All Points Bulletin to David Weiss! Tony Bobulinski Is a Missing Person!!

Best as I can tell, Tony Bobulinski is not among the Hunter Biden business associates described in his tax indictment. Here’s the likely identity of those named:

  • Business Associate 1: Rob Walker
  • Business Associate 2: James Gilliar
  • Business Associate 3: James Biden
  • Business Associate 4: Eric Schwerin
  • Business Associate 5: Devon Archer

Bobulinski would naturally appear — arguably, should appear — in this narrative:

During the next two years the Defendant, Business Associate 1, and Business Associate 2 continued to meet with individuals associated with CEFC, including in February 2017, with CEFC’s then-Chairman (hereafter “the Chairman”).

10. On or about March 1, 2017, State Energy HK, a Hong Kong entity associated with CEFC, paid approximately $3 million to Business Associate 1’s entity for sourcing deals and for identifying other potential ventures. The Defendant had an oral agreement with Business Associate 1 to receive one-third of those funds, or a million dollars. The Defendant, in turn, directed a portion of those million dollars to Business Associate 3.

11. After the State Energy HK payment, the Defendant, Business Associate 1, and Business Associate 2 began negotiating a joint venture with individuals associated with CEFC, which they called SinoHawk.

12. Over the summer of 2017, the Defendant cut out his SinoHawk business partners and separately negotiated a venture with individuals associated with CEFC called Hudson West III (“HWIII”). [my emphasis]

The entire passage is written to avoid mentioning a number of details that remain hotly contested. For example, the indictment doesn’t mention on what date in February 2017 the meeting in Miami with Chairman Ye occurred, which would determine whether or not it was even possible for Tony Bobulinski to attend, as Bobulisnki — in between meetings with Trump and Trump’s Chief of Staff — told the FBI he had, but which Abbe Lowell claims he did not.

The passage neglects to mention that Bobulinski worked with Walker, Gilliar, and Hunter to set up SinoHawk. It definitely doesn’t mention that the driving reason why Hunter “cut out his SinoHawk business partners,” which definitely included Bobulinski but which as written does not, was because Hunter thought Bobulinski was an asshole, both Hunter and Walker had concerns about Bobulinski’s Russian business ties, James Biden had concerns about his ties to pornography, and Walker, James Biden, and Hunter all thought he was a terrible fit for the group.

That said, note that ¶10 is wholly inconsistent with the “10 held by H for the big guy” conspiracy theories that Bobulisnki pushed to Republicans for years.

I await bulk corrections from virtually every Murdoch property.

David Weiss has simply disappeared Tony Bobulinski’s role in any of this.


Weiss similarly made no mention of a diamond — or potentially two — another claim pushed by Bobulinski that the frothy right — and Congress, to the extent they’re distinguishable from the frothy right — has been chasing.

Whether or not the diamond had value is central to the topic of this indictment: what Hunter Biden earned and whether he paid taxes on those earnings. James Biden told investigators that the diamond was worthless, which may explain why the indictment doesn’t mention it. But if CEFC was handing Hunter one or more fake diamonds, it changes the nature of what was going on.

Admittedly, it may be easier for Weiss to prosecute the tax case by simply disappearing Tony Bobulinski from his allegations. Perhaps he’s trying to limit the discovery he has to provide to Hunter Biden. Perhaps he’s trying to avoid having to turn over the interview report that Joseph Ziegler already made public. But even in this passage of the indictment, Weiss is misrepresenting what the public evidence supports.

Or perhaps David Weiss’ disappearance of Tony Bobulinski is more than that.

The public record raises real questions about whether the past treatment of Bobulinski’s claims has tainted this investigation, a tax investigation.

In an affidavit accompanying the Bobulinski interview report he released, Ziegler explained that he was providing it because he didn’t get a chance to interview Bobulinski, yet another complaint from him about prosecutors’ likely attempts to avoid tainting the investigation that he now spins as political bias.

In investigative team meetings that occurred after this, I can recall that agents on the investigative team brought up on multiple occasions to the assigned prosecutors that they wanted to do an interview of Bobulinski with the assigned case agents. I can recall being told that they would think about it and then ultimately being told there was no need for the team to interview Bobulinski and that Bobulinski was not viewed as a credible witness.

Ziegler admitted that he had been told that Bobulinski was not credible.

In his statement to the House Ways and Means committee last week (basically a mulligan — an opportunity for him and Gary Shapley to clean up their past hearsay claims that have been entirely debunked by first-hand witnesses to the issues, in which both proceeded to repeat those debunked hearsay claims), Ziegler complained that the people who used the interview reports he released to discredit his hearsay claims are just a bunch of dummies. They simply don’t understand.

The evidence I turned over to the committee was not cherrypicked and again, further supports my claims I brought forward to the committee. There have been critics on the committee who have tried to impeach some of the interview memos turned over and it is apparent that they do not understand how interviews in criminal investigations occur. [my emphasis]

In an attempt to deflect blame for his release of this interview report, he confessed that the Tony Bobulinski interview is not, as HWAM has billed it, an FD-302, a finished interview report.

I would point the members of the committee to Affidavit 4, Exhibit 400A (PowerPoint). I think that some of the members missed the point regarding this memorandum from the FBI intake of information provided by Anthony Bobulinski. You’ll notice that this is not an FBI 302 but is just a written document drafted by the Washington DC FBI agents from this interaction. The interview was not recorded and Bobulinski was voluntarily providing information to the FBI Agents. Since Bobulinski is providing the information in the presence of FBI Special Agents, he would still be criminally liable under Title 18 USC Section 1001 if he were to make any false statements. The Hunter Biden investigative team, including myself, had asked the assigned prosecutors to conduct an interview of Bobulinski but we were denied that request, and were never able to interview him. Interviewing Bobulinski would be normal process and procedure as a part of a criminal investigation for the team to corroborate evidence obtained in the investigation, elaborate on investigative leads, challenge some of the allegations made, and ask pertinent questions regarding the investigation. Again, this was not done! [my emphasis]

His complaint that HWAM has labeled it as a 302 is their fault.

Complain about the dumb Republicans for this error, Joe! While you’re complaining, Joe, you should similarly complain that James Comer invited Bobulinski for a voluntary, not compelled, interview, making it far easier for Bobulinski to dodge questions about what Mark Meadows handed him at a clandestine meeting in November 2020.

But not all of us are dummies, Joe. I noted that it wasn’t a 302 here.

The Bobulinski interview report Ziegler released, however, has not been entered in the official 302 form and by title is just a revision of his interview, with the author marked as one of the agents in the original interview; it appears to have been saved from Microsoft Word.

The fact that it’s not a 302 raises questions about Ziegler’s conduct in sharing it. Why would Ziegler share it if it were never approved? Why did he share it even though he has access to at least some of the communications that Lowell released which suggest Bobulinski couldn’t be telling the truth? If investigators were told Bobulinski wasn’t credible, why do they continue to float the “10 to H for the big guy” claims? Why did Shapley make Lesley Wolf’s prohibition — some weeks after the Bobulinski interview — on asking about the “big guy” reference central to his purported whistleblower complaint?

The Bobulinski claims are part of the Ziegler and Shapley media tour that — Abbe Lowell claims — generated political pressure with the result that David Weiss reneged on a plea deal and instead charged his client with nine tax charges (and three gun charges).

How did Ziegler get this report if it hasn’t been finalized into the FBI system? Ziegler describes only that it “was provided to the RHB investigation team by agents with the FBI.”

This was a memo and attachment that was provided to the RHB investigative team by agents with the FBI regarding information that was provided to agents with the FBI Washington Field Office from Anthony Bobulinski.

In his House Judiciary Committee, Tim Thibault described following up with the agent who did the interview, “to make sure that Baltimore got the FD-302s … that the agents had written and to also make sure that anything he had turned over to the agents got there.”

I guess Thibault, who spent 26 years in the FBI, is a big dummy too, because he called it a 302, too (and suggested it did get entered into the eGuardian system).

But Ziegler is an IRS agent, not the FBI agents that Thibault tried to make sure received the interview report.

And Ziegler has confessed to have obtained the report — finalized 302 or not — of the interview that Tony Bobulinski gave the day after spending time with Donald Trump, weeks before (by Cassidy Hutchinson’s telling) being handed something at a secret meeting with Mark Meadows.

The IRS obtained questionable witness testimony from a guy represented by a Trump-associated lawyer, volunteered immediately after spending time with Trump. That gets closer and closer to the President making a request that the IRS conduct an investigation into Hunter Biden and his father, a violation of 26 USC 7217, which makes it a crime for the President, by name, to ask the IRS to target someone specifically.

It shall be unlawful for any applicable person to request, directly or indirectly, any officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service to conduct or terminate an audit or other investigation of any particular taxpayer with respect to the tax liability of such taxpayer.


(e)Applicable person

For purposes of this section, the term “applicable person” means—

(1)the President, the Vice President, any employee of the executive office of the President, and any employee of the executive office of the Vice President; [my emphasis]

And now, three years after Bobulinski went to the FBI and — between meetings with Trump and his Chief of Staff — told them things that may not have been true, David Weiss has charged Hunter with tax crimes in an indictment that mentions the failed joint venture, SinoHawk, of which Bobulinski was a part.

Yet he didn’t mention Bobulinski’s role in it.

David Weiss appears to have hidden the role that Tony Bobulinski plays in these events, going so far as to insinuate that Hunter cut the SinoHawk partners out because of greed rather than justified distrust of Bobulinski. And in so doing, Weiss has hidden the taint — Donald Trump’s taint — that Bobulinski’s testimony may have had on the IRS investigation.

35 replies
  1. Jeffrey C Gallup says:

    Having read the indictment, my question is where were the regular IRS audit folks during all this? When the IRS (erroneously) concluded that had not filed one year, I immediately got a notice. I’m sure they would have followed up with increasingly threatening letters and perhaps levies against my accounts if I had not actually filed.

    Hunter failed to file, and sometimes only made partial payments, for several years. Yet no indication the IRS followed up at the time with normal enforcement action.

    Weiss describes a “four-year scheme” not to pay taxes. My take was that Hunter had his finances relatively under control through 2015 – at least, a mechanism for withholding. Then his life – and his finances – spun out of control. Doesn’t look very “willful” to me. Weiss’ description that Hunter “chose not to file” and “chose not to pay” seems an oversimplified version of what happened.

    The most serious allegation seems to me that the returns belatedly filed in 2020 (no indication of pressure from the IRS, just from civil matters in the courts) contain lots of knowingly fraudulent deductions – for non-business related travel, hotels, tuition, girlfriends, etc. This when Hunter was supposedly now sober and in his right mind (something that could not have been said for preceding years). Hunter might argue that his memory of the earlier years and his expenses was fuzzy, but he did after all write a memoir, which suggests the earlier years were not a complete blank.

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    • tienle47 says:

      Can we rethink the idea that someone in their first year of being sober is necessarily in their right mind? Recovery is hard. The first year is the hardest. In meetings people are told over and over not to attempt any life changes for the first year: don’t move, don’t get involved in a relationship, anything that would interfere with staying clean and sober. The behaviors don’t just stop because the substance isn’t present in the body. Lying is a fundamental part of an addictive behavior pattern.

      Expecting Hunter Biden to suddenly become a functioning adult simply because he wasn’t using might not be the best way to look at how he was handling his interactions with the IRS.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Thank you for that, tienle47. It has, indeed, been the experience of so many of us: once sober, we must confront the personal demons that drove us to use in the first place. Whatever we thought we were escaping now confronts us, and it is terrifying–often the reason for relapse. While we understand why some of our loved ones can’t forgive us, we nonetheless desperately need support; weaving a new web of community takes precedence over all else simply because it means the difference between life and death.

        What has struck me throughout the Hunter Biden saga is how little so many seem to care about that fundamental consideration: he has been fighting for his life, and the web of lives that depend on or are profoundly concerned with his. I lost my best friend to heroin addiction in 2012. I still feel as raw, bereft and guilty as the day I found out.

        Even if you despise Hunter, think of his kids, the rest of his family, his friends. We all have a stake in supporting addicts in recovery.

        • Alan King says:

          Deductions like these? Many of us in recovery face financial problems in our first year. Yes, his prosecution has nefarious political momentum behind it, and there yes are breadcrumbs leading to the massive corruption of our core federal agencies that we are all trying to come to terms with (thanks EW team, so grateful).

          But if folks who do this with their taxes are not punished while small fry cheats are hounded … well, that’s the difference between white-collar and blue-collar crime. It might be understandable to those taking responsibility for his recovery, but it’s flat-out wrong. And if the white-collar attorneys are saying that no-one deserves more than a wrist-slap for this? Well that’s even more wrong.

        • bmaz says:

          “But if folks who do this with their taxes are not punished while small fry cheats are hounded … well, that’s the difference between white-collar and blue-collar crime.”

          What bunk. If his name was not Biden you would have never heard about this. And, no, it is certainly NOT the difference between “white-collar and blue-collar crime”. Jesus, people in the EW comments section this morning are out of their minds.

  2. Peterr says:

    Admittedly, it may be easier for Weiss to prosecute the tax case by simply disappearing Tony Bobulinski from his allegations. Perhaps he’s trying to limit the discovery he has to provide to Hunter Biden.

    Given everything that follows in this post, I think Lowell would have a decent chance of demanding and receiving discovery related to Bobulinski, as it would bolster the defense case that this was a politically-motivated selective prosecution that no one else whose name was not Biden would be facing. Despite a mountain of concerns about Bobulinski, Weiss et al. kept using his stuff to push the case forward, until *finally* it became untenable and they disappeared him.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Seems like this is a perfect time to ask for the body to be rendered (that of Bobulinski). Not the usual use of habeas corpus but fitting.

      What would be the impact if that particular body can no longer be rendered to the courts?

  3. Savage Librarian says:

    Weiss Device

    How do I lose Bobulinski?
    Let me count the ways:

    I lose Bobulinski to the depth
    and breadth and height
    my goal can reach,
    concealing out of sight
    all the means of being,
    without a trace.

    I lose Bobulinski to the level
    of every day’s most quiet need,
    by sun and scandal light,
    I lose Bobulinski freely,
    as men strive for spite.

    I lose Bobulinski purely
    as they count delays,
    I lose Bobulinski with the passion
    put to use In my old briefs,
    and an envelope of faith.

    I lose Bobulinski, especially in the news,
    with my lost taints,
    I lose Bobulinski, like Mac Isaac,
    Trials, years, and each lowlife,
    and, if odds choose,
    I’ll lose Bobulinski without blowback.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Ha, ha, thanks, Rayne! I haz to confess now. I took my inspiration from Sonnets from the Portuguese #43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It provided ample opportunity for this parody.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Amazing, SL!! I heard echoes of John Donne too. And of course I loved the sly double meaning of “my lost briefs,” even before I got to “taints.” You are the master!

        • Savage Librarian says:

          LOL, thanks, Ginevra and Marcy. It was a lot of fun to do. I was still thinking about the repetition of Leo Wise’s title in the earlier post. Then I thought about counting and all the devious behavior of Weiss, et al. That’s when Barrett Browning came to mind (not that she was devious, to my knowledge, but the counting.) From there, it all fell into place. But, just so you don’t get the wrong idea, IRL I’m actually really quite boring and quiet.

  4. ExRacerX says:

    Meanwhile, the courtier press are parroting variations on the following theme: The new Hunter indictments spell bad news for the White House and require Joe Biden’s impeachment, since he’s “bogged down by corruption charges.”

    What a bunch of absolute horseshit. Are people really swallowing it?

    • Matt Foley says:

      I force myself to read Fox News just to see with my own eyes the bullshit they feed their MAGA viewers. Examples:
      “James Comer: I can confirm this looks like money laundering”.
      “Trump on Hunter Biden’s scandals: ‘Could you imagine if I did it?'”

      Their level of brazenness is stunning. None of the Hunter bashers on Fox mention Trump’s pardon of tax criminals esp. of Pirro’s husband. And their MAGA viewers eat it up. These people vote! I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

  5. Upisdown says:

    From what I’ve read since Oct 2020, Tony Bobulinski was:

    Brought in by Gilliar for his US contacts.
    Skeptical at first about Hunter Biden’s involvement.
    Fully on board when he learned Yi was part of it.
    A bit of a schmuck, as mentioned above.
    Very bitter over being cut out.
    Not considered very credible by the FBI.
    And primarily important because he may (or may not) have met Joe Biden for coffee in Beverly Hills.

    And that’s before the stuff that Cassidy Hutchinson revealed about him. What I don’t get is why he even matters. If Bobulinski is claiming the failed CEFC deal was somehow illegal, well, he is chins deep in that crime by virtue of being the top listed officer.

    For some reason the right sees Bobulinski as a key witness for their impeachment folly, but at best all he brings is that Joe Biden once met him during a conference where Biden likely came in contact with 50 to 100 people.

    • zscoreUSA says:

      Re: why Bobulinski even matters

      Been wondering the same thing but seeing how hard Miranda Devine goes at doing PR performances for Bobulinski, and the ski mask meeting, he seems more and more like an instrument of the information warfare. Devine goes on and on about how patriotic Bobulinski is, not mentioning his Russian ties, while she also goes on and on about how the US should not support Ukraine against Russia.

      Bobulinski has ties to Russians, including Vekselberg in particular, who himself has ties to Santos and hence Burra.

      [I have also come across another tie to Vekselberg elsewhere in this saga]

      • emptywheel says:

        I think that overstates what is proven about Bobulinski’s RU ties, especially the Vekselberg one.

        That comes from Walker repeating the vague feelins he and Hunter had going back to 2016 or 2017, in 2020.

  6. David in NYC says:

    Tony Bobulinski was part of negotiations for a prospective venture that was never funded, so Hunter Biden never received any taxable income from his association with Bobulinski. Which any IRS agent could figure out in 10 seconds. Which is why IRS agent Gary Shapley’s curiosity about Bobulinski had nothing to do with his job.

  7. Donald B (Don) Cooley says:

    This looks like the fishiest prosecution ever, at least of a white person in this country. Given that sharp but scummy lawyers were able to get OJ acquitted over a glove with questionable chain of evidence, I expect Lowell will have these guys roasting on a spit before this is over.
    It would be poetic justice if tfg were taken down by violation of 26 USC 7217, coming full circle back to the “(im)perfect phone call.”

    PS: EW, you are fantastic.


      • vigetnovus says:

        Not to be too flippant, but let’s remember Kardashian was one of them.

        Granted, it was questionable how much “lawyering” he did, as his main contribution seemed to be reactivating his law license to invoke atty-client privilege and avoid testifying. But nonetheless, he was on the team.

        Shapiro, I understand is not scummy. Don’t know too much about the rest.

        • bmaz says:

          Kardasnian was a decent chap, don’t hold his media intensive subsequent family against him. I knew Johnny Cochrane the best, and Lee Bailey. Criminal lawyers do what they do, and that is okay, don’t judge them by their clients.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Have you watched the 2023 film, ‘The Burial’ with Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones? I can’t speak to the quality or accuracy of the film, but it was fun to learn some things about Johnny Cochrane.

          Although my recollection is very fuzzy, I once contacted his law firm during the time I faced numerous challenges. But they weren’t interested. Just as well, I think. Being in the limelight is not at all attractive to me.

  8. zscoreUSA says:

    Trying to follow along the dance of Bobulinski’s interview and whether or not it was a 302.

    Since Thibault described a 302 for Bobulinski, is there the implication that a 302 does exist but for some reason Ziegler left it out and produced an alternate document summary instead?

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s not at all clear–Grassley has the same questions.

      My guess is that someone recognized what a risk it’d be if this were entered into the FBI system, because it would make Trump’s own actions traceable. And also might make it more difficult not to pursue Bob’s alleged lies and why he told them. So maybe it never got formalized for that reason.

      And now all the attention (and Ziegler’s release of it) will make it highly likely there’ll be some attention on that now.

  9. vigetnovus says:

    Oh, my.

    Not to be *too* conspiratorial, but Bobulinski’s interview at WFO (where he asks for “read-in” agents, mind you) happens exactly 10 days after D’Antuono takes over as FBI AD of WFO.

    That is one hell of a coincidence, you think?

    • emptywheel says:

      I don’t yet know what to make of D’A. He got moved there at a key time, though he had just overseen the totally problematic investigation of Whitmer.

      The Bob timing was about the election, though, and the release of the laptop.

  10. Rugger_9 says:

    Well, I would guess that Abbe Lowell will make a lot of hay out of the Bobulinski link between discovery and the exclusion of evidence filings. No wonder the plea deal was struck, too many loose strings otherwise.

  11. Harry Eagar says:

    Ex-pawnbroker here. Lots of people have worthless diamonds that they genuinely believe are real. They got angry at me for telling them so.

    Exam question: Can a briber and a bribee be successfully prosecuted when the thing of value was worthless but both, or either, believed it to be valuable?

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