A prominent columnist is calling on the Bidens, both Joe and Hunter, to come clean on a scandalous mine deal in which the president’s son was involved just a few years ago.
WND reported this week it was an investment firm that included Hunter Biden that helped broker a 2016 deal that gave a Chinese state-backed company control of a massive African mine rich in cobalt — a mineral essential for the production of electric car batteries.
That acquisition now, of course, is being elevated in value by President Biden’s $2 trillion social spending plan, which earmarks billions of dollars to promote electric vehicles.
In 2016, an investment firm founded by Hunter Biden with several Chinese partners was cut into a complex $3.8 billion transaction that transferred 80 percent of Congo’s Tenke Fungurum mine from an American company to Beijing-backed China Molybdenum.
Joe Biden was vice president when the deal was struck.
And the mine is one of the world’s largest sources of cobalt — and China’s control of the mineral “presents a critical vulnerability to the future of the U.S. domestic auto industry,” Biden’s White House reported in June.
Now Jonathan Tobin, a senior contributor to The Federalist, is calling out the president and his son for details about the scheme.
“The fact that Hunter Biden is to be found in the middle of this mess cannot be plausibly explained as a mere coincidence. Nor can we be expected to merely nod along as his father’s spokespeople continue to claim that Hunter’s business dealings were unknown to the president,” he charged. “We need a full accounting from both Bidens about what they knew and when they knew it about China and cobalt and why Hunter’s firm was chosen by Beijing to be a key instrument of a long-term policy objective.”
He continued, “Should we expect the same corporate media that told us in 2020 that evidence of Hunter’s influence-peddling with respect to his activities in Ukraine and elsewhere was ‘Russian disinformation,’ that spiked stories on the subject and applauded as social media companies shut down discussion of the facts online, to ask the questions that need to be answered about this scandalous operation? It isn’t likely, even if the source material is an investigation by the flagship of leftist journalism,” he said.
“Whether the president knew about it or fully understood the implications, Biden’s son was an instrument of Chinese policy, and voters should have known this a year ago. But however belated the revelations may be, they must be fully investigated today.”
He explained the “tale of how China acquired a crucial mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo from a struggling American company in 2016 is an eye-opener.”
In that situation, control of Tenke Fungurume, a Congolese cobalt and copper mine, was transferred from the American company Freeport-McMoRan to Chinese interests through the work of Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company, which is better known in the industry by its acronym BHR. BHR was founded by President Biden’s son Hunter and two other Americans in cooperation with Chinese investors.
Hunter Biden’s partners in the operation were, in fact, “Chinese players, like the Bank of China,” which is an instrument of the Chinese Community Party.
BHR reportedly was involved to buy out the interests of Freeport-McMoRan’s Canadian partner, Lundin Mining, which held a right to buy the mine in cases of financial stress.
Hunter Biden’s operation first took control of the Lundin Mining right, then sold out to China, Tobin reported.
“In this telling, the Chinese effort takes on the appearance of the financial equivalent of a commando raid. A company named China Molybdenum, largely owned by Beijing government surrogates, swooped in and made Freeport-McMoRan an offer it couldn’t refuse in the form of a $2.65 billion bid that was largely financed by Chinese government loans. Lundin Mining could have stopped the deal but an investment firm registered in Shanghai bought them out, ensuring that nothing could stop China Molybdenum from acquiring what is estimated to be one of the biggest cobalt reserves in the world. The investment firm that performed that essential service was Hunter Biden’s BHR,” he reported.
At the time of the dealings, Hunter Biden controlled 10% of BHR through his company called Skaneatelese LLC.
Tobin explained, “This is a complicated story that raises serious questions about the failure of the U.S. government to prevent China from acquiring a stranglehold on a vital commodity. This is also a failure that continued even after President Obama left office, despite President Donald Trump’s public concerns about China’s aggressive intentions. Another sale to this same Chinese firm of an undeveloped Congolese cobalt mine still owned by Freeport-McMoRan went through with the State Department also doing nothing about it a month before Trump left office.”
But he said, “That Hunter Biden was playing a part in Chinese actions that directly threaten the interests of the United States is a scandal with many layers that require further unpacking. All of this is something that should have been made known to the voters before Hunter’s father was elected president of the United States.”
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