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Tony Bobulinski Says Trump’s Impeachment Radicalized Him

I wrote two short threads on the Tony Bobulinski transcript released this week (one, two).

As with all things involving James Comer’s Oversight Committee, it quickly disintegrated into farce.

The story Bobulinski told was that — as a former Q Clearance holder (he raised the Q Clearance he held years ago over a dozen times) — he wanted nothing to do with CEFC, because, “lying, cheating, and stealing is sort of an acceptable practice … in China.” But then, in 2017, he mysteriously put aside his concerns about all that to try to get in on that business deal. Then, when Hunter Biden grew to clash with Bobulinski shortly after Bobulinski got involved in efforts to do business with CEFC in 2017, Bobulinski got furious at not being able to deal with CEFC.

It took some time to lay out what Bobulinski was up to.

First, Dan Goldman elicited Bobulinski to express how furious he was at being cut out of the business.

Mr. Bobulinski. SinoHawk did not receive the $10 million because —

Mr. Goldman. Thank you.

Mr. Passantino. Hold on. Hold on. He can finish.

Mr. Bobulinski. Hunter and Jim defrauded me at the end of July — not just me, but the other members of Oneida Holdings. You’re a litigator, former prosecutor at the SDNY. You’ve seen the fully executed SinoHawk documents, the fully executed Oneida, LLC documents. You’re a wealthy man. You’re very familiar with LLCs.

They had a fiduciary duty to not circumvent, lie, or embezzle funds. And at the end of July 2017, that’s well-documented, Hunter Biden invokes his father to basically shake down and extort the Chinese to not send the money to SinoHawk Holdings and send it directly to a new entity that he worked overtime to form so he could put the money in his own pocket and Jim Biden’s pocket.

Mr. Goldman. That clearly upsets you.

Mr. Bobulinski. Have you ever been defrauded in your life?

Mr. Goldman. No. I’m just —

Mr. Bobulinski. Have you ever been defrauded?

Mr. Goldman. I’d like the record to reflect that Mr. Bobulinski was —

Mr. Bobulinski. You want to answer the question?

Mr. Goldman. No. I ask the questions, you answer the questions. You’re the witness.

And I would like the record to reflect that Mr. Bobulinski raised his voice as he was explaining that the —

Mr. Bobulinski. I clearly — hold on. Hold on. For the record — hold on, Mr. Goldman.

For the record, I was defrauded at the end of July 2017 by the Biden family. And as would anybody be, I was disappointed, frustrated, and angry that I was defrauded as a businessman that worked extremely hard to put this business together.

Mr. Goldman. And you’re still angry, right? You’re still angry, aren’t you?

Mr. Bobulinski. I’m angry that the American people have been lied to for four years about the facts of Joe Biden —

Mr. Goldman. You’re not angry about being defrauded?

Mr. Bobulinski. No. I’m a wealthy individual.

The money that Joe — the Bidens — took from me is less than $2 million at the time. I would donate that to whatever charity you would ask me to donate that to, Mr. Goldman.

Mr. Goldman. So you’re over it now?

Mr. Bobulinski. I’m over which aspect of it?

Mr. Goldman. You’re over being what you claim to be defrauded?

Mr. Bobulinski. I am angry that the American people continue to be lied about — lied to about Joe Biden and the Bidens’ involvement in —

Mr. Goldman. I appreciate that. It’s not your own financial interest. I get it.

You’re just here having nothing to do with that.

I’ll turn it back over to counsel.

From there, staffers tried to get Bobulinski to admit that the business deal he signed was with only Hunter and Jim, not Joe. Bobulinski, as he did over and over when the facts didn’t match his claims, accused people of lying. So Goldman and the staffers riffed about all the people Bobulinski had accused of lying.

Mr. [redacted]. The Biden family — the Biden family — exhibit 6, your partners are — called Bidens — are James Biden and Hunter Biden, right?

Mr. Bobulinski. Why did I meet with Joe Biden? You are obfuscating the facts of what transpired by talking —

Mr. Goldman. Sir, he’s asking you a simple question.

Mr. Bobulinski. It isn’t a simple question, Congressman Goldman.

Mr. Goldman. It’s not a simple question?

Mr. Bobulinski. No, it’s not a simple question.

Mr. Goldman. Who are the partners from the LLC?

Mr. Bobulinski. You continue to lie and obfuscate the facts to the American people. That’s why my voice is raised —

Mr. Goldman. Good. So now we’re back —

Mr. Bobulinski. — because he’s about to do it.

Mr. Goldman. So the FBI, The Wall Street Journal, Cassidy Hutchinson, all of us — there was another one. Who else lied? Yeah, the FBI agents. We’ve got that.

Mr. [redacted]. Rob Walker.

Mr. Goldman. Rob Walker.

Mr. [redacted]. James Gilliar.

Mr. Goldman. James Gilliar.

Mr. Passantino. Are there questions here pending?

Mr. Bobulinski. Do you have a question?

The Democratic staffer returned to the Oneida Holdings agreement between Bobulinski and Hunter Biden and — after much pulling of teeth — got Bobunlinski to admit that Joe Biden was not one of his partners.

Q You signed a limited liability agreement for Oneida Holdings, LLC, correct?

A I did.

Q And this is a truthful and accurate document about the organization of the company, right?

A It is. It’s a binding legal agreement.

Q You wouldn’t sign —

A That’s why I can confidently state they defrauded me in July of 2017, yes.

Q You wouldn’t sign your name to a false document, right?

A Of course not.

Q And this document accurately sets out who your business partners are, right?

A That’s a vague question, “accurately.” It commemorates who ultimately was —

Q The LLC document does not care about —

A Wait, wait, wait.

Q No. My questions, Mr. Bobulinski.

Are you — is your testimony here today that this limited liability company agreement does not clearly set forth the partners of Oneida Holdings, LLC?

A That was not my testimony. My testimony was that that executed agreement clearly defines there are five entities that own 20 percent each. I’ve gone through that, I think, now three times.

Q And those entities are Hunter Biden’s entities? A Correct.

Q James Biden’s entities?

A Correct.

Q John Walker’s entity?

A Well, not John Walker. Don’t misstate for the record.

Q John R. Walker.

A Rob Walker.

[snip]

Q Mr. Bobulinski, I’m just trying to ask you who your partners in Oneida 10 Holdings, LLC are. This isn’t supposed to be a hard question.

[snip]

BY MR. [redacted]:

Q This is a simple question, who his partners are.

A And I’m giving you simple answers. I’ve already testified to this three — I think, three times at this point.

Q So then let’s do it quickly. Your partners are Hunter Biden, James Biden, Rob Walker, James Gilliar, and yourself?

A Yeah, that’s an incorrect statement. My partners were the LLCs that represented Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, Rob Walker, James Gilliar, and myself.

Q Okay. Great.

And when you say that your — the Biden family cheated you, your partners —

A It’s called fraud.

Q Defrauded you.

A I used the specific word.

Q You’re referring to — you’re referring to James Hunter — James Biden and Hunter Biden, who opened Hudson West III. Is that correct?

A Ask the question. But, generally, I think.

Q Okay. So when you’re talking about the Biden — your partnerships with the 22 Biden family, you’re talking about Hunter Biden and James Biden?

A That’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve spent at least almost four hours now 24 talking about my meetings with Joe Biden, how Joe Biden was invoked, us trying to get 25 Joe Biden to a meeting in New York, and stuff like that, so I don’t —

Q Joe Biden was your partner?

There were some other choice moments, such as when Bobulinski treated the prospect of Trump taking CEFC money while Commander-in-Chief as merely hypothetical…

Q There was a report that came out in January in which the Oversight Committee Democratic staff showed with receipts that Donald Trump, while he was Commander in Chief, received money from CEFC.

Assuming that fact to be true, does that give you concern?

A I think your question is actually absurd, and the statement is absurd, because if you could show me that money — you’re acting — I guess you’re asking me to opine that did CEFC give Donald Trump money directly into his pocket. I can’t opine on that.

Q I’m just asking you if he were to have received money from CEFC, would you find that troubling? You just described at length how concerned you were at CEFC, the national security implications.

I’m asking you, a Commander in Chief —

A You’re asking me a hypothetical, and you want me to respond to the hypothetical?

Q Sure.

Mr. Passantino. You can respond to the best of —

Mr. Bobulinski. I would be just as concerned — maybe my answer would be, if the Trump family had done with CEFC what the Biden family had done, I would be equally as vocal and concerned about our national security and voicing those concerns and getting those facts out to the American people. I never did business with the Trump family. I never considered doing business and all that stuff, so I —

After which, in the next hour, Bobulinski corrected a Republican staffer who later said that allegation was mostly about Trump’s fancy DC hotel (though went on to say the condo via which CEFC paid Trump was about its location across from the UN, not Trump’s name).

Q And I just want to clarify one hypothetical that the minority brought up, which is if Donald Trump, Vice President, received any money from CEFC, I think some material facts that they omitted from that is that Donald Trump had a very famous hotel in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

And so they did not tell you in their hypothetical that, as part of the money that they’re describing, it’s people staying at his hotel.

A Okay. I didn’t — I’ve seen some articles reference that CEFC had a condo.

I was never in the condo, but if you read the 1,200 pages of the Patrick Ho trial, they reference that condo in Trump Tower New York that was — there’s a reason why.

If it was called the Smith Tower, they would have had one in the Smith Tower.

Democrats focused remarkably little on Bobulinski’s relationship with the son of Viktor Vekselberg (one of the issues that gave Rob Walker concern with doing business with Bobulinski). After he complained amounted to smearing him with, “Russia Russia Russia,” Democrats dropped it (and didn’t pursue other allegations of ties to Russian money or his inconsistent statements about the role of Rosneft in the split over CEFC).

Q And, when you were in Las Vegas, you were there with somebody named Alex Vekselberg, correct?

A Ask the question again.

Q Alex Vekselberg, you were in Las Vegas with Alex Vekselberg?

A I wasn’t there with him. He was in Las Vegas for other things, but he did —

Q At some point, you were together with him in Las Vegas?

A I was. I was, correct.

Q And you know that Mr. Vekselberg is the son of Viktor Vekselberg?

A Well, I know that Alex Vekselberg is an American citizen born in the United States, a Yale-educated individual and a successful businessman in his own right. And I do know that he is the son of Viktor Vekselberg.

Q And you know that Viktor Vekselberg is a Russian oligarch who’s been sanctioned now by the United States several times?

A It’s actually funny you should ask me that. I’m actually surprised you guys don’t know this. Viktor Vekselberg was actually born in Ukraine. So he’s not a Russian.

He’s a Ukrainian businessman. You can look it up. I think I was born within a hundred miles of the Polish border, and so he’s a Ukrainian businessman.

And I don’t — I’m not aware of — I thought you guys were big supporters of Ukraine. You try to use Russia to paint different things, but he’s actually — my understanding, just — you can look it up. He was born in Ukraine. And — and so your question?

Q Oh, I think you answered my question.

A Okay, great. Oh, sorry, I didn’t answer your question. You asked — you made some reference to sanctions. I’m not aware of that and when that happened and all those nuances. But, once again, I can’t, because —

Q Well, you do know where he was born within a hundred miles.

A Well, because I looked it up, right? I wasn’t told that. I looked it up.

Everyone in here can look it up. And, second, I want to reiterate that Alex Vekselberg is an American citizen afforded the same rights, respect as you and I. Well, I can’t speak for you, that I am as an American citizen. And, at the time I had that meeting in Las Vegas, his father was not sanctioned by the United States.

Mr. [redacted] Do you not believe my colleague is deserving of rights and respect?

Mr. Passantino. If you’re going to accuse him of associating with Russian oligarchs, that’s the answer you’re going to get.

Mr. [redacted]. We’ve not accused him of anything.

Mr. Bobulinski. No, no, no, no. Yes, you have. Yes, you have. No, no, no.

Your operatives — no, no, no.

Mr. [redacted]. We’re not accusing you of anything.

Mr. Bobulinski. Your Democratic operatives have written smearing stuff about Russia, Russia, Russia, attacking my family and myself, and it’s disgusting to me. I’m a former Naval officer —

Mr. [redacted]. Let me ask you a question.

Mr. Bobulinski. — who had the highest security clearance. So wait. To your question, I didn’t show her — I said I can’t assume she’s an American citizen. I don’t know that she’s an American citizen. I said he should be afforded all the rights and respect of an American citizen, as should I. If you’re an American citizen, then you should be afforded those same rights and respect.

That’s all background to Bobulinski’s alternative narrative about how he decided to take on Joe Biden — which he says started during the 2019 Trump impeachment and which led up — as Democratic staffers reviewed — to his pitch to the WSJ before the Hunter Biden laptop came out in 2020.

Q So you expressed the reasons you came forward. You said the first cog was the impeachment of Donald Trump. The second cog was the nomination of Joe Biden.

You came out with this information publicly just before, weeks before the 2020 Presidential election. Is that correct?

A It’s not a true statement. And, second, it wasn’t that Donald Trump is the individual who was being impeached. It was that a President of the United States was being impeached with the obfuscation of how the Biden family operated and did business around the world. That was my frustration, anger.

And so I started thinking I know them to operate and how they operate his business. There’s lies being told and obfuscation. So it wasn’t specific to Donald Trump as an individual. It was specific to a President of the United States being impeached over what I believed were lies about how the Biden family did business around the world and operated.

Q Thank you. Your October 2020 press conference at the Marriott in Nashville, Tennessee, who organized that for you?

Mr. Passantino. I guess you can answer, again, to the extent you know.

Mr. Bobulinski. Organized what for me exactly, I’m asking?

In the end, Bobulinski kept obfuscating about his ties to the Trump campaign.

But he did tie his involvement in this attempt to impeach Joe Biden with the first attempt to impeach Donald Trump.

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.

Poof!

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.

[snip]

(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.

James Comer’s War on Christmas: The Burial Ground of a Dick Pic Impeachment

Republicans have rolled out a shiny timeline in support of their impeachment stunt.

It is riddled with unsubstantiated and at times, false claims. As one example, it states as fact that a $40,000 loan repayment James Biden made in 2017 — when Joe Biden was a private citizen — was money laundered from China.

It juxtaposes a misleading (but potentially caveated) answer at the October, 22 2020 debate from Biden with Tony Bobulinski’s interview with the FBI the next day, but doesn’t mention that Trump hosted Bobulinski at that debate and then, according to Cassidy Hutchinson’s book, Mark Meadows handed him something at a covert meeting weeks later.

It doesn’t, however, mention Tony Bobulinski in its report about a meeting between Hunter and CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming on February 16, 2017 (the date of the meeting may not even be correct).

In the testimony Bobulinski gave to the FBI between attending the debate with Trump and having a covert meeting with Mark Meadows, he claimed to have attended that February 2017 meeting and seen Hunter receive a diamond.

BOBULINSKI first met in person with members of the BIDEN family at a 2017 meeting in Miami, Florida. BOBULINSKI, GILLIAR, WALKER, HUNTER BIDEN, and YE all attended the meeting. Also in attendance was Director JIAN ZANG (“ZANG”), a CEFC Director involved in forming new businesses and capitalizing them at the request of CEFC. At the meeting, BOBULINSKI witnessed a large diamond gemstone given as a gift to HUNTER BIDEN by YE.

Perhaps the silence about Bobulinski arises from the fact that Hunter Biden has claimed Bobulinski not only wasn’t at the meeting, but didn’t yet know of James Gilliar’s business ties to him. Rob Walker, who was at the meeting testified, twice, that he didn’t see a diamond pass hands at the meeting.

Walker has read about RHB receiving a diamond from people with CEFC, but he never saw the diamond.

And James Biden testified that an associate of Ye gave Hunter a diamond at his office (not the meeting) — but it ended up being worthless.

James B did recall RHB receiving a diamond from the Chinese but that they found out it was not valuable. RHB said that he received the diamond from an associate of the Chairman at his office [redacted] James B stated that the Chinese always gave something as a welcome gift. RHB was originally told that the diamond was worth $10,000, but James B took it to a friend of his and found out that it was worthless. James B is only aware of one diamond and was not aware of a larger diamond.

All this changes Biden’s statement at the debate significantly; Trump was working off a Bobulinski claim that isn’t backed by the available records.

And then weeks later (again, according to Hutchinson’s book), Trump’s Chief of Staff handed Bobulinski something that might be an envelope.

Much of the timeline focuses on Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky’s years-long effort to kill legal investigations into his corruption.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican timeline makes no mention of the investigation that — per Chuck Grassley — DOJ opened into the owner of Burisma in January 2016.

Likewise, James Comer forgot to mention that — again, per Chuck Grassley — Donald Trump’s DOJ shut down that investigation into Zlochevksy in December 2019, even while justifying his Perfect Phone Call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a claim to be concerned about corruption at Burisma.

Comer’s timeline definitely doesn’t mention that (per Chuck GrassleyBill Barr’s DOJ shut down an investigation into Zlochevsky when it discusses that Zlochevsky was offering bribes to shut down investigations.

Maybe in addition to impeaching Trump for whatever he handed Bobulinski to make claims about big diamonds he couldn’t see, James Comer should open an impeachment investigation into why Bill Barr’s DOJ shut down that Zlochevsky investigation — and whether there’s a tie between the closure of the investigation and Zlochevksy’s new claims about Biden?

Wow. James Comer’s case for impeaching Donald Trump just keeps getting stronger and stronger!

Admittedly, Comer does take a break from substantiating an impeachment case against Trump by providing scandalous details about Biden … inviting his son to a party.

A party!! Joe Biden invited his son to a Christmas party!?!?!

This is truly scandalous stuff, particularly when contrasted to Bill Barr’s noble efforts to shut down an investigation into Zlochevsky at the same time that Trump was claiming publicly to support an investigation into Zlochevksy and Zlochevksy was, apparently, offering billions to those who shut down such investigations.

A Christmas party!

How dare a good Catholic like Joe Biden invite his own family member — his son!! — to a party at his residence? Surely the 18 Republicans from districts Biden won will be happy to explain their vote to impeach because they’ve decided to declare War on Christmas?

This impeachment gets better every day.

There’s one more utterly ridiculous detail I’m rather obsessed about. In addition to proposing to impeach Joe Biden because he invited his kid to a party, James Comer thinks it’s scandalous that Vadym Pozharskyi sent Hunter notice that his father was traveling to Ukraine.

Wow. Scandal. Pozharskyi knew and shared details about when Biden was traveling to Ukraine.

But I’m interested for a different reason. You see, this claim is almost certainly sourced to the copy of the “laptop” that House Republicans won’t explain — at least not on the record — how they obtained. In addition to the email from 2016 that was resent on September 1, 2020 when the hard drive was in Rudy Giuliani’s possession, this email is one with which I’m obsessed.

Here’s how it appears at BidenLaptopEmails dot com.

The President of the US-Ukraine Business Council got the alert from the White House, he sent it to Burisma, and Pozharskyi sent it — at least by all appearances — to just Devon Archer and Hunter.

As I circled, whoever’s email box this appeared in recognized Pozharskyi’s email not as “Burisma,” but instead as “Burials.” The email also had an identity for Hunter associated; most other emails that he received don’t identify himself.

There’s just one other email in the public set like this — an important one.

It was a thread sent over one week — from November 11 ET through 18, 2015. On it, Pozharskyi, Eric Schwerin, Archer, and Hunter discuss bringing in Blue Star Strategies — they’re the ones who tried to fix Zlochevsky’s legal troubles, with some initial but ultimately short-lived success.

This effort, outsourced as it was, was undoubtedly one of the sleaziest things Hunter was involved in. But the GOP didn’t include this email in their timeline (probably because it makes clear that Hunter did a pretty good job of firewalling off the legal influence peddling).

Anyway, from this email, it appears that it is Schwerin’s email account that, for a few days only, recognized Burisma as “Burials.” Only, he’s not listed as being on the other one.

I really have only suspicions about what explains this anomaly. I care about it, for two reasons. First, because the anomaly, especially on one of about ten or so that really get into Burisma’s efforts to suck Hunter and Archer into this corruption, does raise questions about the provenance of the set of emails loaded up on a laptop attributed to Hunter Biden.

Also because, according to a spreadsheet Joseph Ziegler was generous enough to share with the world, this is among the not quite 10% of emails that the IRS used in its own influence peddling investigation that they sourced to the laptop when it should have been included in returns from warrants obtained from Google on both Hunter and Schwerin’s Rosemont Seneca emails.

There’s a lot in Comer’s timeline that makes a great case for impeachment — of Donald Trump.

There’s a lot in his timeline that shows he continues to rely on fraudsters to make his case.

There’s a lot that tries to criminalize … Christmas!

And then there’s this, an email probably obtained from the famous “laptop,” one that raises some real questions about what got packaged up on a laptop attributed to Hunter Biden.

James Comer Finally Finds Evidence Supporting Impeachment — of Donald Trump

Back on October 7 (after Hunter Biden sued Garrett Ziegler on September 13, after Hunter Biden sued the IRS on September 18, after Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani on September 26, and after Matthew Graves testified to the House Judiciary Committee on October 3) — Abbe Lowell sent Graves a letter asking him to investigate whether Tony Bobulinski lied to the FBI on October 23, 2020.

The letter was first reported by NBC.

Jamie Comer has now seized on the letter in his latest demand for more information — and testimony of Hunter Biden. But this time, the evidence implicates Donald Trump, not Joe Biden.

The substance of Lowell’s allegation boils down to a claim that Bobulinski lied in his FBI interview when he claimed to have attended a key meeting with CEFC on February 19, 2017. If Bobulinski didn’t attend the meeting, he therefore lied in his interview when he made claims about personally witnessing the involvement of Joe Biden in all this.

The most significant set of false statements is central to Mr. Bobulinski’s entire interview and self-aggrandizement. The memorandum states that “BOBULINSKI first met in person with members of the BIDEN family at a 2017 meeting in Miami, Florida. BOBULINSKI, GILLIAR, WALKER, HUNTER BIDEN, and YE all attended the meeting.”11 This is deliberately false; Mr. Bobulinski did not attend a meeting with Mr. Biden and his associates in Miami in 2017, nor did he meet members of the Biden family then. Around February 13, 2017, Messrs. Biden, Walker, and Gilliar traveled to Miami to meet with CEFC Chairman Ye, Director Zhang, and other CEFC members to discuss a possible business venture. It is here that Mr. Biden met Chairman Ye for the first time, and at that meeting, a tentative business agreement was reached in principle to set up a joint venture with CEFC, and a business structure was discussed.

Despite what Mr. Bobulinski told investigators to pretend he had firsthand knowledge, he was never in and did not attend this meeting in Miami on February 14, 2017. [bold emphasis Lowell’s]

That’s not the only allegation in the letter; Lowell accuses Bobulinski of a bunch of other lies.

The most important — aside from his provable presence (or not) at that February 2017 meeting — has to do with the origin of the “10 held by H for big guy” letter that Fox News has made a focus of their propaganda for three years.

Lowell provided background to a series of communications in May 2017, during a period when the proposed Joint Venture involving Hunter, Bobulinski, James Gilliar, and Rob Walker, was losing ground in the competition for CEFC’s support in the face of a group involving James Woolsey. That’s what led Gilliar — not Hunter — to propose getting Joe Biden involved.

It is in this context that, on May 11, 2017, Mr. Bobulinski and Mr. Gilliar discussed their concerns that Chairman Ye had skipped meetings with Mr. Biden in New York, while separately attending a party held by Mr. Witkoff. (Ex. G attached hereto.) Mr. Gilliar acknowledges this growing concern about competition for CEFC in a May 11 message to Mr. Bobulinski: “Man U are right let’s get the company set up, then tell H and family the high stakes and get Joe involved.” (Id.) Importantly, this notion of “get[ting] Joe involved” was referenced as an idea by Mr. Gilliar to Mr. Bobulinski in private, and never sent to Mr. Biden, as potential leverage to counter the competition for CEFC’s U.S. investment.

This is consistent with what Gilliar told the WSJ in October 2020, in the wake of Bobulinski going public with these claims (as Lowell notes in his letter). But as Lowell also noted, Bobulinski’s claims that a split involving Joe Biden was real and happened earlier rests on his claim — which Lowell asserts to be false — to have been at the CEFC meeting in Miami.

Mr. Bobulinski took this lie even further when he willfully told investigators that the reference, “10 held by H for the big guy,” originated from deal discussions that he witnessed as between Mr. Biden and Chairman Ye in Miami in February 2017. As explained above, Mr. Bobulinski was never at that meeting in Miami and this fantasy was his and Mr. Gilliar’s.

Lowell pointed to additional texts seemingly supporting the claim that the idea of involving Joe only ever came from Gillier and Bobublinski. Weeks earlier, Hunter laid out a 50-50 split with CEFC, in turn split four ways (not including his uncle), and days after, Bobulinski bitched that bringing Jim Biden in — as a fifth recipient — would only serve to up the proportions of the Biden family. Gilliar responded that bringing Jim Biden in as a 20% stakeholder was his own idea, to buy loyalty, not Hunter’s.

As laid out, this means that Bobulinski or Gilliar, not Hunter Biden, may have been contemplating monetizing access to Joe Biden with the Chinese in 2017.

This allegation will get litigated in days ahead, I’m sure. As noted, Comer pointed to this letter about Bobulinski to justify doing what they were already planning on demanding: calling Hunter to testify.

For now, I’m interested in some logistical aspects of the allegation.

First, while Bobulinski’s claims have long been out there, Lowell only has a hook to package it up in a letter to Matthew Graves because the IRS agent who spent five years investigating his client, Joseph Ziegler, released the Bobulinski and Rob Walker interview materials on September 27 in support of his insinuation that the Delaware US Attorney’s office dropped the ball by not doing follow-up interviews with Bobulinski.

While providing this information in front of agents with the FBI, Bobulinski makes multiple references to Former Vice President Joseph Biden’s potential involvement with Sinohawk and the CEFC joint venture. 5.

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.

Note that the Bobulinski 302, unlike the Rob Walker or the Gal Luft 302s, is not the official 302.

The others, along with the IRS memorialization of James Biden’s interview, all appear in the official form and the FBI 302s have the “Official Record” stamp in the right hand corner.

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.

Ziegler doesn’t even call this a 302 and his description of how it came into his possession is tortured (though it’s similar to his description of how he got the Luft 302, which was saved from Notes).

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.

That is, the form of the interview report raises real questions about whether Ziegler was ever supposed to have access to it or even whether the report was ever officially filed (a question Chuck Grassley also has raised). Though in Tim Thibault’s interview, he referred to the interview report as a 302 and described asking those involved, “how are you sending this information to Baltimore,” and being, “advised it was like an [sic] e-Guardian system. So there’s receipts for that.”

It took just ten days — September 27 to October 7 — after reading that interview report for Abbe Lowell to write a letter about the problems with it. That would suggest writing this letter, calling out the problems with Bobulinski’s testimony, was not a close call.

The possibility that the story Bobulinski told the FBI was subsequently discredited would explain a lot. Gary Shapley-adjacent reporting from last summer complained that Bobulinski had not been asked to testify before a grand jury. Long after Democratic Ranking Members Jamie Raskin, Jerry Nadler, and Richard Neal would have gotten a copy of the Lowell letter, Chuck Grassley demanded details about how Bobulinski’s interview was treated. And Joseph Ziegler, who seems to have little appreciation for how badly his conspiracy theories have damaged the case he tried to bring against Hunter Biden, revealed that, “ultimately,” prosecutors described, “Bobulinski was not viewed as a credible witness.”

If Lowell’s letter is right, there’s a good reason why Bobulinski was not viewed as credible: Because prosecutors would have quickly identified holes in Bobulinski’s story, making his tie to the White House — made explicit in his FBI interview when he described getting a COVID test at the White House the previous day even if they didn’t see reports that he had been Trump’s guest at the debate the day before — absolutely toxic.

And after (per Ziegler’s claims) prosecutors decided they didn’t want Bobulinski anywhere near their prosecution and definitely didn’t want him in front of the grand jury, Ziegler decided to share the details of Bobulinski’s interview with the FBI for all the world to see, a world that includes Hunter Biden’s lawyers, who now know that prosecutors were repeatedly asked about Bobulinski but, presumably for reasons that had to do with preserving plausible deniability about Bobulinski’s actions, didn’t do anything that would have required providing details about Bobulinski in discovery.

The reason you don’t put someone whose location data and other comms show he wasn’t where he claimed to be in front of an investigative team, much less the grand jury, is to preserve a fragile claim that the entire investigation wasn’t a political witch hunt directed from the President, to hide from defense attorneys that the President of the United States had ties with someone who would pitch (per Lowell) false claims to the FBI. But Joseph Ziegler, goaded on by a trio of dumbass Republican Committee Chairman, decided to make that available to Hunter’s legal team anyway.

Lowell’s letter doesn’t describe where he obtained the exhibits attached, but they include texts involving Hunter Biden (and so presumably in his possession), texts not involving Hunter Biden, and a scan of a stapled printed email involving Bobulinski. Even for the texts involving Hunter Biden, Lowell appears to lack reliable metadata.

And these are definitely cherry picked communications, enough so to counsel caution about this being the full story. Then again, Bobulinski tried to cherry-pick the communications he provided to the FBI himself, offering up three devices but asking to delete most of the content first. I would imagine that after Rob Walker told the FBI of Bobulinski’s rumored tie to Viktor Vekselberg just 16 days later, they would have taken steps to obtain a set of his communications that he hadn’t cherry picked.

The point being, whatever Abbe Lowell has, we can assume the FBI has a far better set of data, including location  and travel data to track where Bobulinski really was at what time on February 19, 2017. The FBI doesn’t need Abbe Lowell to tell them that Bobulinski lied in this interview, if in fact he did; this letter to Graves (as opposed to sharing copies of it with the three Ranking Democratic members of committees involved in the impeachment charade) serves only to advertise that the FBI could have, but has not yet, responded differently to Bobulinski’s involvement.

It serves to flip the script that Republicans have been inventing.

I mean, let’s be clear what Abbe Lowell alleges, with some backup: He’s accusing Tony Bobulinski of doing the same thing for which Trump’s hand-picked Special Counsel John Durham prosecuted Michael Sussmann. But unlike that case, in which multiple witnesses testified that the Hillary campaign would never have wanted to share information with the FBI, in this case, Bobulinski showed up at the White House the day before and waltzed into the FBI with a former Trump White House Counsel.

And, frankly, Lowell pulls his punches on this — a bunch of them.

He briefly mentions and footnotes the passages from Cassidy Hutchinson’s book that describe contacts with Bobulinski, both the night before and some weeks after his FBI interview on October 23. Lowell doesn’t mention Hutchinson claims that, in advance of the second meeting — the one where Bobulinski showed up in a ski mask, someone told her that “the boss” asked Mark Meadows to meet with Bobulinski.

When staff began to deplane, we climbed back down and made our way to the offstage announcement area. A senior campaign official jabbed his finger into my shoulder. Alarmed, I spun around. “Chief’s still on the plane talking to the boss,” he said. “He’s going to meet up with Tony Bobulinski. Can you go get him?”

I took a step back and crossed my arms. “What do you mean?” I asked. He said gruffly, “The boss asked him to meet up with Tony Bobulinski. He’s here. It has to be low-key, though, so just find somewhere away from any cameras.” I looked at Tony Ornato, expecting him to say something. Instead, he pointed at Mark leaving Air Force One. “He’s coming,” he said. The aide walked away.

I didn’t know much about Tony Bobulinski, just that he was a former business associate of Hunter Biden’s and had something to do with the laptop controversy. Trump had brought him as a guest to the presidential debate in Nashville on October 22. I wasn’t tracking the story closely enough to know more. But as Mark approached, I had a weird feeling that we were in danger. I couldn’t explain it, but the feeling was real. “Mark shouldn’t do this,” I said to Tony. “He’s being set up.” Tony shrugged. “Don’t overthink things. It’s not a big deal. Chief knows what he’s doing. Bobulinski came with us to Nashville, remember? Don’t worry, kid.” He patted my shoulder and walked away as Mark approached me.

“You’re not meeting Tony Bobulinski here, Mark. We can send someone from the campaign.” I heard my voice whine with childlike desperation. “Please, Mark. This isn’t a good idea. Just trust me.” Mark looked at his Secret Service agent, then back at me. “Just go find him, and work with Secret Service to find a hidden spot. Come get me once you have him there.”

[snip]

As Brian thanked him, I recognized a few of the men sitting in idling Secret Service vehicles and rushed over to them. I asked if they could park four of the vehicles in the shape of a square, and explained that the chief needed to have a quick meeting with someone out of sight. They were reluctant at first and questioned why Mark couldn’t just meet the person where staff were congregated. “The chief of staff needs to have a private meeting,” I said, lying with convincing confidence. “If you want me to ask Tony Ornato to explain more, I’m happy to call him over.” They began lining up the vehicles, and Brian and I made our way into the crowd, searching for the fenced-in house.

[snip]

“There,” Brian said, and pointed to the house. “I don’t want to talk to him,” I told him, as three men came out of the house. I tried to pick out Tony Bobulinski, but they were all wearing hats and ski masks. Brian introduced himself and explained that we would bring them to the chief. I spun around and started pushing through the crowd to make a path for the group a good distance behind me.

[snip]

“This is really stupid of you, Mark. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s really stupid,” I said. He didn’t have time to respond as I ushered him into the makeshift area, away from cameras, as requested, but not from watchful Secret Service eyes.

In the shadows of the bleachers, I observed Mark and Tony Bobulinski’s interaction through a gap in the vehicles. When they said their goodbyes, I saw Mark hand Tony what appeared to be a folded sheet of paper or a small envelope. Mark walked toward me, staring at the ground. He was silent for several moments as we made our way back to the staff holding area. [my emphasis]

Lowell also notes that Hutchinson raised concerns about the lawyering of Stefan Passantino, who represented Bobulinski at the interview. But he doesn’t mention that by the time of Bobulinski’s October 23, 2020 interview, Passantino had pitched Bobulinski as a source to the WSJ — with the involvement of then-White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann, as well as Don Jr’s best buddy Arthur Schwartz.

The three had pinned their hopes for re-electing the president on a fourth guest, a straight-shooting Wall Street Journal White House reporter named Michael Bender. They delivered the goods to him there: a cache of emails detailing Hunter Biden’s business activities, and, on speaker phone, a former business partner of Hunter Biden’s named Tony Bobulinski. Mr. Bobulinski was willing to go on the record in The Journal with an explosive claim: that Joe Biden, the former vice president, had been aware of, and profited from, his son’s activities. The Trump team left believing that The Journal would blow the thing open and their excitement was conveyed to the president.

That’s the story that ended in a flop, partly because records very similar to the ones Lowell included with his letter didn’t back Bobulinski’s story, and partly because Gillier refuted it in an interview with the WSJ.

Abbe Lowell doesn’t mention that, per the NYT story on this pitch to WSJ, Donald Trump knew the story was coming.

Mr. Trump and his allies expected the Journal story to appear Monday, Oct. 19, according to Mr. Bannon. That would be late in the campaign, but not too late — and could shape that week’s news cycle heading into the crucial final debate last Thursday. An “important piece” in The Journal would be coming soon, Mr. Trump told aides on a conference call that day.

Which means that when Lowell refers in his letter to,

The materials reveal the extraordinary lengths Mr. Bobulinski and other individuals were willing to go to implicate Mr. Biden or members of his family in some false and meritless allegations of wrongdoing. [my emphasis]

He never explicitly says that multiple sources say those “other individuals” include Donald Trump, personally.

Plus, Lowell goes easy on Bobulinski’s motives. Hunter Biden’s lawyer only assumes that Bobulinski allegedly lied, “to boost his own sense of self- worth,” not for any of a long list of more nefarious reasons that might involve being handed an envelope by the President’s Chief of Staff.

He relegates the allegations about Chinese cultivation of James Woolsey for his access to Trump in the Gal Luft indictment to a footnote. And while he raises Bobulinski’s possible ties with a range of hostile countries — including his alleged ties to Viktor Vekselberg — he doesn’t pursue the implications any of that would have for claims of foreign influence operations targeting Hunter Biden.

And Lowell plays coy about the reasons why Bobulinski would keep insisting on speaking with agents “read in[to]” any investigation into Hunter Biden.

In what can only be described as a strange exchange at the start of his interview, Mr. Bobulinski asked the interviewing agents whether they were “read in” on the information he was about to tell them. The interviewing agent responded that that was not how the process works and advised they did not have any specific knowledge of the information. Mr. Bobulinski and his attorney, Stefan Passantino, reiterated their request that Mr. Bobulinski only speak with agents who were “read in” to his testimony. The FBI agent then reminded Mr. Bobulinski that his testimony was voluntary. The expectation by Mr. Bobulinski and his attorney that FBI agents taking his voluntary testimony would be “read in,” whatever that means, is particularly troubling given that Mr. Bobulinski had met with President Trump and his campaign team the day before in Nashville.

Remarkably (or maybe not, as I’ll return to), the FBI seems to have anticipated that Bobulinski may have been sent by Trump to fish for information. Thibault explained that the reason Bobulinski was sent to the DC office rather than Baltimore was to keep the investigation secret. “[T]he whole idea that he came to WFO is they were trying not to disclose that there was an investigation in Baltimore is my belief,” described, later attributing that decision to the supervisor who set up the interview.

Again, none of these details are exactly new. But the specific circumstances created by Jamie Comer and Joseph Ziegler provided an opportunity to point out that Comer has more evidence worthy of impeaching Donald Trump than he does Joe Biden.