Tuesday 5 March 2024

Hunter Biden Called Father From Lavish Russian Party, Asked For Help Getting Deal ‘Over The Finish Line,’ Ex-Associate Says

 Jason Galanis, a former business associate of Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, told Congress that Hunter routinely called his dad from meetings where foreign deals were discussed, and that a Chinese firm was interested in a partnership because it believed Joe Biden himself would join the board after leaving the vice presidency.

“The entire value add of Hunter Biden to our business was his family name and his access to his father, Vice President Joe Biden,” Galanis told the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on February 23, according to a transcript released Monday. “Because of this access, I agreed to contribute equity ownership to them, Hunter and Devon [Archer], for no out-of-pocket cost to them in exchange for their, quote, relationship capital.”

Galanis was interviewed from prison, where he is serving time for fraud involving bilking a pension fund. Galanis said that Hunter was involved in that scheme but that prosecutors did not charge him and kept the evidence out of court. He said that after he agreed to testify to Congress, a decision to release him early from prison was reversed.

His testimony was in regards to Hunter Biden and his close friend Devon Archer, who were partners in various businesses.

“In 2014, I agreed with Hunter and Devon that the Burnham and Company enterprise would be significantly enhanced by forming a partnership with Harvest Fund Management, a $300 billion Chinese financial services company closely connected to the Chinese Communist Party,” Galanis said.

Materials relating to the Burnham deal list both men as being involved. Archer was convicted of charges related to Burnham and his attorney said that Hunter was also part of the deal, but Hunter was never charged and his attorney said he was listed without his consent.

Galanis said what Hunter and Archer brought to the table was political connections. “The words ‘lean-in’ were used often by Devon and Hunter in our business dealings as a term for access to Vice President Biden’s political influence,” he said.

The leader of Harvest was Chairman Henry Zhao, who “wanted continual reassurance that the father was going to be, the father, Joe Biden, was going to be involved with Harvest.”

Galanis said of Zhao: “I recall being with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer at the Peninsula Bar in New York where Hunter took a call from his father. He told his father things were going well with Henry and Harvest and that he might need a little help getting across the finish line.

In another instance, Hunter called his father for the benefit of business associates at an elaborate Russian party with four-foot high stacks of lobster, he said.

“I was present when Hunter called his father on a cell phone and put the call on speaker. Present for the call were Yelena Baturina, an investor in Rosemont projects; her husband Yuri, and the former mayor of Moscow; and Devon Archer. This call took place on May 4, 2014, during a gathering hosted by Ukrainian associate of Ms. Baturina and a business partner of ours at Romanoff, a restaurant in Brooklyn,” he said.

“We were told to go to an area of the restaurant to gather because Hunter was going to call his father. Hunter called his father, said, ‘Hello,’ and ‘Hold on, Pops,’ then put the call on speaker phone and said, ‘I’m here with our friends I told you were coming to town, and we wanted to say hello.’ The Vice President said, ‘Hello,’ and some pleasantries… Hunter responded by saying, ‘Everything is good, and we’re moving ahead.’”

Galanis said there were “many conversations that I understood the Vice President had been expressing his willingness to join the Harvest board after his Vice Presidency.” In exchange, Harvest would “become an investor in Burnham. So it was to receive money. The original proposal was $18 million.”

Galanis said the group had a rule to keep Joe Biden’s name out of written materials: “say it, forget it; write it, regret it.” But it did not always follow it. In one email, Archer wrote to Saudi prince that his Ukranian business ventures, including Hunter sitting on the board of Burisma, were linked to the fact that Joe Biden was tasked by then-president Obama with dealing with the country.

Archer wrote to Khaled bin Alwaleed: “Ukraine, where I sit on the board of the largest independent gas producer, 9 and it sits within the VPOTUS, Biden’s, portfolio.” Galanis said, “This was a conversation about the VP’s portfolio that was had privately on a regular basis. This is just an example where that private conversation came out in the open.”

One business associate named Michael Leonard wrote a draft email for Hunter to send that said “please also remind Henry of our conversation about a board seat for a certain relation of mine. Devon and I golfed with that relation earlier last week, and we discussed this very idea again. And, as always, he remains very, very keen on the opportunity.” Hunter removed the mention before he actually sent the email, but “a first party witness to it, Devon, who was there golfing, didn’t suggest that that paragraph was inaccurate,” Galanis said.

Congressional Democrats pressed Galanis on his history of fraud, and Galanis said he was guilty but had nothing to gain by falsely implicating Hunter, because Hunter also being guilty would not exculpate him. He said he requested a pardon from President Trump but was unsuccessful, and with Biden in the White House, providing testimony would only hurt his position.

“As I reviewed the facts, I realized the prosecutors in the SDNY, Southern District of New York, had gone lightly on Devon Archer and had not indicted Hunter Biden at all, despite the then available documentations that we were partners; we were involved in the decision-making that involved illegal self-dealing; and that all of us had financially benefited from these schemes,” he said. “In fact, Hunter Biden and Devon’s company, Rosemont Seneca Bohai, received $15 million of the Tribal bond fraudulent scheme to be invested in the Burnham Group.”

“I believe the SDNY’s prosecution strategy was intended to protect Hunter Biden and, ultimately, Vice President Biden,” he added.

Galanis, who has been in prison for eight years, said that the Bureau of Prisons had agreed to release him to home confinement, but reversed after it became clear that Congress was subpoenaing people involved with Burnham in the Biden impeachment inquiry.

“I understand from a former high-ranking Bureau of Prisons official that the SDNY prosecutors aggressively weighed in with the Bureau of Prisons staff to oppose my release. As a result of this DOJ intervention, I was denied home confinement,” he said.

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