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During a White House briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Jen Psaki declined to explain why President Biden allegedly wrote a college recommendation letter for the son of a Chinese associate of her son Hunter.
The president has repeatedly denied speaking with Hunter about the latter’s business dealings.
However, emails purportedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop appear to show the president gave a letter of recommendation to the son of investment firm BHR CEO Jonathan Li, Fox News reported Wednesday. Hunter once owned a 10% stake in BHR, which is registered in Shanghai, although Hunter’s lawyer told the New York Times in November 2021 that the president’s son “no longer holds any interest” in the firm.
A separate email allegedly from the laptop, sent by Hunter Biden associate James Glar, included the line “10 held by H for the big guy?” Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski, one of the recipients of the email, claimed Hunter had a 10% stake in a 2017 deal for Joe Biden.
Fox’s Peter Doocy asked Psaki if it was “common for President Biden to do favors for Hunter Biden’s international business partners, such as writing academic endorsements” during Wednesday’s White House press briefing.
“I saw the report. I have no confirmation or comment on any report indicating whether or not the president, when he was a private citizen, wrote a college recommendation letter for an individual,” Psaki replied.
“Do we know what the president could have gotten in exchange for such a favor?” Doocy asked.
“Again, I have no confirmation of any recommendations the president wrote, when he was a private citizen, by the way,” Psaki said.
The emails released by Fox on Wednesday begin with a January 3, 2017 message from Li to Hunter Biden and Hunter associates Devon Archer and Jim Bulger.
“Gentlemen[sic]please find attached the resume for my son, Chris Li. He is applying to the following colleges for this year,” Li wrote in the email, naming Cornell, Brown, and New York University.
Bulger responded by writing [sic] see how we can be helpful here to Chris,” copying in Hunter Biden and Archer.
Li then received an email on Feb. 18, 2017, from Eric Schwerin, then-president of Rosemont Seneca, which Hunter Biden co-founded in 2009. Hunter and Archer were copied in the email.
“Jonathan, Hunter asked me to send you a copy of the letter of recommendation he asked his father to write on behalf of Christopher for Brown University. The original is being sent by FedEx to Dr. Paxson directly at Brown,” Schwerin wrote, referring to Brown University President Dr. Christina Paxson. “He should be here no later than Tuesday (given that Monday is a holiday here in the United States). Let us know if you have any questions. Best, Eric.
Li replies on February 19: “Hi Eric. Just see the email [sic]. That’s great! Thanks very much! And Hunter, thank you very much too. Good to you all.
The president also sent a letter of recommendation to Li for his daughter’s application to Georgetown University, the New York Post reported Wednesday. Li’s son and daughter were not accepted into Brown or Georgetown respectively, the To post claims.
Hunter is currently the subject of a federal tax investigation as well as potential violations of foreign lobbying disclosures, people familiar with the investigation said. New York Times in March.
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