Swalwell admits Hunter Biden laptop real but falsely calls Comer election rejecter
He got one of them right.
California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who was booted from the House intelligence committee last week by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over his personal relationship with a suspected Chinese spy — repeatedly referred to Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop as real during a press call Monday.
But he incorrectly blasted House oversight committee chairman James Comer as a 2020 election-results denier.
Swalwell made the remarks in a Zoom press briefing organized by the Congressional Integrity Project, a Democratic group that aims to counter investigations of Biden by Comer (R-Ky.), who spoke Monday morning at the National Press Club about his plans.
Swalwell has long come under scrutiny from Republicans over his personal relationship with suspected Chinese spy Fang Fang, and through his time on the panel may have been able to learn about the authenticity of the first son’s laptop.
The Post first reported laptop documents linking Joe Biden to his son Hunter and brother James Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine in October 2020. Other major news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post and CBS News belatedly authenticated documents from the laptop in 2022.
“Every time they, you know, want to go deeper and deeper, you know, into the gigabytes of Hunter Biden’s laptop, you know, we should remind people that when we had the House, the Senate and the White House, we were, you know, bringing relief to families because of what happened during COVID,” Swalwell said on the Monday call.
Later, Swalwell said, again without any qualification to cast doubt on the laptop’s legitimacy, “If you’re so interested in what was on Hunter Biden’s laptop, you should do that in your private time, not on the taxpayer’s dime.”
The laptop’s contents include documents linking President Biden to his son Hunter and brother James Biden’s business relationships in China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine, prompting questions about possible corruption and conflicts of interest in public policy.
Hunter Biden wrote in communications retrieved from the laptop that he paid as much as “half” of his income to his father and a 2017 email described 10% of a financial windfall being held for the “big guy” as part of a business deal being negotiated in China. Two former Hunter Biden associates have identified Joe Biden as the big guy.
Swalwell urged Democrats to deploy a “three D response” to Republican oversight investigations of Biden — with the triple Ds standing for discredit, defend and deliver.
“I see it, you know, frankly…. as a ‘three D’ strategy… discredit them before they even are out of the gate. And there’s enough to do that. You don’t even have to make things up. They they do it for you,” said Swalwell, who has also served on the House judiciary and homeland security committees.
“Make sure from the get, foundationally it’s clear that these guys have no credibility. And again, James Comer is somebody who voted, you know, to deny, you know, the outcome of the election, somebody who has stood up and defended Gen. [Michael] Flynn, one of the leading insurrectionists. He should come to the table with zero credibility,” Swalwell said.
Comer actually voted to confirm swing-state electors for Biden, saying on Jan. 7, 2021, “the role of Congress in Electoral College proceedings is clearly defined in the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It’s to certify the Electoral College results – not to decide the election.”
Comer even noted he voted against objections to swing-state Biden elector at his Monday-morning press conference in Washington where he laid out oversight investigations he plans to pursue into Biden and his administration.
Spokespeople for Swalwell did not immediately respond to The Post’s emailed questions about his remarks.
Comer defended his interest in the Biden family’s business ventures on Monday — as additional questions emerge about whether Hunter may have used non-public Russian oligarch information in 2011 to seek business with aluminum firm Alcoa.
“Right now, we just want the bank records … I think that anyone that was in business with the Bidens that were on these accounts, that were partners in these LLCs, I think they need to tell everyone exactly what the business was,” Comer said.
“You got to $3 million wires from this company that’s affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party,” Comer said. “What exactly what service are you providing? Because it wasn’t real estate. What were they doing what what business were they in? What was Jim Biden — what was he doing to make $45,000 a month consulting? He’s not a lawyer, Hunter’s a lawyer. Was he doing work? I don’t know … We’re gonna go wherever the investigation leads us. Maybe there’s nothing there.”
House Republicans, who now hold the power subpoena records and testimony, are vowing to get to the bottom of Joe Biden’s role in his family’s overseas businesses during his vice presidency and in the years that followed, including by following breadcrumbs from the laptop that Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware repair shop.
The Post’s first laptop bombshell revealed that Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, emailed Hunter in 2015 to thank him for the “opportunity to meet your father” — directly contradicting Biden’s 2019 claim that he’d “never spoken” with his son about “his overseas business dealings.”
Hunter earned up to $1 million per year to serve on the Burisma board from 2014 to 2019, beginning when his father was put in charge of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Visitor logs show Joe Biden met with his son’s partner Devon Archer in 2014 around the time both Hunter Biden and Archer joined the Burisma board.
Social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter initially censored The Post’s reporting as prominent Democrats claimed the laptop was Russian disinformation. The Biden campaign vaguely denied that the Joe Biden-Pozharskyi meeting occurred, saying at the time, “[W]e have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” But Hunter later said the laptop “certainly” could be his.
Further reporting by The Post revealed that Joe Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner one day before the email was sent with a group of his son’s associates, including Pozharskyi and a Kazakhstani trio that posed for a photo with the Bidens.
Hunter also invited to the dinner Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. A 2020 report from Republican-led Senate committees alleges that Baturina in 2014 paid $3.5 million to a firm associated with Hunter Biden. Baturina is one of a dwindling number of Russian oligarchs yet to face US sanctions over Russia’s more than 11-month-old invasion of Ukraine.
A second October 2020 bombshell from The Post described communications about Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim Biden’s business venture with the company CEFC China Energy. A May 13, 2017, email recovered from the laptop said the “big guy” would get 10% of the deal.
Hunter and James Biden earned $4.8 million from CEFC China Energy in 2017 and 2018, according to the Washington Post’s later review of Hunter Biden laptop documents. Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski alleges that he discussed the CEFC deal with Joe Biden in May 2017 and an email described a 10% set-aside for the “big guy,” who Bobulinski and another former Hunter Biden partner, James Gilliar, identified as Joe Biden.
Republicans have accused Biden of being too soft on China on issues such as determining the origins of COVID-19, which killed more than 1 million Americans, and stopping fentanyl exports, which killed about 196,000 Americans in 2018-2021 alone.
In a different Chinese venture, online business records indicate the first son still owns a 10% stake in Chinese state-backed BHR Partners, which says it manages $2.1 billion in assets, despite his father’s insistence there would be no family-business-related conflicts of interest during his presidency.
Hunter co-founded BHR Partners in 2013 within weeks of joining then-Vice President Biden aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hunter introduced his dad to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in a hotel lobby and Joe Biden later wrote college recommendation letters for Li’s children.
Additional reporting has linked Joe Biden to his family’s pursuit of business in other countries, including Mexico and Kazakhstan, and describe Hunter Biden as being in close proximity to classified documents at his dad’s Wilmington home — even listing the home as his own residence on a 2018 background check form.
A special counsel, Robert Hur, is investigating Joe Biden’s handling of classified records dating to before his presidency. The probe could expand to investigate Hunter Biden’s role in the saga.
Comer is also looking into Hunter Biden’s new art career. Last week, he demanded sales records and an interview from SoHo gallery owner Georges Berges. Hunter earned at least $375,000 in 2021 for five prints at a Hollywood art show attended by his father’s embattled nominee to be ambassador to India, then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. It’s unclear how many additional sales he may have made.
Hunter reportedly is under investigation by the US attorney’s office in Delaware for possible tax fraud, money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying and lying on a gun-purchase form. An associate, Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, last year paid off a roughly $2 million tax bill owed by Hunter in a bid to avoid criminal charges. The terms of that gift or loan remain unclear.