The two emails, published by Insider on Thursday, date back to 2015, when President Biden was vice president, and reference getting Hunter’s help on a deal regarding billions in Libyan assets frozen by the Obama administration.
In the first email, dated Jan. 28, 2015, Democratic donor Sam Jauhari repeatedly referred to Hunter as “#2 son” — an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s VP role at the time — and highlighted that Hunter had requested a $2 million retainer.
The business contact listed a string of positives to working with Hunter, including his business relationship with Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz and Hunter’s apparent self-proclaimed high-level access in China.
“Per phone conversation I met with #2 sons. He wants $2 per year retainer +++ success fees. He wants to hire his own people – it can be a close circle of people for confidentiality. His dad is deciding to run or not,” the email reads.
“His positives are he is Chairman of UN World Food Program, son of #2 who has Libya file, access to State, Treasury, business partner SofA [Secretary of State] J. [John] Forbes K [Kerry] son and since he travels with dad he is connected everywhere in Europe and Asia where M. Q. [Muammar Qaddafi] and LIA [Libya Investment Authority] had money frozen. He said he has access to highest level in PRC [China], he can help there.``
That email, which was sent to fellow Democratic donor Sheikh Mohammed al-Rahbani, also flagged the “negatives” to enlisting Hunter’s help.
“He is an alcoholic, drug addict – kicked [out] of the U.S. Army for cocaine, chasing low-class hookers, constantly needs money-liquidity problems and many more headaches,” the email stated. Hunter was discharged from the US Naval Reserve in 2014, not the Army as the email suggested.
Hunter and Heinz founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, a billion-dollar private equity firm, back in 2009. Their business dealings soured when Hunter opted in 2014 to join the board of a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch. The second email was sent to the two business contacts by Washington lawyer John Sandweg on Feb. 26, 2016, regarding the same deal.
“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,” Sandweg wrote.
“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.”
Asked about the email, Sandweg told Insider that Jauhari ended up hiring a different law firm.