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Fed lawsuit asks judge to force Hunter Biden registration as foreign agent

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WASHINGTON — A new federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Justice Department is seeking to force first son Hunter Biden to register as a foreign agent.

The America First Legal Foundation argues that Hunter, 53, must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his lucrative work on behalf of Chinese and Ukrainian figures, including during his father’s vice presidency.

“The defendants’ refusal to require Mr. Biden to register as a foreign agent denies America First Legal information which must be publicly disclosed pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and for which it has a statutory right,” the lawsuit says.

The filing asks the US District Court for the District of Columbia to “compel the defendants to require Mr. Biden to register as a foreign agent in compliance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act.”

It’s unclear if litigation has ever prompted the Justice Department to enforce FARA and an expert on the law told The Post that it stands little shot of working, even though legal experts say the first son likely qualifies as a foreign agent under the law.

Although the Justice Department invites private parties to inform on FARA violations, “there’s no private right of action under FARA,” an attorney who regularly handles FARA issues told The Post.


Hunter Biden
A new federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Justice Department is seeking to force first son Hunter Biden to register as a foreign agent.
AP

“It will be tossed immediately and it is only a messaging action, not a legitimate legal action,” said the attorney, who requested anonymity due to their law firm’s policies on providing public comment about Hunter Biden.

Still, the lawsuit is likely to force a reaction from the Biden Justice Department, which ignored a complaint filed by the same group in March.

The America First Legal Foundation is led by former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller and has won transparency on related matters, including forcing the release of Obama-Biden administration emails that detailed Hunter Biden’s communications with executive-branch figures as he sought out business in countries where his father held sway.

Hunter Biden, whose legal team did not respond to a request for comment for this article, was not hit with FARA charges in a probation-only plea deal announced last month, which still must be approved by a judge.

Hunter instead agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts and to a gun possession felony that will be expunged after two years.


President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden and Beau Biden Jr
The filing asks the US District Court for the District of Columbia to “compel the defendants to require Mr. Biden to register as a foreign agent in compliance with the Foreign Agent Registration Act.”
REUTERS

The new lawsuit focuses in part on Hunter’s partnership with CEFC China Energy, a Chinese government-linked entity that reportedly transferred about $5 million to his accounts within 10 days of a threatening July 30, 2017, WhatsApp message in which Hunter invoked his father and threatened payback if an agreement was not fulfilled.

An Aug. 2, 2017, email retrieved from Hunter’s abandoned laptop said that CEFC chairman Ye Jianming offered a three-year consulting contract with CEFC that was to pay $10 million annually “for introductions alone.”

The deal also involved first brother James Biden.

The Justice Department last week charged US citizen Gal Luft for allegedly violating FARA by accepting from CEFC China Energy at least $700,000 — far less than the Biden family — to his Maryland-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security think tank, in exchange for cohosting conferences and attempting to influence a 2016 Donald Trump campaign adviser.

Luft claims he provided the FBI with information in 2019 about the Biden family’s involvement with CEFC, which appears to have started around 2015 while the elder Biden was still vice president.


President Joe Biden
Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says he personally met with Joe Biden in 2017 about the CEFC venture and a May 2017 email from another Hunter Biden partner, James Gilliar.
REUTERS

Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says he personally met with Joe Biden in 2017 about the CEFC venture and a May 2017 email from another Hunter Biden partner, James Gilliar, penciled in for a 10% cut of proceeds for the “big guy,” whom both Bobulinski and Gilliar have identified as Joe Biden.

An October 2017 email from first son Hunter Biden’s laptop identifies Joe Biden as a participant in a call about CEFC’s attempt to purchase US natural gas. 

FARA violations carry potentially steep criminal penalties.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, for example, was sentenced in 2018 to 60 months in prison specifically for FARA violations related to his work in Ukraine, plus another 30 months for other charges including tax and bank fraud and witness tampering.

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