by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
After then-Vice President Joe Biden attended one dinner in April 2015 with Hunter Biden and his foreign business associates from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, business between those two countries appeared to flourish.
Around the time he attended another one in spring 2014, his son received large payments from two of the foreign attendees.
The dinners, both the subject of extensive media coverage since 2020 thanks to emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, represent some of the most compelling pieces of evidence to date that suggest Joe Biden was more deeply involved in his son’s business dealings than he has publicly admitted.
Recent disclosures have underscored the significance of both dinners, adding crucial context to the well-known events.
Testimony last month from former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer, for example, contradicted Joe Biden’s previous defenses of the meetings, and bank records released earlier this month by the House Oversight Committee show that Hunter Biden received payments from a Russian and Kazakh oligarch respectively in the weeks surrounding the spring 2014 dinner, which both oligarchs attended.
Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop also suggest that he and his business partners were specifically looking at the time for a high-profile figure to draw foreign investors to events they could use to pitch investment opportunities.
Ahead of the first dinner, which came in spring 2014, Hunter Biden and his business partners were discussing the prospect of convening wealthy oligarchs from around the world for gatherings in order to form a lucrative “global cooperation group.”
A potential guest list floated in March 2014 included Kenes Rakishev, a Kazakh oligarch with whom Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company whose board Archer and Hunter Biden would go on to join, wanted to do business. Rakishev eventually attended the first dinner then-Vice President Joe Biden joined, where a widely circulated, undated photograph of Joe Biden standing next to Rakishev is likely to have been taken.