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Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain ‘asked Hunter for $20,000 for the VP’s residence in 2012


White House chief of staff Ron Klain hit up Hunter Biden for a quick $2,000 charity contribution he sought to keep ‘low key’ back in 2012, newly unearthed emails reveal.

Klain’s solicitation was for the Vice President’s Residence Foundation, a non-profit that helps keep up and refurbish the vice president’s mansion, where then-Vice President Joe Biden was living at the time.

He appears to have hit up a group of individuals in a rushed effort to demonstrate that the charity was still raising funds in order to meet IRS requirements following a dormant fundraising period.

The emails, reported by Fox News, emerged days after Klain told ABC’s ‘This Week’ he was ‘confident’ that Hunter Biden didn’t break the law, following new reports about the breadth of the federal investigation into his taxes and business work while his dad was VP. 

‘Of course the president is confident that his son didn’t break the law,’ Klain said

White House chief of staff Ron Klain asked Hunter Biden for a quick $2,000 contribution to a foundation in 2012 that helps maintain the vice president’s residence

‘The tax lawyers for the VP Residence Foundation have concluded that since the Cheney folks last raised money in 2007 and not 2008, we actually have to have some incoming funds before the end of this fiscal year (i.e., before 9/30/12 – next week) to remain eligible to be a ‘public charity,’ Klain wrote Hunter Biden in the September, 2012 email.

He further explained: ‘It’s not much – we need to raise a total of $20,000 – so I’m hitting up a few very close friends on a very confidential basis to write checks of $2,000 each.’

The email came weeks before President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were on the ballot for reelection, and Klain, Biden’s longtime advisor, wanted to keep the solicitation on the down low.    

‘We need to keep this low low key, because raising money for the Residence now is bad PR – but it has to be done, so I’m trying to just collect the 10 checks of $2,000, get it done in a week, and then, we can do an event for the Residence Foundation after the election.’ he wrote.

‘Is this okay?’ he wanted to know of Hunter, who was in private business at the time. 

Klain told ABC's 'This Week' he was 'confident' that Hunter Biden didn't break the law, when asked about a federal investigation of the president's son's finances and taxes

Klain told ABC’s ‘This Week’ he was ‘confident’ that Hunter Biden didn’t break the law, when asked about a federal investigation of the president’s son’s finances and taxes

A newly revealed email shows Klain soliciting a contribution from Hunter Biden for the non-profit

A newly revealed email shows Klain soliciting a contribution from Hunter Biden for the non-profit

Hunter Biden wrote an associate, who raised the issue of having his law firm make a contribution

Hunter Biden wrote an associate, who raised the issue of having his law firm make a contribution

Hunter Biden pursued a variety of business ventures while his father was serving as vice president. Hunter wrote openly about his struggles with drugs and alcohol in his book

Hunter Biden pursued a variety of business ventures while his father was serving as vice president. Hunter wrote openly about his struggles with drugs and alcohol in his book

The foundation's 2011 form states that its purpose is to 'assist in preserving and furnishing the official residence' of the vice president

The foundation’s 2011 form states that its purpose is to ‘assist in preserving and furnishing the official residence’ of the vice president

The non-profit's 2011 filing shows it got $20,500 in contributions that year

The non-profit’s 2011 filing shows it got $20,500 in contributions that year

Klain didn’t explain why he wanted to keep it ‘low key.’ He may not have wanted to signal that Biden thought he might be living at the residence at the Naval Observatory for another four years before the voters weighed in.

Klain was serving as Biden’s top aide at the time.

Hunter at the time was practicing law and doing deals. He sent the request to his business partner Eric Schwerin, who took it as an opportunity to ‘discuss this and some other bills on Monday’ and inquired if the foundation would ‘take a corporate check’ from his law firm – Owasco PC, a Washington, D.C. law firm. 

‘Working on it – my partner Eric will be in touch, he wrote back, signing the message RHB.

Klain had kicked off the solicitation with a nod to Biden’s daughter, Naomi. ‘Hope you guys are doing well, and that Naomi is off to a good start at college,’ he wrote. 

The behind-the-scenes communication with Hunter comes even as the White House seeks to keep distance from the president’s son when fielding inquiries about his business.

White House Press Secretary said late last month when asked about the latest revelations about Hunter’s laptop: ‘I’d point you to the Department of Justice and Hunter Biden’s representatives. I’m a spokesperson for the United States. He doesn’t work for the United States.’

The tax form filed by the foundation showed $20,500 in contributions for the 2011 tax year – indicating that Klain met his $20,000 goal, although it isn’t clear from the form whether Hunter Biden contributed.

Hunter Biden’s business dealings during his father’s tenure as vice president is getting new scrutiny, with a new Washington Post analysis of his dealings with CEFC China Energy that brought in $4.8 million to entities controlled by Hunter and his uncle, James.

There have been earlier reports sourced to an laptop that Hunter purportedly dropped off at a Wilmington, Delaware repair shop and never picked up. 

The foundation’s 2011 form states that its purpose is to ‘assist in preserving and furnishing the official residence’ of the vice president. It says it it provided assistance for ‘preserving, furnishing and making improvements’ to the residence, while providing assistance ‘to facilitate loans of art to the residence and acquired items of furniture.’

A lengthy statement also appears to justify a pause in fundraising related to the last minute push for funds. ‘Although fundraising needs ebb and flow, the Foundation has engaged in consistent fundraising efforts across these cycles,’ according to the filing, signed by its accountant. 

It says the tax years 2010 and 2011 ‘represent an isolated low and are the only years in the past decade that the Foundation has received significantly less than one-third of its support from public sources.’ 



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