President Donald Trump’s campaign pulled off another pre-debate surprise Thursday, putting a former business partner of Hunter Biden on camera to level the charge that Joe Biden was ‘familiar’ with his son’s business dealings in China.
Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski spoke to reporters at the Marriott in downtown Nashville three hours before start time of the final presidential debate – and said he will turn over three cell phones to the FBI and meet with Republican senators about his former business deals.
He said he was angry with Hunter after he wanted to use funds for a prospective deal with a Chinese energy company was his ‘Hunter’s personal piggy bank.’
‘I will be providing to the FBI the devices which contain the evidence corroborating what I have said so I will not be taking any questions at this time,’ he told reporters who make up President Donald Trump’s traveling press pool.
‘I have heard Joe Biden say he’s never discussed the business with hunter – that is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family including Joe Biden, said Bobulinski.
‘I was told this past Sunday by somebody who was also involved in this matter that if I went public with this information, it would bury all of us, man – the Bidens included. I have no wish to bury anyone,’ he said.
He described what he said was a May 2, 2017 meeting with Joe Biden to discuss a business venture involving China that would invest in infrastructure, real estate and technology in the U.S.
‘At my approximately hour-long meeting with Joe that night we discussed the Biden’s history, the Biden’s family business plans with the Chinese with which he was plainly familiar at least at a high level,’ he said.
‘After that meeting, I had numerous communications with Hunter, [partner Robert] Walker, [James] Gilliar, and Jim Biden regarding the allocation of equity ownership of the sinohawk, the firm they created.
The televised statement came after Bobulinski told conservative media outlets that text messages that appeared to show Hunter Biden’s business negotiation and references to his father were authentic.
‘To me it seems like distraction and spectacle,’ Biden backer Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told Fox News, which aired Bobulinski’s statement in full.
‘We’ve got Rudy Giuliani with one hand coming up with a hard drive and a computer, and this man on the other hand coming up with last minute cell phones,’ he said, saying it makes him ‘seriously wonder.’
Coons said the emails and texts ‘aren’t being sourced, aren’t being verified,’ and noted that Biden unlike Trump, has released his tax returns.
The Biden campaign released a statement calling the attacks a ‘smear’ and saying there is ‘no indication’ Joe Biden ever got ‘any money from anybody in these business deals.’
‘Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business deals with his family, nor in any overseas business dealing whatsoever,’ according to the statement.
Bobulinski said Hunter ‘became very upset with me’ when he challenged him about how the payment distributions would occur – and also said none ever went out to the company that a group of associates created called Sinohawk.
‘During these negotiations, I repeated to Hunter and others that Sinohawk could not be hunter’s personal piggy bank and I demanded that proper corporate governance procedures be implemented for capital distributions,’ he said.
‘Hunter became very upset with me. CEFC through July 2017 was assuring me the funds would be transferred to Sinohawk, but they were never sent to our company,’ he revealed – a statement that would seem to indicate nothing went to Joe Biden.
‘Instead, I found out from Senator Johnson’s September report that the $5 million was sent in August 2017 to entities affiliated with Hunter,’ he said.
He also said what he had told media outlets, that ‘Hunter often referred to his father as the “big guy” or “my chairman”‘ – language that appears in emails that appear to discuss percentage breakdowns for a business deal with a Chinese energy firm as laid out in a May 2017 email.
The dramatic appearance came as Trump and Biden were set to face off in a high-stakes final televised presidential debate.
A flurry of emails about Hunter Biden and his international business dealings emerged just hours before Thursday’s third and final presidential debate – with Joe Biden‘s family certain to play a starring role in President Donald Trump‘s attacks.
Joe Biden’s campaign called the attacks a ‘smear’ and says there is ‘no indication’ Joe Biden ever got ‘any money from anybody in these business deals’
Many of the documents show Hunter Biden jealously apprising the value of his family name in contacts with his business partners. Some of the texts reference ‘the chairman’ in chats – a figure one partner has identified as the former vice president.
In one of the texts, Hunter Biden business partner James Gilliar tells another partner, Tony Bobulinski, to use discretion talking about the Biden name.
‘Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face, I know u know that but they are paranoid’, he wrote, Fox News reported, in one of numerous disclosures the network said was ‘unrelated’ to the Hunter Biden laptop information that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post.
Trump brought Bobulinski, a 48-year-old Penn State wrestler and Navy vet turned international investor, to the Nashville, TN, debate as a guest in an attempt to weaponize the messages.
Fox News reported that Bobulinski was preparing to hand over electronic devices and records of his involvement with Biden to the FBI, and speaking Friday to staff from the Senate Homeland Security Committee, whose Republican majority is investigating the Biden laptop.
The messages span the globe from China to Romania, and appear to show efforts by the former vice president’s son, who graduated from Yale Law School and founded Rosemont Seneca Partners – but has acknowledged struggling with drugs and making bad decisions – to seek to cash in on his famous name.
The messages were reproduced by conservative outlets including Fox News and The Federalist without any indication of who had provided them.
Many are pictures taken of a Blackberry with the original messages on them, making it more difficult to verify that they were sent and received by Hunter and the people named in them, including his uncle James Biden. The device featured in many of the shots appears to have a cracked screen.
One of them is dated in May 2017 and refers to a ‘campaign’ by Joe Biden, which at the time was not only not taking place, but was considered highly unlikely. Biden himself said that he only decided to come out of what was seen as a political retirement in August 2017 after the violence at the infamous United the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.
Arrival: Joe Biden walks off his campaign plane hand-in-hand with wife Jill in Nashville for the final presidential debate
Off to Nashville: Donald Trump left for the second debate with First Lady Melania, her first public outing since being diagnosed with COVID
Warning: On May 20 2017, James Gilliar WhatsApped Tony Bobulinski in a discussion about their deal with Hunter Biden and James Biden: ‘Don’t mention Joe being involved. They are paranoid.
Who’s the chairman: Hunter Biden referred to the chairman in one exchange with an unknown member of the group involved in the deal. Later, Rob Walker texted Tony Bobulinski to say: ‘When he said his chairman he was talking about his dad’
Source: The messages were taken from a broken Blackberry and reproduced Thursday by conservative news outlets. In this message Hunter again refers to the ‘chairman,’ this time saying ‘an emphatic no.’ What that was to is unclear
A text from Hunter references a business effort to be ‘partners with the Bidens’ by a Chinese businessman who has now vanished
Mystifying exchange: This text, dated May 20 2017, suggests a plan for Joe Biden to run for president. However at the time, he was not publicly suggesting he would and has repeatedly said that he did not want to get involved until August 2017
Lucrative arrangement? Correspondence between Tony Bobulinski and Gongwen Dong suggested the ‘Bidens’ would get a $5 million interest free loan. What happened next is unknown
WHO’S WHO IN THE HUNTER FILES
Vice president’s son was well-known to be seeking business deals in China. He traveled there in 2013 on Air Force Two and introduced his father to a business partner, Jonathan Li. In 2017, after his father left office, he pursued a relationship with Ye Jianming
Chairman and founder of CEFC China Energy, 43. A wunderkind of the Chinese energy world. Gave Hunter a diamond in 2017 as they pursued a business relationship. But in November 2017 company was accused of bribery in Africa by the DOJ, and in March 2018 he was arrested in China, reportedly on the orders of Xi Jinping. Has not been seen or heard from since but a prosecution in 2018 saw a senior Communist leader accused of taking bribes from him
Zang Jian Jun
Senior executive at CEFC and also a senior figure in the China Chamber of International Commerce
Penn State wrestler and Navy veteran turned-California businessman, 48, who appears to have done other business in China. Unclear how he and Gilliar know each other. Other business ventures include an investment in a Chinese men’s clothing company called VLOV
Bill Clinton administration official who is now co-founder of a technology-focused private equity firm, Pilot Growth. His wife Betsy Massey Walker was Jill Biden’s assistant when she was Second Lady
British-born 56-year-old businessman based in the Czech Republic. Set up jc2r, the company which is in the emails, in 2015. It is no longer active. Gilliar appears to breed race horses with his wife, Erika and appears to also be an adviser to a holding company run by the leader of Abu Dhabi’s son
Joe Biden’s younger brother and a serial entrepreneur who has long faced claims of profiting from his brother’s political career. He and Hunter were in business together in 2006 when they bought investment firm Paradigm Global Advisors which they unwound in 2010 after connections to a Ponzi fraudster emerged
The Chairman and The Big Guy
Said to be Joe Biden in many of the text exchanges although Hunter’s messages do not state this directly
‘OK they should be paranoid about things,’ was Bobulinski’s response, written May 20.
Gilliar writes: ‘U need to stress to H, does he want to be the reason or factor that blows up his dad’s campaign.’
In another group message, Hunter Biden writes to Bobulinski: ‘Hey TONY I have no idea. In light of the fact wwe are at an impasse of sorts, and both James’ lawyers and my Chairman gave an emphatic NO- I think we should all meet in Romania on Tuesday next week.
Biden has denied any overseas business dealings and has called the release of emails from son Hunter’s laptop a ‘smear.’
Trump made plans to bring Bobulinski to the debate as his ‘special guest,’ an apparent attempt to rattle Biden and steal a play from his 2016 playbook, when he brought Clinton sex accusers to a debate.
In still another document, Fox reported on a 2017 email from Joe Biden’s brother James to his business partners.
The email lists ‘Phase one domestic contacts/ projects’ as well as ‘key domestic contacts for phase one target projects.’ It goes on to list biographical information on a host of key Democratic figures, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, California Sen. Kamal Harris (now Joe Biden’s running mate), and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
The descriptions contain standard biographical information, and no indication they took part or were even contacted. Former Florida Republican Gov. and now senator Rick Scott also was listed.
The tranche of information, much of it reported by outlets supportive of the president, comes as Trump has said he will raise Hunter Biden at the Nashville debate – and keep up his blasts of ‘corruption’ that he has debuted on the campaign trail, where he has referred to the Bidens as a ‘crime family.’
A 2017 emails asks if the chairman is ‘just doing infrastructure’ or ‘looking @ technology deals?’
Hunter Biden responds: ‘Everything – the only thing I told them I would not do is defense related technology and and arms and anything that would give the Chinese a military advantage.’
A May 19, 2017 email from partner Rob Walker writes that ‘chairman’ is in reference to ‘his dad.’
They emerge weeks after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani came forward with information he said would prove Biden family ‘corruption’ and reset the race. Biden has been holding steady leads in national polls and in battlegrounds.
Bobulinski issued a statement on Wednesday saying that he personally witnessed Biden discuss business deals with his son, Hunter, contradicting claims by the former vice president.
‘I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business,’ said Bobulinski, an investor who was part of a joint venture with the younger Biden in 2017.
‘I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.’
Bobulinski, 48, claimed that the Chinese were pursuing the deal as a ‘political or influence investment’ and that Hunter Biden was ‘using the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese.’
He said in his statement that he ‘took steps to prevent that from happening.’ In 2017 Biden was out of office and had not declared any intention to run as a candidate in 2020.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee said it was getting in touch with Bobulinski to speak to him.
‘The committee is working to validate information being revealed by multiple sources,’ the Republican majority said in a statement.
‘As part of those efforts, we have reached out to several individuals named in recently revealed emails, including Tony Bobulinski. We look forward to their cooperation in helping us uncover the truth.’
Bobulinski named the company as Sinohawk Holdings. That company was set up secretively in Delaware in 2017, never filed any annual reports, and was cancelled by the Delaware regulator in June 2020 for failing to pay its tax assessment to the state. Nobody is named on the company’s documents.
THE BUSINESS PARTNER SPEAKS
My name is Tony Bobulinski.
The facts set forth below are true and accurate; they are not any form of domestic or foreign disinformation. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and offensive.
I am the recipient of the email published seven days ago by the New York Post which showed a copy to Hunter Biden and Rob Walker. That email is genuine. This afternoon I received a request from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance requesting all documents relating to my business affairs with the Biden family as well as various foreign entities and individuals. I have extensive relevant records and communications and I intend to produce those items to both Committees in the immediate future.
I am the grandson of a 37 year Army Intelligence officer, the son of a 20+ year career Naval Officer and the brother of a 28 year career Naval Flight Officer. I myself served our country for 4 years and left the Navy as LT Bobulinski. I held a high level security clearance and was an instructor and then CTO for Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. I take great pride in the time my family and I served this country. I am also not a political person. What few campaign contributions I have made in my life were to Democrats.
If the media and big tech companies had done their jobs over the past several weeks I would be irrelevant in this story. Given my long standing service and devotion to this great country, I could no longer allow my family’s name to be associated or tied to Russian disinformation or implied lies and false narratives dominating the media right now. After leaving the military I became an institutional investor investing extensively around the world and on every continent. I have traveled to over 50 countries. I believe, hands down, we live in the greatest country in the world.
What I am outlining is fact. I know it is fact because I lived it. I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other ‘JB’ referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.
Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.
I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.
The Johnson Report connected some dots in a way that shocked me — it made me realize the Bidens had gone behind my back and gotten paid millions of dollars by the Chinese, even though they told me they hadn’t and wouldn’t do that to their partners.
I would ask the Biden family to address the American people and outline the facts so I can go back to being irrelevant — and so I am not put in a position to have to answer those questions for them.
I don’t have a political ax to grind; I just saw behind the Biden curtain and I grew concerned with what I saw. The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.
God Bless America!!!!
Bobulinski also said in his statement that he was one of the recipients of the email from one of Hunter Biden’s business partners which involved a deal with a Chinese energy firm in May 2017 which promised a 10 per cent cut for a person known as ‘the big guy.’
Bobulinski claimed in his statement that ‘the big guy’ is Joe Biden.
The president has demanded Attorney Bill Barr investigate his rival, and is reportedly angry FBI Director Chris Wray hasn’t done more.
Trump ally Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, where tonight’s debate is being held, called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Biden business dealings.
The affair had echoes of 2016, where Trump repeatedly called for investigations of rival Hillary Clinton, whose use of a private email account prompted an FBI investigation, although no charges were ever brought against her.
Bobulinksi was an institutional investor who according to Fox joined James and Hunter Biden to help run their venture with CEFC China Energy Co.
Bublinski told the network: ”I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden.
He said of the texts and emails: ‘The reference to ‘the Big Guy’ in the much-publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other ‘JB’ referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.’
He was referring to an email referencing ‘remuneration packages’ in a proposed deal with CEFC.
The Biden camp, when asked about emails purporting to show business relationships involving Joe Biden, have pointed to his tax returns and other financial disclosures that do not show any income from China or the other deals.
President Trump has not released his tax returns, despite being pressed on it as recently as a TV town hall days ago. The New York Times reported this week that the Trump Organization has an undisclosed bank about in China.
Trump plans to bring the ex-business partner to Thursday night’s presidential debate as a way to confront Democrat Joe Biden on his son’s foreign business dealings.
The Atlantic reported that Trump’s aides have been telling people that the president’s special guest is Tony Bobulinski, who told The New York Post he had heard the father and son talking business, something the former vice president has denied.
Trump pulled a similar stunt in 2016 when he paraded three women who accused President Bill Clinton of varying degrees of sexual harassment and assault – Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick – around before and after the debate and had them sit in the audience to face his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump had also invited Kathy Shelton. Hillary Clinton had been her accused rapist’s defense lawyer.
Both Trump and Biden took coronavirus tests Thursday before meeting onstage between plexiglass barriers.
Trump left the White House with first lady Melania Trump shortly after midday for the flight to Nashville, TN, for the debate. It was the first time she has been seen since being diagnosed with coroanvirus after the first debate.
On Air Force One he tested negative for the coronavirus, according to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. ‘We tested him on the way here and he tested negative,’ Meadows told reporters.
Earlier, the Biden campaign said he, too, tested negative for COVID-19.
It is the final debate of the election – the previous one got scratched after Trump refused to take part in a ‘virtual’ format after getting the coronavirus – and represents an opportunity with dwindling time for the president to try to reset the race.
Trump hoped he could throw his rival off balance and demonstrate that his mind is ‘shot’ by repeatedly attacking and interrupting him during the first debate in Cleveland. But Biden ended up getting a slight bump in national polls taken afterward.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided information from Hunter Biden’s laptop to the New York Post
Now, the president has telegraphed he will accuse his rival of ‘corruption’ just like he has at his campaign rallies leading up to Thursday – and will not hold back from torching Hunter Biden after the release of emails that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani put out and said came from Hunter’s laptop.
Trump complained when town hall interviewer George Stephanopoulos didn’t bring up Hunter during his TV talk with Biden last week.
New changes imposed by the bipartisan debate commission will silence the opposite candidate’s microphone during opening statements, after widespread denunciations of the first encounter. But they will each be free to interject later in the debate.
The president’s combative stance was on display with an interview he taped with CBS’ ’60 Minutes,’ where he complained to interviewer Lesley Stahl after she asked if he was ready for ‘tough questions.’
‘But you’re OK with some tough questions?’ she asked him.
‘No I’m not,’ he replied.
Trump has used prior debates for theater, following 2016 rival around the stage in 2016. Clinton said he ‘literally stalked me.’ Trump’s team also brought former Bill Clinton rape and sexual assault accusers to the debate in a play to get inside his opponents’ head.
This time, Trump says he’ll bring up Hunter Biden, after days of disclosures from Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Biden sent a signal of his own – blowing up at a reporter who asked him about the subject several days ago.
On Wednesday, he teed off when a local Wisconsin reporter asked him about it in a TV interview. ‘This is the same garbage Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s henchman, it’s a last-ditch effort in this desperate campaign to smear me and my family,’ Biden said.
Trump can also use the Hunter saga to point to China – a country he repeatedly accuses of bringing the ‘plague’ into the U.S. He named China as the nation’s top adversary on ’60 minutes.’
Most political observers agree the pressure is on Trump to get something out of the debate. Biden’s leads have been durable, and millions of his supporters have already voted. He also has an advertising advantage on air, with more money in the bank, after the Trump campaign blew through the more than $1 billion it raised since 2017.
THE LIST OF ‘KEY DOMESTIC CONTACTS’ JAMES BIDEN SENT WITH TOP DEMOCRATIC AND GOP NAMES – INCLUDING KAMALA HARRIS AND ROCK SCOTT