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Republicans plan probe into Hunter Biden’s Chinese business deals: ‘Accountability is coming’

FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans are planning an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business deals in China and any possible connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), declaring that ‘accountability is coming’ for the first family once Republicans retake the majority in the lower chamber next month.

Several members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform told Fox News Digital an investigation is imminent into Hunter’s business deals with Harves Group, a CCP-tied company based in Washington, D.C., and his relationship with the company’s president, Francis ‘Fran’ Person. 

Person served in the Obama administration as an adviser to Vice President Biden and a special assistant to President Obama between 2009 and 2014.

‘The Biden family’s suspicious business dealings with companies tied to Communist China are a national security threat,’ Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., an Oversight ranking member, told Fox News Digital. ‘The Bidens sold access to foreign adversaries like China to enrich themselves to the detriment of American interests.

‘Next Congress, Republicans will use the power of the gavel to deliver answers, transparency and accountability for the American people.’

Person became the president of Harves Group in January 2015, less than six months after leaving the Obama White House, according to his LinkedIn profile that was deleted in July. FOX Business previously reported that, months after taking up his post at Harves Group, Person sent an email to Hunter in July 2015 inviting him to China the following month to meet with Bo Zhang, the founder of Harves Group who has ties to CCP officials at some of the highest levels.

‘Bo Zhang and his family would host us. They are a great family with great respect and relationships in China,’ Person said. ‘They are very private, and wouldn’t tell anyone about you coming. Bo’s father-in-law is actually the Governor of Hainan (Chinese Hawaii), which he doesn’t advertise at all.’

‘I’d like for you to get to know Bo. He’s a brilliant guy – he’s been groomed to take over his family’s dynasty, but he’s very humble. He will do great things one day, but he needs good people around him,’ Person continued. ‘He and his wife live in DC, and are expecting a child. He is building a huge house in McLean, and plans on working and living in the US.’

It does not appear that Hunter was able to make the China trip during the specific week Person pitched in the email, but multiple emails obtained and reviewed by Fox News Digital showed that Person and Zhang met with Hunter and Hunter’s longtime business partner Eric Schwerin on multiple occasions in Washington, D.C.

One of Zhang’s CCP ties was revealed in a December 2013 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filing with the Justice Department, which listed Zhang as the ‘foreign principal.’ The filing noted his relationship with Chinese government official Liu Guoqiang, who was the vice chairman of the Liaoning Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which is a ‘key part’ of China’s ‘United Front’ work, The Diplomat reported last year.

Fox News Digital reported in August that Hunter and Schwerin were actively working behind the scenes in 2016 to solicit donations for Person’s failed congressional campaign while also working on business deals with Zhang in China.

Person was seeking the Democratic nomination to unseat Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., at the same time that Hunter was introducing him and Zhang to business colleagues via email, including DuPont executive George Duko, Fox News Digital previously reported. 

Hunter was also simultaneously sending email pitches to raise money for Person’s campaign. Person received $2,700 each from Schwerin and Hunter, including $1,000 from then-second lady Jill Biden. Zhang and his mother, Jinglan Shao, both maxed out to Person’s campaign with two $2,700 donations each. 

In a May 2016 email to Henry Zhao, a CCP official and the president and CEO of Beijing-based Harvest Capital Management, Hunter called Zhang his ‘good friend and business colleague.’

The New York Post reported in January that Zhao’s fund participated in a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST, where Hunter served as a founding board member until October 2019.

In September 2016, Vice President Biden traveled to South Carolina for a fundraiser for Person. A 2014 Politico profile piece on Person quoted second lady Jill Biden as saying, ‘Fran has been like a son to Joe and me. For eight years, we traveled the country, shared holidays together … Fran may be leaving the office, but he will always be a part of our family.’ 

Fox News Digital reported in April that Person visited the Obama-Biden White House at least seven times between 2015 and 2016 after he left the White House to work for Harves. Person and Zhang also both attended a White House holiday reception in December 2015. Person previously told Fox News Digital that the White House visits were ‘personal in nature’ and that he was ‘visiting with old colleagues and friends’ that he served with for six years during the Obama administration.

On Sept. 12, 2016, Person’s campaign hosted Vice President Biden for a lunch fundraiser in Fort Mill, South Carolina. During the event, Biden said Person had the ‘heart of a lion’ and a ‘moral compass that has a true north.’

Less than two weeks later, Hunter sent an email to his Delaware contacts letting them know that his father would be hosting another fundraiser for Person at Wilmington Country Club. One of the people who responded and donated $5,400 to Person’s campaign, the max amount, was Robert Buccini, who met with Zhang, Hunter and Schwerin earlier that summer to discuss Harves.

Biden attended at least two more South Carolina campaign events for Person on Nov. 1, 2016, in Sumpter and Rock Hill, which were reported as ‘Get Out the Vote’ rallies. 

As recently as March 2017, Hunter’s now-defunct private equity firm Rosemont Seneca Advisors held a 5% stake in Harves Amusement Parks and ownership in Harves Sports and Entertainment, both of which fall under the D.C.-based Harves Group. Person previously claimed that ‘Hunter Biden, Rosemont Seneca Advisors or any affiliate or associate have never held any equity in any Harves affiliated company,’ despite multiple emails from Schwerin to Hunter contradicting this claim.

Neither Person nor Zhang have been implicated in any professional or criminal misconduct. 

Republican Reps. Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Clay Higgins of Louisiana, also members of Oversight and Reform, told Fox News Digital they will demand answers from ‘anyone’ with knowledge of Hunter’s Chinese business deals in the new Congress.

‘It is our duty on the oversight committee to fully investigate the president’s son’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party,’ Norman said. ‘At this point, it is a matter of national security. I believe that it is in the best interest of the American people to call anyone tied to Hunter Biden and Bo Zhang to the stand and demand answers about the coordination between CCP officials and the Biden family.’

‘The investigation into the Biden family’s financial ties to the Chinese Communist Party, and any potential corruption, will be one of many investigations conducted next year,’ Higgins said. ‘The Oversight Committee will indeed force the reveal of the now hidden 148 suspicious activity reports from American banks on the Biden criminal enterprise. Accountability is coming for the Biden administration. Republicans on the Oversight Committee will call on anyone essential to those investigations.’

Higgins was referring to reports earlier this year that U.S. banks have forwarded nearly 150 suspicious activity reports (SARs) to the Treasury Department that involve a member of the Biden family.

The Treasury adopted a new rule this year that requires the majority party’s consent on a congressional request for SARs, sparking allegations from Republicans that the agency is covering for the Bidens.

President Biden maintains that he has no knowledge of his son’s business dealings. Hunter, who is under federal investigation, has denied any wrongdoing.

Neither the White House, Hunter’s lawyer, Person nor Zhang responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.

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