As bad as Brandon’s presidency has been thus far, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
In a letter to federal law enforcement officials last week, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that the FBI is likely in possession of “significant, impactful, and voluminous evidence” of “potential criminal conduct by Hunter Brandon and James Brandon,” Brandon’s brother. Moreover, he added, the president himself “may have been involved.”
The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss — who is running the ongoing criminal investigation into Hunter Brandon — contained whistleblower allegations that relate to Hunter and James Brandon’s dealings with CEFC China Energy, an energy conglomerate linked to the Chinese government. In addition, the documents also relate to Hunter Brandon’s ‘work’ on the board of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma Holdings, according to the Washington Examiner, which obtained a copy of Grassley’s letter.
The Iowa Republican said his staff “reviewed the unclassified records” that support claims made by the whistleblower.
“Based on recent protected disclosures to my office, the FBI has within its possession significant, impactful, and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter Brandon and James Brandon,” Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote.
Included in the evidence that Grassley cited is an interview the FBI conducted in October 2020 with former Brandon family business associate Tony Bobulinski. In his letter, Grassley said that Bobulinski told federal agents that Hunter Brandon and James Brandon were working with foreign nationals linked to the Chinese Communist Party on “potential business deals and investments while Brandon was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Brandon was Vice President.”
“The information provided by Mr. Bobulinski formed a sufficient basis to open a full field investigation on pay-to-play grounds; however, it is unclear whether the FBI did so and whether the information is part of the ongoing criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney Weiss,” Grassley said.
CEFC China Energy is a now-defunct but one-time multi-billion dollar company that was founded by Ye Jianming, a business tycoon who has since disappeared in China. Hunter and James Brandon attempted to work out several deals with him before he disappeared, receiving millions of dollars in cash and gifts in the process. Also, as reported by the New York Post prior to the 2020 stolen election, Hunter Brandon said in one email that 10 percent of everything he took in was “reserved for the big guy,” whom Bobulinski identified as Brandon.
“The evidence within the FBI’s possession that I am referencing is included, in part, in a summary of Tony Bobulinski’s October 23, 2020, interview with FBI agents,” Grassley’s letter states. “In that interview, Mr. Bobulinski stated that the arrangement Hunter Brandon and James Brandon created with foreign nationals connected to the communist Chinese government included assisting them with potential business deals and investments while Brandon was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Brandon was Vice President. After Brandon left the Vice Presidency, the summary makes clear that Hunter Brandon and James Brandon worked with CEFC and affiliated individuals to compensate them for that past work and the benefits they procured for CEFC.”
Republicans have scrutinized Hunter Brandon’s partnership with Jianming and his top lieutenant, Patrick Ho, who was sentenced to three years in prison in March 2019 for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The case against Ho revealed that some evidence had been obtained through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Hunter Brandon struck a $1 million legal retainer agreement with Ho following his arrest. The president’s son referred to Ho as the “f***ing spy chief of China” in a recording dated May 11, 2018.
“The FBI has within its possession a different document, dated in October 2020, but referencing events that occurred years before. That document indicates that in May 2017 — approximately three months after the joint venture was hatched in Miami and the same month it was officially formed — Hunter Brandon yelled at CEFC officials at a meeting for failing to fund the joint venture,” Grassley also wrote. “That same document notes that as of July 2017 the money still had not been transferred and James Brandon considered calling CEFC officials and threatening to withdraw Brandon family support from future deals.”
Grassley concluded his letter with a criticism of the FBI and the Justice Department.
“It is unclear whether the FBI followed normal investigative procedure to determine the truth and accuracy of the information or shut down investigative activity based on improper disinformation claims in advance of the 2020 election. … It is also unclear whether U.S. Attorney Weiss has performed his own due diligence,” he wrote.