If Joe Biden were held to the same standards as Donald Trump, the wrath of FISA would have come down on him. And there would have been a flurry of accusations of treason. But it’s okay. Tehran Joe works as well as Beijing Biden.
When Patrick Ho was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Nov. 18, 2017, the former Hong Kong government official made one phone call: to James B. Biden, the younger brother of the former U.S. vice president, an acquaintance whose number he had on hand.
The well-connected Hong Konger asked Biden for a lawyer.
Ho was going to need a good one. The U.S. Department of Justice was planning to indict him for using his connections at the United Nations to bribe a U.N. General Assembly president along with several African government officials.
The arrest attracted media attention because of Ho’s link to a powerful Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy. Ho ran the energy company’s think tank, China Energy Fund Committee, an NGO affiliated with the U.N. that had offices in New York, Virginia and Hong Kong.
The former Hong Kong official was indicted on a number of foreign bribery and money-laundering charges, but the investigation surrounding Ho, his nonprofit and its parent company, and the United Nations wasn’t about just corruption. A flurry of recent court filings reveal that the government collected at least some of Ho’s communications under a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a secret order used to monitor suspected foreign agents.
China’s influence operations have been getting high-level attention in the Trump administration, particularly as it attempts to fend off allegations of collusion with Russia. In September, speaking at the United Nations, President Trump himself accused China of meddling in U.S. affairs, and in a high-profile speech on China the following month, Vice President Mike Pence asserted that the United States believes Beijing is seeking to “interfere in the domestic policies of this country” as part a wide-scale influence operation.
This wasn’t the first time that Biden’s brother made the news.
James Biden isn’t a big name in the business of residential housing development, so what exactly qualifies him to work at a construction company and share in the winnings of a $1.5 billion project to build affordable homes in Iraq?
If you said it has something to do with his last name, the one shared by his older brother Vice President Joe Biden, you wouldn’t be far off. At least that’s the guess of some Wall Street analysts who cover the Marlton, NJ-based company Hill International and think they’ve seen yet another sordid tale of crony capitalism…
But it got some good news not long after its housing subsidiary hired James Biden as an executive vice president in late 2010. Just six months later, Hill won one of its biggest contracts ever, a $1.5 billion deal to build at least 100,000 affordable homes in Iraq.
A good deal for Hill, a relative newcomer to building homes — and for James Biden, who as one partner will get a good share of that $1.5 billion…
(James Biden also had a relatively short and somewhat controversial run as a co-owner of a hedge-fund company with Joe’s son Hunter. The company, as it turns out, was marketed by companies controlled by now convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford. Neither Biden was charged, but the fund company is now winding down its operations.)
Imagine if the two top Republican front runners had family members enmeshed in financial scandals. Yet that’s true of Biden and Sanders.
And the media couldn’t care less.