The White House on Tuesday dodged questions about a leaked voicemail President Biden purportedly left for his son Hunter Biden about his overseas business dealings, maintaining that any materials that allegedly originated from his son’s now-infamous laptop would not be discussed.
President Biden has repeatedly denied discussing Hunter’s business ventures with him. His son is currently under federal investigation for his tax affairs predicated by suspicious foreign transactions.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked Tuesday about the voicemail in question, which was first reported by the Daily Mail.
“Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you have a chance give me a call. Nothing urgent—I just wanted to talk with you,” Biden is heard saying in a voicemail from 2018. “I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear.”
The article Biden was referring to was published by the New York Times in December 2018 and reported a private meeting between the chairman of a now-defunct Chinese energy company, CEFC, and Hunter Biden at a Miami hotel in May 2017.
When asked about the voicemail, Jean-Pierre was asked why there was a voicemail of Biden speaking to Hunter Biden about his business dealings if the president has repeatedly said he has ever spoken to his son about his business ventures.
“Well, first, I’ll say that what the president said stands,” Jean-Pierre said. “So, if he, if that’s what the president said, that, that is what stands.”
When pressed further, Jean-Pierre said she was “not going to talk about alleged materials from the laptop” from “the podium.”
When asked by Fox News if she was disputing that it was, in fact, Biden’s voice on the voicemail, Jean-Pierre said: “I’m not going to talk about alleged materials on the laptop.”
Biden administration officials and those in the president’s camp have cast materials that came from the laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden as disinformation, but intelligence community officials have said, as far back as October 2020, that neither the laptop nor materials on it are part of any sort of disinformation campaign.
Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation for his “tax affairs” since 2018, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Fox News first reported in December 2020 that Biden was a subject/target of the grand jury investigation, a well-placed government source told Fox News. According to the source, a “target” means that there is a “high probability that person committed a crime,” while a “subject” is someone you “don’t know for sure” has committed a crime.”
The federal investigation into Hunter Biden was predicated, in part, by Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding suspicious foreign transactions.
Another source familiar with the investigation told Fox News in December 2020 that the SARs were regarding funds from “China and other foreign nations.”
A Treasury Department official, who did not comment on the investigation, spoke broadly about SARs, telling Fox News that SARs are filed by financial institutions “if there is something out of the ordinary about a particular transaction.”
The official told Fox News that the mere filing of a SAR does not mean there has been a criminal act, or violation of regulations, but instead, flags that a transaction is “out of the ordinary” for the customer. The official noted, though, that a SAR could be part of a money laundering or tax investigation.
Meanwhile, the grand jury continues to investigate Hunter Biden’s international business dealings — even after he paid off a tax liability following the announcement of the probe into his “tax affairs.”
Hunter Biden, weeks after the 2020 presidential election, released a statement acknowledging the federal investigation of his “tax affairs.”
“I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,” Biden said in the December 2020 statement.