While Joe Biden was Vice President, his son Hunter used his influence to demand annual payments of $2 million from the Libyan government in exchange for unfreezing its seized assets, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The new revelations arise from several newly-discovered emails that were reviewed and originally reported on by Business Insider. In the numerous exchanges, Hunter essentially committed international blackmail by offering to return $15 billion worth of Libyan assets that were frozen after the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011, in exchange for a $2 million annual retainer and “success fees.”
A major donor to the Democratic Party, Sam Jauhari, acted as an intermediary in the informal negotiations. Jauhari said on January 28th, 2015 that the deal involve only a “close circle of people,” for the sake of “confidentiality.” The email made a point of noting that Joe Biden was considering running for President in 2016. An email sent over a year later, on February 26th, 2016, once again requested that a small number of people be involved “due to the sensitivities surrounding their involvement.”
Jauhari heavily emphasized Hunter Biden’s connections to several prominent members of the Obama Administration, including then-Secretary of State John Kerry and his father, the Vice President; Jauhari claimed that it was the elder Biden who held the “Libya file” in the Obama Administration, more than any other member of the Cabinet.
“Since he travels with dad,” Jauhari continued, “he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia,” and “has access to highest level in China.” However, Jauhari noted in an email to his Libyan correspondent Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani that Hunter had several “negatives” that might hinder such a deal, including the fact that he was an “alcoholic, drug addict, kicked out of U.S. Army for cocaine, chasing low-class hookers, constantly needs money, liquidity problems, and many more headaches.”
These emails mark just the latest in a long line of examples of nepotism and cronyism involving Hunter Biden, who repeatedly used his father’s influence to gain access to lucrative international business deals. Most prominently, Hunter was given a high-paying position on the board of Burisma Holdings, Ukrainian gas company, while his father was Vice President. When Ukraine’s then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin opened an investigation into Burisma for corruption and other charges, Joe Biden stepped in to protect his son’s company, threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid to Ukraine unless Shokin was fired; Shokin was ultimately removed from his post, and the senior Biden allowed the country to receive the aid, with Hunter remaining on the board of Burisma.