As more and more dirt bubbles to the surface from Hunter Biden’s laptop, now there are emails from the damaged computer that link the beleaguered first son to a key operative in a Chinese criminal and counterintelligence operation.
In 2017, Patrick Ho, known to his friends as “Fat Ping,” was arrested at New York’s JFK airport soon after touching down. FBI agents had charged Ho in an audacious plot to dole out millions of dollars in bribes to African leaders in exchange for major energy contracts that appeared to advance Chinese government interests.
What emerged in his indictment and later trial and conviction in federal court was a revealing portrait of Chinese influence-peddling that included allegations that Ho arranged to broker arms deals — including the sale of rocket and grenade launchers — to countries in war zones in Africa and the Middle East.
There was one noteworthy detail, however, about Ho’s global wheeling and dealing that went unmentioned in federal court documents or Justice Department press releases at the time. During the same period that he was being pursued by the FBI for his role in the global bribery scheme, Ho and his boss, Ye Jianming, a billionaire oil tycoon with past ties to a counterintelligence front for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), had entered into a business relationship with two members of the Biden family — President Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the president’s brother, James Biden.
When Ho was arrested by agents at JFK, the first call he made was to James Biden. The president’s brother later told the New York Times that he believed the call was intended for his nephew Hunter (as if that is better for any of the Bidens!)
At the time, Ho’s connection to the Bidens was unclear. But emails on the now infamous laptop that Hunter Biden carelessly left at a computer repair store in Wilmington, Del. — many of which have since been authenticated by the Washington Post and the Times — as well as bank records and other documents uncovered by Senate Republican investigators, reveal a high-dollar money trail that flowed from Chinese interests to Hunter and James Biden and which now appears to be at the heart of an ongoing Justice Department criminal investigation.
George Mesires, a lawyer for both Hunter and James Biden, did not respond to requests for comment from Yahoo News or any other news outlets carrying the shocking reports of emails that suggest a strong tie between Hunter Biden and Ho. A lawyer for Ho also declined to comment.
The incriminating documents show that over a 14-month period in 2017 and 2018, a Chinese firm, CEFC China Energy, which was founded by Ye and whose nonprofit wing was run by Ho, paid $4.8 million to an investment vehicle controlled by Hunter Biden. During that same time frame, Hunter Biden’s firm transferred $1.4 million to James Biden’s consulting firm, according to bank records and a report released by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking minority member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Moreover, in September 2017, just two months before the Chinese businessman’s arrest, Hunter Biden -who is a lawyer – signed a retainer agreement to represent Ho, according to emails found on his laptop and since authenticated by the Washington Post.
Grassley separately obtained bank records showing $1 million was paid to Biden in March 2018 for the representation, although it is not clear what work, if any, he did for Ho. Court records of Ho’s criminal case show no indication that Biden or his law firm at the time, Boies Schiller Flexner, participated in Ho’s legal defense.
But there are definitely indications, also raised by the laptop, that Hunter knew full well, or at least became aware at some point of the kind of men he was dealing with the deeper he got mixed up with Ho and Ye. In a May 11, 2018, an audio recording of a conversation with an unidentified woman found on the notorious laptop, a copy of which has been obtained by Yahoo News, Hunter Biden complained about getting a phone call from a New York Times reporter asking about his representation of Ho.
He is “literally the f***ing spy chief of China,” Biden can be heard saying to the woman. While clearly overstating Ho’s role, Biden certainly knew he was involved in counterintelligence for the PLA. What is unclear is why the damming conversation, which was recorded by the unknown woman, was on the laptop.