President Joe Biden reassured Hunter Biden in a voicemail that he was in the “clear” following the release of a New York Times article covering his dealings with the now-defunct Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC.
Joe Biden has frequently maintained that he has “never” spoken with Hunter about his overseas business dealings. The Dec. 12, 2018, voicemail, which was located on a password-protected iPhone XS backup found on a copy of Hunter’s abandoned laptop, indicates that Joe Biden did indeed have a level of awareness of his son’s overseas entanglements with a man Hunter once referred to as the “spy chief of China.”
“Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance, just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk with you,” Joe Biden said in the Dec. 12, 2018, voicemail, which was first reported by the Daily Mail.
“I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good,” added Joe Biden, who wasn’t serving in public office at the time. “I think you’re clear. And anyway, if you get a chance, give me a call. I love you.”
Joe Biden launched his successful presidential campaign about five months after he left the voicemail on his son’s phone.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Joe Biden said in September 2019, something he would repeat multiple times.
The New York Times article Joe Biden referred to in the voicemail covered Hunter’s business partnership with former CEFC chairman Ye Jianming and his top lieutenant Patrick Ho during a time frame the Chinese company pursued business opportunities in the United States and around the world.
Ye has since disappeared in China after Chinese state media linked him to a corruption case in 2018, which led CEFC to go bankrupt.
Ho was sentenced to three years in prison in March 2019 for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by trying to bribe the president of Chad $2 million in order to secure unfair business advantages for CEFC. Ho served his sentence and was deported to Hong Kong in June 2021.
The case against Ho revealed that some evidence had been obtained through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The first call Ho made after his arrest in 2017 was to James Biden, who is Hunter’s uncle and Joe Biden’s brother. James has said he thought Ho’s call was intended for Hunter.
Hunter struck a $1 million legal retainer agreement with Ho following his arrest.
“I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho — the f****** spy chief of China who started the company that my partner, who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing,” Hunter lamented. “The richest man in the world is missing, who was my partner.”
Hunter railed against the “a**holes” at the New York Times for naming him at the top of their story, text messages from his abandoned laptop show.
“Why put me in the lead,” Hunter texted his lawyer, George Mesires. “A**holes.”
“It makes it sexy,” Mesires responded. “I think it’s all pretty diluted considering all the other names that CEFC reached out to.”
Hunter then texted: “Yes just hate being used up front for no good reason. He pretty much says nothing but it makes me once again look like im taking advantage and have no ethics and im at best a dupe and worse a dishonor to my family.”
“I’m being dramatic,” Hunter added. “Fact you did an incredible job of keeping this basically to a big fat nothing.”
Less than a month after the New York Times story came out, Hunter joked to his friend Josh Martin that he was “in the basement of a Hotel casino Being held Hostage By one of my Chinese overlords.” Minutes later, at around 2:09 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2019, Hunter told Martin that he was actually “in ny at a sober living house.”
Joe Biden left the voicemail on Hunter’s phone five days after he said he wired $75,000 into Hunter’s account to help him pay for his monthly $37,000 alimony and his daughters’ rent, tuitions, healthcare, and other day-to-day costs.
The Washington Examiner previously reported that Joe Biden committed to wiring a combined $100,000 to Hunter from December 2018 through January 2019. The payments came amid a three-and-a-half-month time frame between November 2018 and March 2019, in which Hunter spent over $30,000 on escorts, many of whom were linked to “.ru” Russian email addresses.
During a 2020 debate with then-President Donald Trump, then-candidate Joe Biden incorrectly claimed, “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about — what are you talking about — China. … The only guy that made money from China is this guy. He’s the only one. Nobody else has made money from China.”
The White House stood by that claim in March, and White House chief of staff Ron Klain said in April that the president is “confident that his son didn’t break the law.” Klain added that “the president is confident that his family did the right thing” when receiving millions of dollars from Chinese businessmen.