Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, are calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to correct conflicting public statements by the Justice Department about whether it had used extraordinary surveillance tools on a former Chinese business partner of Hunter Biden. In a letter today to Garland, the Senators released a signed 2018 bank document detailing a direct business relationship between Hunter Biden and Gongwen Dong, a Chinese national with ties to the communist regime, and their respective companies.

In response to the senators’ March inquiry seeking intelligence records related to the Biden family’s business partners, the Justice Department indicated that it couldn’t confirm the existence of such material. However, in a public 2018 court filing, the department stated its intent to use information gathered pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act related to Patrick Ho, a former business partner of Hunter Biden. Ho, who is associated with the communist Chinese government and its intelligence services, was convicted of international bribery and money laundering offenses stemming from his work for a Chinese energy company linked to the communist regime. The existence of information acquired pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act indicates Ho may have posed a counterintelligence threat.

Grassley and Johnson are calling on Garland to correct the public record and clear up confusion about the counterintelligence steps the U.S. government has taken against the Biden family’s past business partners.

Full text of the letter follows.

November 15, 2021

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

The Honorable Merrick Garland

Attorney General

Department of Justice

Dear Attorney General Garland:

Today, we write to you about a potentially false statement that your Department provided to us on July 12, 2021.  By way of background, on March 31, 2021, we wrote to you with respect to financial transactions and connections between and among members of the Biden family and foreign nationals connected to the communist Chinese government, including its military and intelligence services.[1]  In particular, our letter noted that Hunter Biden had a close association with Chi-Ping “Patrick” Ho, who is associated with the communist Chinese government and its intelligence services.[2]  As you are aware, in December 2017, Patrick Ho was charged and in December 2018 was convicted of international bribery and money laundering offenses stemming from his work for China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a subsidiary of CEFC China Energy and a company with extensive links to the communist regime.[3]  After his arrest, Ho’s first call was reportedly to James Biden, President Biden’s brother.[4]  Hunter Biden reportedly represented Patrick Ho for a period of time and received at least $1 million in payment.[5]

Our March 31, 2021, letter also mentioned an individual named Gongwen Dong, who is connected to the communist Chinese government.[6]  Hunter Biden had a close business and financial relationship with him.  As one example of their relationship, we’ve attached a document which shows the direct financial and business relationship between Hunter Biden and Gongwen Dong.  This document illustrates an assignment and assumption of business interests with respect to Hunter Biden’s companies, Hudson West III and Owasco, and Gongwen Dong’s company, Hudson West V, which was memorialized in writing:

Based on the extensive relationships between and among Hunter Biden and individuals connected to the communist Chinese regime, our letter requested “all intelligence records, including but not limited to, all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-derived information” relating to Patrick Ho and other individuals, including Gongwen Dong.[7]  Our request was based, in part, on reporting and a federal court filing by the Department that said it had obtained at least one Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant relating to Patrick Ho, indicating his potential counterintelligence threat to the United States.  That February 2018 federal court filing was titled, “Notice Of Intent To Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Information.”  The filing by the Department stated, in part:

[T]he United States intends to offer into evidence, or otherwise use or disclose in any proceedings in the above-captioned matter, information obtained or derived from electronic surveillance and physical search conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.[8]

Despite this sworn acknowledgement by the Department you oversee, your July 12, 2021, response to our letter denied knowing whether the Department even possessed the information stating, in part:

Unfortunately, under the circumstances described in your letter, we are not in a position to confirm the existence of the information that is sought (if it exists in the Department’s possession).[9]

Both statements cannot be true.  Either the statement in your July 12, 2021, letter is true – that the Department is unaware of whether it possesses the relevant material – or the Department’s February 8, 2018, statement to federal court that the Department is aware of the fact that it possesses the relevant material is true.  Therefore, one statement is false.

Accordingly, no later than November 22, 2021, we request that you either amend your July 12, 2021, letter to correct the inaccurate statement or confirm in writing that the Department’s February 8, 2018, court filing stating that the Department possesses FISA-related information on Patrick Ho was an inaccurate statement to federal court.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

Ron Johnson

Ranking Member

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

-30-

[1] Press Release, Grassley, Johnson Seek Intel Records Related to Hunter Biden’s Foreign Financial Activities, (March 31, 2021) https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-johnson-seek-intel-records-related-to-hunter-bidens-foreign-financial-activities; see also, S. Rep., Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. and S. Comm. on Fin. (2020).

[2] Chuck Ross, Feds Obtained FISA Warrant Against Hunter Biden’s Chinese Business Associate, Documents Show, Daily Caller (Oct. 27, 2020), https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/27/hunter-biden-patrick-ho-cefc-fara/; https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530.45.0.pdf.

[3] Andrew C. McCarthy, A Collusion Tale: China and the Bidens, National Review (Oct. 31, 2020), https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/10/a-collusion-tale-the-bidens-and-china/; Press Release, U.S. Attn’y Geoffrey S. Berman, Patrick Ho, Former Head Of Organization Backed By Chinese Energy Conglomerate, Convicted Of International Bribery, Money Laundering Offenses, (Dec. 5, 2018), https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/patrick-ho-former-head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-convicted.

[4] Alexandra Stevenson, David Barboza, Matthew Goldstein, and Paul Mozur, A Chinese Tycoon Sought Power and Influence. Washington Responded., The New York Times (Dec. 12, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/business/cefc-biden-china-washington-ye-jianming.html.

[5] S. Rep., Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. and S. Comm. on Fin., 116th Cong., Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns at 79 (2020).

[6] S. Rep., Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. and S. Comm. on Fin. (2020).

[7] According to records reportedly released from Hunter Biden’s laptop, Hunter Biden allegedly said the following: I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of Patrick Ho – the f***ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner, who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing. Chuck Ross, Feds Obtained FISA Warrant Against Hunter Biden’s Chinese Business Associate, Documents Show, Daily Caller (Oct. 27, 2020), https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/27/hunter-biden-patrick-ho-cefc-fara/; Notice of Intent to Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Feb. 8, 2018 (dkt. no. 45). https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530.45.0.pdf.

[8] Notice of Intent to Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Feb. 8, 2018 (dkt. no. 45). https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530/gov.uscourts.nysd.485530.45.0.pdf.

[9] Letter from Joe Gaeta, Deputy Assistance Attorney General, U.S. Dep’t of Justice to Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, & Sen. Ron Johnson, Ranking Member, Permanent Subcomm. on Investigations (Jul. 12, 2021). Emphasis added.


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