Hunter Biden has recently garnered much national media attention in recent weeks related to several scandals causing problems for the 2020 presidential campaign of former vice president Joe Biden, his father. Most recently, that includes him apparently taking a bribe from a Chinese businessman.
The story is detailed in a long, comprehensive article from The New Yorker laying out Hunter’s myriad poor life choices as his father runs for president. At one point in the article, when discussing Hunter’s divorce proceedings, author Adam Entous wrote of “a large diamond” that Hunter acquired from the Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming as the foreign businessman attempted to connect with prominent American political figures.
According to The New Yorker, the diamond was received from Ye in Miami after President Barack Obama was out of office. The Bidens, however, still wielded considerable political power as Joe contemplated a run for the White House and Hunter sat on the board of the World Food Program USA.
Entous wrote that Hunter gifted Ye a bottle of Scotch worth thousands of dollars one evening and offered to use his political leverage in the United States to promote business opportunities in liquefied natural gas for Ye’s company, CEFC China Energy. Hunter also reportedly sought a generous donation from Ye to the World Food Program.
Later that night, Hunter received a 2.8-carat diamond sent from Ye to his hotel room, The New Yorker reported. The diamond’s estimate, according to a court motion from Hunter’s former wife, Kathleen, is worth $80,000, but The New Yorker reports that Hunter has stated it is worth around $10,000.
Hunter denied that the diamond was a bribe of any kind. “What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn’t in office,” Hunter told The New Yorker. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird.”
Still, Entous writes that Hunter began to negotiate a deal for Ye’s energy company to invest upwards of $40 million into a liquefied-natural-gas project off the coast of Louisiana.
When Ye informed Hunter that his business partner, Patrick Ho, was being investigated by U.S. officials, Hunter represented Ho, who was eventually found guilty of bribing government officials in Chad and Uganda and sentenced to three years in prison. Soon after, Ye was arrested by Chinese officials and the Louisiana project was left behind.