payments from Walker totaling $35,000 in 2017. Walker was allegedly wired $3 million dollars from CEFC China Energy, a Chinese Communist Party-backed energy company, in March 2017.

GOP lawmakers have claimed that these transactions raise questions about foreign influence over the Biden family, but the memo did not provide any evidence tying the payments directly to the president, who Republicans have pointed to as the target of their probe.

“It is unclear what services were provided to obtain this exorbitant amount of money,” Comer said in a statement.

The White House and Hunter’s team have dismissed the claims as a “baseless right-wing conspiracy.”

“Hunter Biden, a private citizen with every right to pursue his own business endeavors, joined several business partners in seeking a joint venture with a privately-owned, legitimate energy company in China,” a spokesperson for the president’s son said. “As part of that joint venture, Hunter received his portion of good faith seed funds which he shared with his uncle, James Biden, and Hallie Biden, with whom he was involved with at the time, and sharing expenses.”

Senate Republicans have previously detailed Walker’s wire transfers to Hunter and another member of the Biden family, the president’s brother, James, after the men received a $3 million wire from State Energy HK Limited. The Shanghai-based company has previously been tied to CEFC China Energy.

According to comer, the $3 million was divided between Hunter, James Gillar (a business partner of Hunter’s), Walker, James, Hallie and an “unknown Biden,” who allegedly received $70,000.

The House Oversight obtained the latest financial disclosures after quietly subpoenaing Bank of America for the records of Walker and two other Hunter Biden associates.

Trump Family

Scrutiny over Trump’s China ties began even before he entered the White House. During his 2016 campaign, Trump became the first presidential candidate in decades to refuse to disclose his tax returns—a move that was further criticized after the House Ways and Means Committee published nearly 6,000 pages of records showing Trump’s extensive commercial interests in China.

Those tax records, released at the end of last year, showed that China is one of three foreign nations where Trump maintains a bank account. Although the documents did not show clear signs of illegality, they raised skepticism over Trump’s reluctance to disclose, even as he painted Biden, who he nicknamed “China Joe,” as soft on China.

Hunter Biden Ivanka China

Documents released by the Democratic-controlled House last year showed that China was among six foreign governments that spent a total of more than $750,000 at Trump’s hotel in Washington in 2017 and 2019 while “seeking to influence American foreign policy.”

“Other documents obtained by the committee indicate that the Trump Hotel may have sought business from both China and Russia around this time, despite the Trump Organization’s promise not to enter into any foreign deals while Mr. Trump was president,” former Representative Carolyn Maloney, the then-chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform, said in November.

The former president and his daughter Ivanka were also the subjects of scrutiny in 2018 when the Chinese government granted 18 trademarks to companies linked to the father and daughter. The approvals, while applied for in 2016, raised concerns over conflicts of interest between Beijing and the White House.

Even before his first run for the White House, Trump spent a decade pursuing projects in China, forging a partnership with the government-controlled Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

While Trump has claimed that, “I don’t make money from China,” Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the pockets of the Trump Organization from the Chinese-owned bank as part of a lease agreement that was signed before Trump took office.

And last year, Reuters reported that China-based financier, Abraham Cinta, played a bigger role than initially believed in the merger between the Digital World Acquisition Corp and Trump Media and Technology Group by offering money to create Digital World, the special purpose acquisition company that signed the deal.

Original Article

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