White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday refused to commit to “basic transparency” about Hunter Biden’s alleged divestment from an investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities or confirm that the first son’s infamous lost laptop is authentic when pressed by The Post.
Hunter Biden’s attorney said last month — less than a week after President Biden’s virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping — that his client had finally divested his 10 percent stake in the firm, called BHR Partners, but offered no further details on the identity of the buyer or the transaction terms.
The Post asked Psaki at Monday’s White House briefing if she would “commit to basic transparency about that transaction, including the name of the buyer, the dollar amount and the timing.”
“The president’s son is not an employee of the federal government,” Psaki shot back. “So I’d point you to his representatives.”
When The Post noted that “the first son’s attorney didn’t give any information on the transaction,” Psaki repeated herself and cut off the line of questioning.
“You can go to the representative of the person who is not an employee of the federal government,” she said, without using Hunter Biden’s name.
“I think we have to move on,” she added before calling on a different reporter.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark has not responded to The Post’s repeated requests for information on the terms of the transaction.
Psaki separately swatted down a question about Post columnist Miranda Devine’s new book “The Laptop From Hell,” which was released last week.
The Post asked Psaki to “confirm that the laptop is indeed authentic, and not Russian disinformation, as you seemed to suggest on Twitter last year.”
Declining to do so, Psaki said, “As it relates to the book, I’ve neither had the time or interest in exploring or reading the book.”
BHR Partners was registered 12 days after Hunter joined his father aboard Air Force Two for a 2013 trip to Beijing.
The New York Times last month highlighted the role of BHR in a $3.8 billion deal in 2016 that transferred control of a Congolese cobalt mine from a US company to the firm China Molybdenum. Cobalt is a key component in electric car batteries.
Clark told The Times his client “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,” referring to a corporation that previously owned Hunter Biden’s one-tenth share of the firm.
All details regarding the divestment are shrouded in mystery. It’s unclear, for example, whether Hunter Biden was paid by Chinese government-linked entities that control the company — or if he simply transferred his ownership to another person, such as a family member, without compensation.
It’s also unclear if the divestment happened before or after Hunter’s father held the three-and-a-half hour virtual summit last week with Xi.
Biden often speaks of China as an electric-car rival, despite his son’s role helping the Chinese acquire cobalt. He said last month that he consulted his son about his trip to an anti-global warming conference in Glasgow, Scotland — a rare admission of the first son’s influence on official policy.
The links between the elder Biden and his son’s business ventures often are murky.
The then-second son was paid a reported $1 million per year to serve on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma while then-Vice President Biden controlled the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Hunter Biden had no relevant industry experience at the time.
In October, Hunter Biden earned $375,000 from the unknown buyers of five prints of his novice artworks ahead of a West Coast art showing attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Three months earlier, Biden had nominated Garcetti to be ambassador to India, which meant the mayor’s appearance at the show triggered new ethics questions.
A 2017 email recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop described a 10 percent set-aside for “the big guy” as part of a prospective deal involving a Chinese energy company. Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski said Joe Biden was the “big guy.”
Also, documents and photos from the laptop indicate Joe Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates — including a trio of Kazakhs and the Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. A Senate report released last year said a firm linked to Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from Baturina in 2014.
A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group at the dinner. One day after the gathering, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father.
Photos and emails published by The Post indicate that Joe Biden in 2015 hosted his son and a group of Mexican business associates at the vice president’s official residence. In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of those associates while aboard Air Force Two for an official visit to Mexico, complaining that he hadn’t received reciprocal business favors after “I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration.”
Biden said last year that members of his family would not hold any business role that conflicts with “or appears to be in conflict” with his job as president, but until his lawyer’s weekend statement, the White House had repeatedly said the first son was still working to “unwind” his Chinese holdings.