Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday, calling on him to correct the Department of Justice’s conflicting statements about whether it used “extraordinary surveillance tools” on a former Chinese business partner of Hunter Biden.
The letter comes after the DOJ released a potentially false statement on July 12 in response to a letter that Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Johnson, ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, had written on March 31 regarding connections and transactions between Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked foreign nationals and the Biden family. Hunter Biden is the son of U.S. President Joe Biden.
The March letter noted Hunter Biden’s connection to Chi-Ping “Patrick” Ho, who is associated with the Chinese government and intelligence and was convicted in December 2018 for international bribery and money laundering connected to his work for a CCP-linked energy company. Reportedly, Ho’s first call upon being arrested was to Joe Biden’s brother James, and Hunter Biden allegedly received more than $1 million for representing Ho.
The senators’ March letter had also referenced Gongwen Dong, who is tied to the CCP and Hunter Biden.
“Hunter Biden had a close business and financial relationship with him,” Grassley and Johnson wrote on Monday with a copy of a signed bank document from 2018 that detailed a direct business relationship between the current U.S. president’s son and the Chinese national. “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.”
It was because of Hunter Biden’s foreign ties that the senators wrote the March letter, requesting “all intelligence records, including but not limited to, all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-derived information” on Gongwen and Ho. At the time, the Justice Department had a federal court filing acknowledging that it had gotten at least one FISA warrant for Ho.
“[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,” said that February court filing, titled “Notice Of Intent To Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Information.”
Despite this court filing, Garland’s July 2021 letter to the senators denied knowing whether the DOJ had the information.
“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),” Garland wrote on July 12.
“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,” Grassley and Johnson wrote on Monday.
The senators are calling on Garland to fix the inaccuracies within the July 12 letter or acknowledge that the DOJ’s February 2018 federal court filing regarding Ho was wrong by Nov. 22.