Now that the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) want to get to the bottom of Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine and China.
Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Johnson, the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray about Biden's travel arrangements. Specifically, the committees want to know if the Obama administration approved a transaction that benefited Biden, as well as former Secretary of State John Kerry's stepson, Christopher Heinz.
The pair also wants to know if taxpayer funds were used for Hunter Biden's travel and security detail for trips he made to Ukraine.
Below is the text of the letter (emphasis mine):
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, 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.
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. 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." After the China trip, BHR's business license was approved. Then, in 2015, BHRjoined with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to acquire Henniges, which was the "biggest Chinese investment into US automotive manufacturing assets to date."
In addition to business dealings in China, Hunter Biden also served as a board member for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. In April 2014, around the time Hunter Bidenjoined Burisma, Vice President Biden reportedly became the "public face of the administration's handling of Ukraine." 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:
- Please describe the protective detail that Hunter Biden received while his father was Vice President.
- 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.
Charles E. Grassley
Committee on Finance
Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs