Hunter Biden's former business partner Tony Bobulinski claimed this week that former Vice President Joe Biden had been involved in discussions about his son's business dealings, something the Democratic presidential nominee has repeatedly denied.
Fox News has reviewed emails from Bobulinski related to the venture — and they don't show that the elder Biden had business dealings with SinoHawk Holdings, or took any payments from them or the Chinese. Still, the issue does give rise to unanswered questions about how much the former vice president knew of his son's business arrangements at the time, an issue that President Trump recently spotlighted during his campaign.
Bobulinski provided text messages and emails related to his venture to The Wall Street Journal, mainly from the spring and summer of 2017, which don't show Hunter or James Biden discussing Joe Biden's purported role.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that Hunter and Jim Biden's joint venture never got funds from CEFC China Energy Co. ‒ of which Bobulinski was a partner ‒ and corporate records reviewed by the newspaper indicate Joe Biden had no role in the discussions.
Fox News also obtained text messages from Bobulinski, a retired Navy lieutenant and the former CEO of SinoHawk Holdings, which he claimed was the partnership between the "CEFC/Chairman Ye" and the joint venture with Hunter and Jim Biden.
The messages show a discussion about a meeting that purportedly took place in May 2017, but little is known about the meeting.
The text messages indicate there was a discussion between Hunter Biden and Bobulinski about a meeting with Joe Biden.
“Mrng plse let me knw if we will do early dinner w your Uncle & dad and where, also for document translation do you want it simple Chinese or traditional?” Bobulinski texted Hunter Biden on May 2, 2017.
“Not sure on dinner yet and whatever is the most common for a Chinese legal DOC,” Hunter Biden replied.
Another text from Hunter Biden referenced "dad," assumably Joe Biden.
“Dad not in now until 11- let’s me I and Jim meet at 10 at Beverly Hilton where he’s staying," Hunter wrote.
Additional messages then seem to indicate that a meeting took place, though it's unclear what the substance of the meeting might have been. They are unrelated to the laptop or hard drive purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
The text message chain between Bobulinski and Hunter Biden was obtained after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Finance Committee requested documents related to Bobulinski’s business affairs with the Biden family. He provided the committees with the documents and Fox News also, separately, obtained those documents.
The meeting on May 2, 2017 would have taken place just 11 days before a May 13 email ‒ obtained by Fox News last week ‒ that included a discussion of “remuneration packages” for people involved in a business deal with a Chinese energy firm. The email appeared to identify Hunter Biden as "Chair/Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC," in an apparent reference to now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co.
However, according to separate emails obtained by Fox News, Bobulinski states there are no other members besides Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, Rob Walker, James Gillar and Anthony Bobulinski, regarding the shareholding structure, and records for all stages of company negotiations show no role for Joe Biden.
Fox News previously reported an email thread, initially released by the New York Post, which purportedly showed an equity split proposition that would benefit "the big guy," whom sources ‒ and Bobulinski ‒ claimed was Joe Biden.
According to the Post's reporting and Bobulinski, the proposed equity split referenced "20" for "H" and "10 held by H for the big guy?" with no further details.
"In that email, there is no question that 'H' stands for Hunter, 'big guy' for his father, Joe Biden, and Jim for Jim Biden," Bobulinski claimed Thursday in a statement he gave ahead of the second presidential debate, where he was President Trump's guest.
"In fact, Hunter often referred to his father as the big guy or 'my chairman.' On numerous occasions, it was made clear to me that Joe Biden's involvement was not to be mentioned in writing but only face-to-face. In fact, I was advised by [James] Gillier and [Rob] Walker that Hunter and Jim Biden were paranoid about keeping Joe Biden's involvement secret."
According to separate emails obtained and analyzed by Fox News, the "chairman" appears to refer to China.
Bobulinski presented three phones on Thursday night that he claimed contained corroborating evidence and said he would be meeting with a Senate committee the following day.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee released a statement Friday saying the FBI would interview Bobulinski.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates has told Fox News: "Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever. He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him."
Joe Biden has repeatedly denied that he has ever discussed Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.
The Biden campaign has said that it released the former vice president’s tax documents and returns, which do not reflect any involvement with Chinese investments.
Fox News' Brooke Singman, Jacqui Heinrich and John Roberts contributed to this report.