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Biden Impeachment Inquiry

Key Witness Struggled To Define What Hunter Biden’s Value-Add Was To Their Business Venture With Communist China

Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and House Committee on the Judiciary released the transcript of their interview with Mervyn Yan, a Biden family associate affiliated with the Bidens’ dealings with the Communist Chinese government linked energy firm, CEFC. During the interview, Mervyn Yan admitted the Bidens had no experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors and was not sure what they brought to the table. 
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE TRANSCRIBED INTERVIEW OF MERVYN YAN (Courtesy of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Republicans):
Mervyn Yan struggled to define what Hunter Biden’s value-add was to their business ventures.
  • Mervyn Yan met Hunter Biden and James Biden in May 2017 in New York City through Kevin (Gongwen) Dong. Zhou Runlong—a CEFC associate—was also present. This meeting lasted less than 15 minutes and culminated in Mr. Yan’s agreement to form a business with Hunter and James Biden. The business venture was to facilitate the investment of Chinese energy infrastructure firms—particularly the Chinese firm CEFC—into U.S. energy companies in exchange for energy exports to China.
  • Mr. Yan acknowledged that Hunter Biden had no energy infrastructure expertise and was unable to articulate Hunter Biden’s value-add to the joint business venture despite having determined to work with him in less than 15 minutes upon their initial meeting. 
Hunter Biden and James Biden had previous business relationships with CEFC—a company that had close ties to the Chinese government—that Mr. Yan worked to further facilitate. 
  • Mr. Yan said that Hunter Biden had been working for CEFC U.S. prior to their introductory meeting in May 2017. Mr. Yan did not know how long Hunter Biden had been engaged with CEFC prior to their initial meeting.
  • Patrick Ho was a CEFC official who was indicted and convicted of bribing African government officials through his work with CEFC. Following Mr. Ho’s indictment, Mr. Yan facilitated the transfer of $1 million to Hunter Biden to retain him as Mr. Ho’s criminal defense lawyer.
  • While Mr. Yan maintained that he had no knowledge of the Chinese Communist Party’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative beyond the fact that it was a government slogan, he acknowledged James Biden received an invitation to an event in China for the initiative. While James Biden did not ultimately attend the event, he demanded a $100,000 fee in exchange for a speaking role at the event.
  • As part of the CEFC deal, the Bidens and their associates sought to have CEFC obtain a stake in U.S. oil and gas companies in order to export American-made energy to China. 
Mervyn Yan received a $10,000 a month salary from CEFC but maintained that he had no knowledge of CEFC’s business activities.
  • Despite Mr. Zhao’s presence at the initial meeting with Hunter Biden, Mr. Yan said he did not know Mr. Zhao. He also said he did not know Zang Jianjun (the former Executive Director of CEFC) and had no relationship with Ye Jianming (the Chairman of CEFC).
  • Mr. Yan said CEFC was a major investor in Mr. Dong’s investment fund, and Mr. Dong managed all of CEFC’s U.S.-based funding. Despite his close, years-long relationship with Mr. Dong, Mr. Yan initially maintained he had no awareness of CEFC’s business activity or ties to the Chinese government.
  • Later, upon being reminded of correspondence with Hunter Biden in which he offered “to resign” from CEFC, Mr. Yan testified that he worked for CEFC U.S. as an independent contractor. 
Mervyn Yan facilitated multiple wire transfers from Hudson West III—a company owned jointly by Hunter Biden and CEFC—to James and Hunter Biden for expenses he could not specify.
  • Hudson West III was a company jointly owned between Hunter Biden and CEFC. CEFC provided all the capital to start and maintain the LLC during its short lifespan.
  • Mr. Yan and Mr. Dong helped establish Hudson West III LLC in August 2017 following the initial May 2017 meeting with Hunter and James Biden. Mr. Yan had not had any significant contact with either Biden family member between those two events. Hudson West III’s purpose was to facilitate a venture primarily focused on allowing Chinese-backed CEFC access to the U.S. energy market. 
    • Email correspondence indicates that Hunter Biden originally demanded $30 million in payment for introductions alone despite his lack of experience with the energy infrastructure field.
  • While Hudson West III attempted to facilitate energy infrastructure deals for CEFC in 2017, none came to fruition. 
  • Mr. Yan wired Hunter Biden $100,000 a month and James Biden $65,000 a month for the duration of their joint business venture. Despite these large salaries, Mr. Yan did not know the nature of the work either of the Bidens had completed to earn such compensation.
  • On March 31, 2018, Mr. Yan and Mr. Dong signed a second limited liability company agreement for Hudson West III. Under this agreement, James Biden was no longer included in the business venture. However, the compensation fee going towards the two Bidens remained the same, and James Biden’s Lion Hall Group continued to receive payouts from Hudson West III. 
    • Mr. Yan did not know what expenses these payments were covering and admitted to merely “eyeballing” each transaction.
  • Mr. Yan maintained that he had no formal business relationship with James Biden’s consulting firm Lion Hall Group. He also expressly stated that he had no business relationship with Sara Biden. 
    • Sara Biden also received a Hudson West III credit card despite having no formal role within the business. Mr. Yan could not explain why Sara Biden needed a business credit card beyond that she requested one. He could also not articulate what business expenses Mrs. Biden used the card for. 
  • Sara Biden emailed Mr. Yan regarding the facilitation of visas for CEFC officials and their family members, but Mr. Yan could not confirm if this activity was the reason Lion Hall Group received payments from Hudson West LLC.