Emails released this week show Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer may have played a role in getting a White House event booked for elite Chinese businessmen in 2011, when Biden’s father was the sitting U.S. Vice-President.
An email dated November 5, 2011 shows a colleague of Archer’s reaching out to suggest the White House host an event for the Chinese Entrepreneur Club. The CEC, referred to as the “richest club” in China, counts as its members some of the wealthiest and most influential members of Chinese high society.
The colleague wrote that the CEC had been trying for some time to secure a White House meeting with high-ranking Obama administration officials to no avail.
“A tour of the White House and a meeting with a member of the chief of staff’s office and [then-Secretary of State] John Kerry would be great,” the colleague wrote.
They added that a potential meeting would an opportunity to gain “outstanding new clients.”
Exactly nine days after that email, on November 14, 2011, the CEC had a confirmed booking at the Obama White House.
Records show that 30 CEC membes received a tour of the White House and met with Commerce Secretary at the time, John Bryson.
The delegation also, according to members, met privately with Joe Biden.
The event was hosted by Jeff Zients, then-deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
After the meeting, Zients would go on to be promoted to acting director of OMB. His superior Jack Lew was promoted to White House Chief of Staff. In March 2014, Zients was appointed to lead the National Economic Council, a position he held until Obama left office in 2017.
In September, Biden appointed Zients to co-chair the presidential transition task force, which would be responsible for staffing a potential Biden White House.
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr