Newly released emails sourced from former Hunter Biden associate Bevan Cooney reveal a shockingly short-sighted business “deal” that saw a strategic manufacturer in the United States sold off to an aeronautics and defense company controlled by the government of China.
The revelations come at the worst possible time for Hunter’s father, embattled Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Following the elder Biden’s less-than-stellar performance during Thursday’s presidential debate, the emails, published Friday by Breitbart, raise questions about how detrimental his family’s business ties can be to the United States.
The emails detail some of what went on behind closed doors when strategic American manufacturer Henniges Automotive was being purchased by a Chinese state-owned company in 2015.
Because of Henniges’ capacity to produce military hardware, approval from the Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. was needed to finish the deal, according to Breitbart.
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The deal may have seemed like a long shot at first, in part because the Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute — a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation, or AVIC, the Chinese state-owned aerospace and defense conglomerate that was interested in purchasing Henniges — had been placed on a U.S. federal government watch list in 2014 for “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”
Thankfully for the Chinese government, Hunter Biden’s Bohai Harvest RST equity fund — also known as BHR Partners — was more than willing to pair up with AVIC.
The joint venture was referred to as “Project Hanson,” according to Breitbart. The project would eventually help sell Henniges off to the Chinese state-owned company, the outlet reported.
“Internal BHR documents show exactly how the Chinese military contractor was able to disguise its ownership via shell corporations and formed a joint-venture with the son of the vice president to facilitate the Chinese takeover of an American dual-use technology supplier,” according to Breitbart.
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“When news of the AVIC takeover of Michigan-based manufacturer Henniges Automotive hit the wire, Biden’s associates celebrated, calling the transaction a ‘proof of concept’ for future Chinese acquisitions,” the outlet added. “Cooney’s emails (and their attachments) reveal how Hunter Biden’s BHR viewed the Henniges acquisition — which they code named ‘Project Hanson’ — as a major coup and a model for future BHR ‘cross-border’ investments.”
The Wall Street Journal has backed up some facts about the deal, though one source claimed AVIC handled most of the negotiations.
“In the U.S., BHR Partners participated in a $600 million buyout of Michigan automotive-suspension-systems maker Henniges Automotive in 2015, acquiring a 49% stake, but a banker involved in the deal said negotiations were handled primarily by Aviation Industry Corporation of China Ltd., a state-owned aircraft company that bought a 51% stake,” The Wall Street Journal reported last year.
Most worryingly, AVIC is the company behind the J-20 — an advanced stealth fighter championed in China as proof of the country’s ability to arm itself well.
Although the fighter jet went through flight testing starting in 2011, the public didn’t get to see a demonstration of the hardware until a full year after AVIC’s deal to acquire Henniges was closed.
It’s unclear if any technology or industrial capacity was shifted from American facilities to supplement the Chinese stealth jet program.
China began mass production of the newest J-20 iteration this year.
The fishy transaction, and Hunter Biden’s involvement in it, has not gone completely unnoticed by those in our nation’s capital.
“As with the Uranium One transaction, there is cause for concern that potential conflicts of interest could have influenced CFIUS approval of the Henniges transaction,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote in a 2019 letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“The direct involvement of Mr. Hunter Biden and [former Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson] Mr. [Chris] Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest,” the Iowa Republican continued. “Both are directly related to high-ranking Obama administration officials. The Department of State, then under Mr. Kerry’s leadership, is also a CFIUS member and played a direct role in the decision to approve the Henniges transaction.”
Although what exactly transpired for the Henniges deal to be approved is unclear, the rate at which Hunter Biden’s bad deals are being exposed is sending shockwaves through his father’s 2020 presidential campaign.
As Americans head to the polls in less than two weeks’ time, bombshells uncovering the Biden family’s business dealings are sure to make a major impact.
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