Latest News 24-01-2024 06:41 25 Views

Hunter Biden’s ‘sugar brother’ lawyer confirms he still holds stake in Chinese state-backed equity fund

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Kevin Morris, a lawyer and close friend of Hunter Biden, confirmed to lawmakers that he still holds a stake in a Chinese private equity firm that he took over from the president's son. 

Morris, who has been dubbed Hunter's 'sugar brother' for loaning him millions of dollars to pay off back taxes and other bills, told lawmakers on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees last week that he still holds a 10% stake in the Chinese private equity firm Bohai Harvest RST LLC (BHR). Morris initially acquired the shares after purchasing Skaneateles LLC, a company that Hunter had previously owned, in the fall of 2021 as pressure mounted for Hunter to divest.

In a transcript reviewed by Fox News Digital, Morris invoked attorney-client privilege when asked how 'it came up that he would purchase Skaneateles,' but said he eyed BHR because he thought it would be a promising investment. However, during the interview, he claimed he couldn't recall 'exactly what [the investments] were,' but said he remembers 'going through them' and thought they were 'infrastructure' related.

'I did the transaction because, you know, I evaluated it as a businessman, and I thought it was something that could be a very successful investment,' Morris said. 'I — you know, but I did diligence on the assets. I knew what — I knew what Hunter paid for it in the beginning, and I saw, and I still see upside.'  

Morris, who stated he purchased Skaneateles for $157,000, was then pressed on only paying that amount for the 10% stake in the Chinese equity firm. 

'Look, I am going to do the best I can, okay? Morris responded. 'I thought it ended up being 157 in cash. There was also a payment in there for — there was a $250,000 payment for a loan. I can't remember if that's part of that transaction, but if it is — that's what it does — and whatever the — I believe those two were combined for the purchase price.'

Morris said he has not received any payout from BHR since he purchased Skaneateles in 2021.  

Before Morris took over the BHR shares, Hunter Biden continued owning a stake in the firm after his father pledged in October 2019 to keep his family free of foreign entanglements if he was elected president.

'No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country,' now-President Biden said at the time, despite Hunter reportedly living at the White House for an unknown amount of time and participating in official White House events, including state dinners and an official trip to Ireland. Other Biden family members have also visited the White House throughout his administration.

During the 2020 campaign, now-White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates, who was a spokesperson for the Biden campaign at the time, took a shot at the Trump campaign in April 2020, calling the campaign's communications director Tim Murtaugh a 'liar.' 

'When it was announced that Hunter Biden would be quitting the board of a Chinese equity firm, lots of news outlets credulously reported it,' Murtaugh tweeted, quote-tweeting a report about Hunter still being listed as a director and owning a 10% equity stake in BHR. 'Six months later, records indicate that Hunter has not, in fact, quit. Will the mainstream media be following up?'

Bates, who would later be implicated in the 'Russian disinformation' narrative to discredit Hunter Biden's laptop, then responded to Murtaugh while quote-tweeting a Washington Post 'fact checker' sharing a screenshot of a letter dated the same day as the tweet, which appeared to show BHR CEO Jonathan Li confirming to Hunter's lawyer that Hunter was no longer an 'unpaid director' as of October 2019.

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House to inquire whether Bates was aware that Hunter still held his stake in BHR when he attacked the Trump campaign regarding Hunter's involvement with BHR, but he did not respond. 

In late December 2020, Hunter still owned the shares in BHR less than a month before his father took office. In November 2021, Chris Clark, who was a lawyer for Hunter at the time, told The New York Times that Hunter 'no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles.'

The Washington Free Beacon reported in 2023 that Hunter's stake in the Chinese private equity firm had moved to Morris after he had purchased Skaneateles.

Hunter previously sat on the Chinese firm's board — whose financial backers include the Bank of China — before announcing in October 2019 that he would be stepping down over mounting scrutiny of his father's presidential bid.

In December 2013, Hunter traveled with his dad on an Asia trip, which included China as a stop, and introduced him to Li in the lobby of the hotel where the U.S. delegation was staying. A recent closed-door interview with Hunter's former business partner, Devon Archer, revealed that the elder Biden would have coffee with him too during the visit. Less than two weeks later, Hunter would enter into a joint-venture called BHR Partners, a Beijing-backed private equity firm controlled by Bank of China Limited.

Hunter initially invested $420,000 in BHR in October 2017 through Skaneateles. His interest in the company spiked to an estimated $894,000, according to a March 2019 email from his former business partner, Eric Schwerin.

Morris told lawmakers he did not know whether Hunter could buy back BHR in the future.

Following Morris' interview with lawmakers, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer released a statement expressing concern about the lawyer's financial support for his own client. Comer claimed that Morris' actions raised ethical concerns, noting the millions of dollars the lawyer had previously loaned to Hunter.

'Shortly after meeting Hunter Biden at a Joe Biden campaign event in 2019, Kevin Morris began paying Hunter Biden’s tax liability to insulate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden from political liability. Kevin Morris admitted he has ‘loaned’ the president’s son at least $5 million,' Comer said. 'These ‘loans’ don’t have to be repaid until after the next presidential election and the ‘loans’ may ultimately be forgiven.'

'Since Kevin Morris has kept President Biden’s son financially afloat, he’s had access to the Biden White House and has spoken to President Biden,' he added. 'This follows a familiar pattern where Hunter Biden’s associates have access to Joe Biden himself. As we continue more interviews this month and the next, we will continue to follow the facts to understand the full scope of President Biden and his family’s corruption.'

Morris said that while he did loan Hunter money, the two consulted counsel on the transactions and that he is 'confident' Hunter will repay him. In addition, Morris denied ever believing the president or his administration would give him anything in return for the loans, saying his 'only goal' was to help a friend and that there is no prohibition against that.

Fox News Digital's Peter Hasson, Andrew Mark Miller, Brooke Singman and Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.


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