Hunter Biden’s Dealings With CCP-Linked Chinese Firm Is Illegal Under Foreign Agents Registration Act: Rep. Johnson

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Hunter Biden’s dealings with Chinese energy firm CEFC are in violation of the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), said Rep. Mike Johnson on April 5.

Johnson, at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing, lamented that the FBI has shown markedly little interest in enforcing the act now that Democrats hold the White House, after having launched aggressive FARA investigations of people and organizations while President Donald Trump was in office.

The hearing, entitled “Enhancing the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938,” explored ways to enforce the statute in a fair and consistent manner. Originally drafted with a view to countering the propaganda and seditious activities of pro-Nazis elements in the 1930s, the act today is ill-understood and spottily enforced at best, according to legislators.

Between 1966 and 2017, Johnson noted, investigations under FARA led to only seven prosecutions. Then, with Trump in office, the FBI suddenly grew interested in using FARA prosecutions as a tool and selectively enforced the act in a biased manner with the aim of prosecuting people deemed to be in the Trump camp, such as former 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, former foreign policy advisor Carter Page, and former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, according to Johnson.

Federal agents were quick to use failure to register certain activities under FARA as a pretext for aggressive enforcement actions, Johnson said, and even raided Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office as part of an investigation of his dealings in Ukraine.

“Of course, now that President Trump has left office, the FBI again has little interest in enforcing FARA. If that’s not evidence of political bias in the depths of government, I don’t know what is,” Johnson said.

In Johnson’s view, the political motivations of earlier FARA enforcement actions stand out all the more starkly in light of the feds’ current lack of interest in pursuing Hunter Biden in the face of “ample evidence” that the latter tried to advance the interests of foreign companies when Joe Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.

The CEFC Connection

The lawmaker expressed consternation over the fact that it is now known that the FBI has had Hunter Biden’s laptop in its possession since December 2019, and in nearly two and a half years has not taken any public action concerning its contents, which is said to include details of business deals, pornographic images, and illicit data.

Johnson noted that his colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) took the step of introducing the laptop into the House committee’s Congressional record last week, adding that he hopes the staff of the majority Democratic Party does not delay the disclosing of the laptop’s contents to the public.

“Everybody has a right to know that the son of the vice president used his political influence to benefit, among many other companies, CEFC China Energy, a Chinese conglomerate whose chairman has links to the Chinese Communist Party,” Johnson said.

There is no doubt in Rep. Johnson’s mind that Hunter Biden knew that his dealings with CEFC violated the law, especially in light of a text message that Biden send his business associate Tony Bobulinski on May 1, 2017, stating, “We don’t want to have to register as foreign agents.” In subsequent communications, Biden proposes that he and his collaborator form a shell corporation to conceal their role and permit CEFC to engage freely and without legal complications in dealings with the U.S. government. Johnson alluded to public statements from Bobulinski acknowledging that then-Vice President Joe Biden had discussed the CEFC dealings directly with the younger Biden.

Johnson went on to quote an email found on Hunter Biden’s laptop dated May 13, 2017, mentioning compensation packages, including substantial equity splits, for a deal with CEFC. The younger Biden mentions that there will be something in the deal for “the big guy,” a nickname that Bobulinski says Hunter used for Joe Biden.

The laptop also contains evidence of potential FARA violations in the context of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Johnson said. It also establishes that Hunter Biden set up meetings with other U.S. officials and engaged in further “representational activities” on behalf of his foreign counterparties, he added.

“Failing to register such behavior is clearly a violation of the law, but to date, zero charges have been filed and FARA has not been used as a pretext,” the lawmaker commented, adding that the FBI’s seeming indifference to the violations of the son of a top Democratic Party figure is not without consequences for the way that Americans perceive their elected officials and their institutions.

“Political bias is rearing its head. The double standard continues to erode faith in our public institutions,” Johnson added.

A Colleague Weighs In

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pointedly challenged President Biden’s recent denial of any wrongdoing on the part of his son.

“‘Nothing was unethical. My son has not made money from Chinese business interests.’ There are 4.8 million reasons why that statement is not accurate,” Jordan said, alluding to two recent stories that the Washington Post ran on the matter last week.

The laptop story was first reported by the New York Post in late 2020 before Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies moved to limit its reach. Twitter also locked the NY Post’s account for more than two weeks, claiming the outlet published “hacked material.” Last week, the Washington Post, which hired two security experts to authenticate the laptop, verified the authenticity of much of the laptop’s content.

“They ran two eight-page stories, four minutes apart, when for 18 months they had said it’s Russian disinformation,” Jordan said.

The Washington Post reported that Hunter Biden had received large payouts from Chinese firms with links to the CCP, including $4.8 million from CEFC China Energy, the lawmaker noted.

“Should Hunter Biden have registered under [FARA]? Why didn’t he? Why is the Department of Justice being inconsistent, as it seems?” he asked.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Hunter Biden’s lawyer, the Justice Department, and the FBI for comment.

Michael Washburn


Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter who covers China-related topics. He has a background in legal and financial journalism, and also writes about arts and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We’re Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”

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