As Brandon settles back in at the White House after his trip last week to Ireland, investigations by the US Attorney of Delaware and the U.S. House continue on with recent revelations of transactions flagged as SARs, or Suspicious Activity Reports, regarding Hunter Brandon’s business dealings with Chinese energy firm CEFC.
Hunter Brandon, ironically, accompanied his father on his trip to Ireland this past week. “Ironically”? Why do you say that? Well, it’s not the first time Joe and Hunter traveled to Ireland together nor is it the most interesting.
In March 2022, the Washington Post published an article titled “Inside Hunter Brandon’s Multimillion-dollar Deals with a Chinese Energy Company.” The article, surprisingly, was a fair assessment of the evidence that has recently been unearthed from emails contained in Hunter’s now-infamous laptop.
The WaPo article mentions the Chinese Energy conglomerate, CEFC, paying entities controlled by Hunter and his uncle, James Brandon, $4.8 million over the course of 14 months.
They mention Hunter adding the names “The Brandon Foundation and Hudson West (CEFC-US)” to the office space leased by Hunter’s company, Rosemont Seneca, at the House of Sweden in Washington DC. Hunter also requested keys be made for Gongwen Dong (Chairman Ye CEFC emissary) and Joe, Jill and Jim Brandon.
The article even references tense email exchanges between Hunter and his landlords regarding Hunter violating office policies by bringing visitors in through the side entrance and skipping the sign-in policy of the office building. Hunter, of course, cried “racism” after explaining one of the “visitors” was a homeless woman that “he could vouch for”. Another side door visitor was reportedly Lunden Roberts, who would later prove she is the mother to his out-of-wedlock child.
But one statement in the WaPo article is a bit concerning:
The Post did not find evidence that Brandon personally benefited from or knew details about the transactions with CEFC, which took place after he had left the vice presidency and before he announced his intentions to run for the White House in 2020.
Joe himself has reverberated this sentiment throughout his 2020 campaign, including on the debate stage against President Trump.
So perhaps the following is just a coincidence:
In September 2017, Brandon traveled to Ireland as a civilian. According to the following emails obtained by MarcoPolo, Joe left on September 11, 2017 on American Airlines Flight 776. Hunter, James, and Jamie Brandon would also be on that very same flight, although their itinerary was sent in a separate email.
On August 21, 2017, prior to their planned departure for Ireland, former assistant to the Vice President (VP) Kathy Chung sent an email titled “Memo on Ireland FP Options” to “Jimmy Brandon” and “Hunter Brandon”. In it, she stated:
VP asked me to send this to you. He will choose which meetings he’d like to do while in Ireland. Thanks.
This was in response to an email to Chung from William Russo, the Director of Public Engagement at the Penn Brandon Center where Russo said:
As promised, here’s our action memo for VP on foreign policy engagements in Ireland. Let me know if you need anything else from us on this for now.
That’s odd that former VP Brandon would be traveling to Ireland for “foreign policy engagements” during the subsequent administration. It’s doubtful he was working on behalf of the Trump Administration. Did the foreigners he was meeting with regarding “foreign policy” register as foreign agents in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act?
On September 13, 2017, after the the Brandon team arrived in Ireland, an email was sent by Mervyn Yan, a former high ranking official with the CEFC, to Jim, Hunter, and Sara Brandon as well as Gongwen Dong. The email read:
Sara and Hunter,
Because of the sensitivity of the discussion and the participants this afternoon, we booked an off site meeting room in Four Seasons 11th floor instead of using our office, don’t want anyone to overhear.
Please inform the Trade Group folks, see you guys at 2:30pm.
Also worth noting is that Yan wrote the email and referred to the original intended meeting place as “our office.” Does this imply a CEFC office in Ireland? Or one owned by Yan personally? Or perhaps a joint office between one of the Brandon’s entities and one of Yan’s? What discussion was being had between, at the very least, the former VP immediate family and a Chinese Energy firm that couldn’t be “overheard” in their own office space?
Agreed! Both initial options are very strong, especially the Rosneft transaction. This seems like a no brainer.
100% certainty this 1st deal will be funded next week.
Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16 percent stake in Russian oil major Rosneft for $9.1 billion from a consortium of Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority, strengthening the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing.
CEFC China Energy has grown in recent years from a niche oil trader into a sprawling energy conglomerate and the transaction will allow China, the world’s second largest energy consumer, to boost cooperation with the world’s top oil producer.
The deal comes as the United States imposes a new round of economic sanctions on Russia, making it difficult for large Western firms such as Glencore to develop partnerships and increase ties with state-owned firms such as Rosneft.
Rosneft’s market capitalization stands at $57 billion and the deal makes it one of the largest investments ever made by China into Russia.
The deal would eventually collapse a year later in 2018 after CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming was put under investigation for corruption charges by Chinese authorities.
On September 9th, 2017, the day after Reuters published the pending deal between Rosneft and the CEFC, Hunter emailed his travel agent telling him the travel to Ireland was coming up “sooner than I thought” and asked what were the options to fly “On Monday (the 11th).”
In a follow-up email from Hunter, as cited above, we learned that he believed Joe had already purchased the airline tickets for “the gym (sic) Brandon’s” and that they were non-refundable.
This trip to Ireland is very concerning: the former Vice President’s son meeting with a Chinese energy conglomerate regarding a potential deal with the Russians. How much influence did Hunter, Jim, and/or Joe have regarding a deal that would strengthen the relationship of our two greatest adversaries had it not fallen through? And what is the price tag to negotiate a deal that would weaken the country Joe swore to defend? $4.8 million?
Hat Tip Jon Herold
This is not the 1st time Hunter went with Joe to Ireland. Hunter and Jim went with Joe back in 2017.
While there, Hunter & Jim met with members of the CEFC group “off site” due to the “sensitivity of the discussion and participants.”
Was Joe at the meeting?
— Jon Herold (@patel_patriot) April 13, 2023