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Report: Hunter Biden sought $2M annually to unfreeze Libya’s assets while father was VP

Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and Jill Biden. [Ben Stanfield/Flickr]
September 27, 2021

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden pursued a deal for a $2 million annual retainer fee along with an additional “success fee” to help free up billions in Libyan assets frozen by President Barack Obama’s administration, according to emails obtained by Business Insider last week.

The two emails, obtained by Business Insider, were sent by business contacts of the younger Biden. The first email dated Jan. 28, 2015, was sent from Democrat donor Sam Jauhari to Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani, an Obama campaign donor involved in the apparent proposal. 

“Per phone conversation I met with #2 son. He wants $2 per year retainer +++ success fees,” Jauhari’s email begins. “He wants to hire his own people – it can be close circle of people for confidentiality. His dad is deciding to run or not.”

According to Business Insider, Jauhari was leading the effort in Libya. In his communication with Rahbani, Jauhari gave his assessment of the potential deal with the younger Biden. Two people familiar with the negotiations told Insider that the “$2 per year retainer” mentioned in the email meant $2 million. One of the sources said, “My recollection was that anything that had to do with Hunter started at $2 million.”

Jauhari’s email goes on to say, “His positives are he is Chairman of UN World Food Program, son of #2 who has Libya file, access to State, Treasury, business partner SofS J. Forbes K son and since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M. Q. and LIA had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there.”

SofS J. Forbes K refers to then-Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry. Fox News reported the younger Biden has been linked to Christopher Heinz, Kerry’s stepson through marriage to ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz-Kerry.

Jauhari’s email continues, stating the younger Biden’s negatives are “that he is alcoholic, drug addict – kicked [out] of U.S. Army for cocaine, chasing low class hookers, constantly needs money-liquidity problems and many more headaches.”

Biden was in the U.S. Navy Reserve, not the Army.

In the second email obtained by Business Insider, dated Feb. 26, 2016, Jauhari and Rahbani received a report by John Sandweg, a Washington lawyer who had served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Obama. Sandweg had reached out to Biden’s team about the Libya deal.

Sandweg wrote, “I spoke with HB’s team yesterday. They are interested in the project, but emphasized that for them to get involved, the team (lobbyists, lawyers and PR) would need to be a small group of folks they have a tight relationship with. They do not want a large group involved and they only want people with whom they have a close relationship with due to the sensitivities surrounding their involvement.”

Sandweg confirmed to Business Insider that he had reached out to at least one of Hunter Biden’s associates.

“They indicated they would consider it and I passed the message back,” Sandeg told Business Insider. “Jauhari wound up hiring a different law firm instead.” 

Neither Jauhari nor an attorney for Hunter Biden responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. The White House also declined to respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Martin Auerbach, the attorney for Rahbani, said his client “has no recollection of seeing those emails contemporaneously” and “knows to a certainty that he never spoke to and has no recollection of talking about Hunter Biden.”

Business Insider’s reporting about these two emails involving Biden come months after the New York Post reported on a separate chain of emails and other documents discovered on a laptop the younger Biden left at a Delaware computer repair shop. The October 2020 New York Post article purports to show the younger Biden introduced at least one of his business partners to his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden.