Did they hold back ten percent for the Big Guy?
I’m so old that I remember when the American media felt concerned about business connections between political families and Russian oligarchs. In this case, it falls to the British newspaper Daily Mail to report that the same widow of the mayor of Moscow that paid Hunter Biden a $3.5 million “consulting fee” also dropped $40 million into the coffers of Biden’s real estate company:
In 2012 Hunter’s firm had a $69.7million plan to invest in 2.15million sq ft of office space in seven US cities.
Documents outlining the plan said the money came from a mix of investors, including $40million from Inteco Management AG, a Swiss company owned by Baturina.
The Inteco group is a plastics and construction behemoth that made Baturina the richest woman in Russia at the time. She has a current net worth of $1.4billion according to Forbes.
The documents reveal that Hunter’s financial ties to Baturina began years earlier than previously thought – and were much more significant as well.
Yelena Baturina wanted to “enter the American market,” her brother explained to the DM. Yelena herself was not available for comment, and neither was Hunter. This took place a couple of years before Baturina paid Hunter the $3.5 million “consulting fee” that Treasury officials flagged at the time as “suspicious.” Until yesterday, that was the only known connection between the Russian ruling elite and Hunter.
Where did the money go? Hunter’s company plowed it into office-space investment properties in Texas, Colorado, Alabama, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The prospectus provided by the Daily Mail put the purchase price at a total of $212 million, $160 million of which came from mortgages on the properties. Hunter’s firm Rosemont came up with $15 million, far below Baturina’s ante, while still holding the general partnership of the investment group. That may not seem terribly risky in 2012 — office space was still a good investment and the pandemic was still eight years away — but it does look like an odd arrangement for an investor coming up with over 60% of the case for the venture.
The investment may well have been more aimed at Biden Inc rather than some office space, in other words.
Jonathan Turley calls the whole thing “shady,” and argues that it undercuts the Bidens’ latest spin that Hunter was just a broken-down addict rather than a high-rolling corruptocrat. And like me, Turley wonders when the American media stopped caring about Russian “collusion” with presidential families:
Baturina is a Russian oligarch and was the richest woman in Russia in 2012. Her brother Kenes Rakishev is connected to a Kazakh businessman and partner of Hunter’s. It was Rakishev who was photographed with Hunter and then-Vice President Joe Biden at Cafe Milano in Washington, DC. This is one of over a dozen such photos of Joe Biden with his son’s business associates despite his denial of knowing anything about such deals.
Hunter and the President’s brother, James, allegedly pulled in millions through influence peddling when he was Vice President and later a possible candidate for the presidency. Yet, Attorney General Merrick Garland has refused to appoint a special counsel.
Once again, these transactions undermine the new defense. Hunter did not appear to have any chemical-based challenge in maintaining a global, multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The image of a crackhead holed up in high-end hotels with call girls is undermined by thousands of emails on international money transfers and complex deals stretching from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing.
Moreover, despite the continuing downplaying of the scandal, President Biden’s denial of any knowledge of Hunter’s deals is now thoroughly disproven. Yet, the media recently went on another ice cream run with the President to focus on his confectionary rather than his criminal concerns.
What will it take to get American media interested in these connections? I mean, Hunter’s certainly worked hard at it, giving them not just the paper trail to follow the money but literally hookers, guns, and blow to illustrate the path. Could we start a rumor about a pee tape? Is that what it will take?