The Senate Finance Committee launched a probe of the Obama Administration’s 2015 approval of the sale of a US company with insights into “military applications” to the Chinese government. The probe will also review the sale of an investment firm run by former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
A letter sent by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the committee’s chairman, to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday requests all documents relating to the sale of Henniges–a Michigan-based automotive company, to Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). BHR was created in 2013 following a merger between a subsidiary of the Bank of China and Rosemont Seneca. The latter was a firm started by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz. Heinz is the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
Since AVIC was a subsidiary of the Chinese government and Henniges, the producer of “dual-use” anti-vibration technology with military application, the deal required approval from the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The panel — made up of representatives from 16 different federal bodies, including the departments of State, Treasury, and Defense — is required to review any transaction that could lead to a foreign person gaining control of an American business.
Objective reporting for the educated American.
Many have speculated the the decision of the CFIUS was influenced by Biden and Kerry, since both of their sons stood to benefit significantly from the $600 million sale.
Grassley wrote in his letter, “The direct involvement of Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest.”
AVIC’s bid for Henniges should have set off alarm bells at the White House. In 2007, AVIC was “reportedly involved in stealing sensitive data regarding the Joint Strike Fighter program” and later incorporated the data “into China’s J-20 and J‑31 aircraft.”
The bid occurred at the same time China was becoming more powerful on the world stage. This power grab included flagrantly ripping off United States-based intellectual property and undermining cybersecurity from first-world nations around the globe.
The deal was approved by CIFUS in spite of these glaring national security conflicts of interest. AVIC obtained 51 percent of the company while BHR got 49 percent. The deal was the “biggest Chinese investment into US automotive manufacturing assets to date,” according to an industry newsletter.
Biden’s son Hunter has been at the center of questionable behavior, using his father’s political ties to his own benefit, in the past. In 2013, just 10 days after visiting China via Air Force Two with his dad, Hunter signed the $1.5 billion deal that created BHR.
This new Senate probe is likely to cast a dark cloud over Biden during his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination.