Did Joe Biden meet son Hunter Biden's business partners? Leaked emails reveal truth

Leaked emails from Hunter Biden's laptop reportedly show that Joe Biden met with his business associates when he was vice president

                            Did Joe Biden meet son Hunter Biden's business partners? Leaked emails reveal truth
Joe Biden and Hunter Biden during the 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony on April 12, 2016, in Washington, DC (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

The White House has chosen not to respond to the latest leaks from Hunter Biden's laptop, which confirm the president did meet with several of Hunter's business associates as far back as 2015. The mails are in sharp contrast to Biden's own claims when he has said multiple times that he had no knowledge of Hunter's business dealings. 

Reportedly, Hunter organized a dinner at the Café Milano in Georgetown, Washington DC, in 2015 to introduce several of his associates to his father. That dinner was also organized by Devon Archer, Hunter's partner at Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC. The firm was flagged by the US Treasury in 2014 for $3.5M in wires sent by Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina


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Details of the dinner have been revealed by The Daily Mail, who published the latest batch of emails. The emails have been verified by the Mail, which also reached out to the White House for comment. So far, they have not replied. 

Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden and son Hunter Biden on December 4, 2013, in Beijing, China (Ng Han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)

Who did Joe Biden meet?

The guest list for the dinner reportedly included Baturina and her late husband Yury Luzhkov (former Moscow Mayor), Vadym Pozharskyi (an executive at Burisma), Rick Leach (World Food Program USA founder), Marc Holtzman (Kazakhstani banker), Michael Karloutsos (son of the head of the Greek Orthodox Church), and three other unnamed ambassadors. In total, there were around 14 people at the dinner. 

At the time, Hunter was on the board of World Food Program (WFP) USA and he reportedly used the organization as a cover for the meeting. The emails show that Hunter wanted the group to meet "to discuss food security". On March 26, he confirmed to Karloutsos that "dad would be there". To that mail, Karloutsos replied, "What is the UN Food Program called? I know you mentioned your dad would probably join the dinner as well. Anyone else of note?"

Hunter confirmed that "a prime minister of a country" would attend, but did not say who that was in the emails. That was likely Karim Massimov, who was the prime minister of Khazakstan at the time. On March 15, Hunter was invited by Holtzman to a "small private breakfast" with Massimov at Willard Hotel. It is unclear if Hunter attended that April 16 meeting.

Karim Massimov Prime Minister of Kazakhstan during the 128th IOC Session on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (How Foo Yeen/Getty Images)

On May 20, Hunter emailed Archer to confirm the details of the dinner. "3 seats for our KZ friends. 2 seats for Yelana and husband. 2 you and me. 3 seats for WFPUSA people. Vadym. 3 Ambassadors (MX, ?, ?). Total 14," he allegedly wrote. To that, Archer replied, "save a seat for your guy", and added, "and mine if he's in town". It's unclear who exactly Archer is referring to here, but the Mail believes it to be Joe Biden and John Kerry. At the time, Biden was the vice president and Archer was serving as an advisor to then-secretary of state Kerry. 

Post the dinner, several of the attendees sent emails thanking Hunter. Pozharskyi wrote on April 17, "Thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It's realty (sic) an honor and pleasure." Holtzman wrote, "Deer (sic) Hunter, Thank you for an amazing evening, wonderful company and great conversation. I look forward to seeing you soon and to many opportunities to work closely together." 

Vadym Pozharskyi with the former president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski (Spekter1/Wikimedia Commons)

The Pozharskyi email is the closest link we have confirming that Biden did meet with Hunter's associates while in office. It was first leaked in October 2020 when Biden was on the campaign trail. At the time, his spokesman Andrew Bates said, "We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place." Beyond that, Biden hasn't addressed the scandalous emails.

The meeting isn't exactly illegal, there are no laws in the US that bar officeholders from meeting with 'associates', but it is considered the ethical practice to dissociate oneself from business interests while serving in the federal government. The closest laws we have are the emoluments clauses and the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.

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