President Donald Trump, who himself faces questions about his ties to Russia, has hinted at some sort of murky relationship involving the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“Hunter Biden got three and a half million dollars from the wife of the mayor of Moscow, said Trump September 27 at a press conference. “Why did he get three and a half million dollars?” “
All details or evidence regarding this alleged transaction can be found in undisclosed documents cited in a report issued by the Republican majority in the Senate finance and internal security committees. This report stated that Biden and his business partner Devon Archer had a financial relationship with Elena Baturina, the widow of a man who had been mayor of Moscow until 2010.
“On February 14, 2014, Baturina transferred $ 3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account for a ‘consultancy contract'”, the report says. “Rosemont Seneca Thornton is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden.”
The report also states that Rosemont Seneca Thorton served as a conduit for Baturina’s investments in a China-based tech start-up in Buffalo, NY.
We reached out to the Trump campaign and they said the Republican committee report was the source of the $ 3.5 million figure.
The report does not add further details on the significance of these transactions, although it does note that Baturina appears to have benefited from her husband’s allegedly corrupt practices.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, said Biden did not get $ 3.5 million and the report contained a key error.
“Hunter Biden had no interest and was not a co-founder of Rosemont Seneca Thornton, so the claim he was paid $ 3.5 million is false,” Mesires said in an email.
We asked Mesire if he could share any documents to show that Hunter Biden wasn’t a co-founder, and he didn’t respond.
We asked Republican Senate staff if they could prove Biden had a stake in Rosemont Seneca Thornton, and they also declined to respond.
The Senate report cites October 9, 2019, History of the Financial Times that says Hunter Biden was a co-founder, but reporters don’t say in the story how they substantiated this – no source is cited. An email question to the Washington-based reporter about the story went unanswered.
Regardless, the Republican report does not fully support Trump’s claim, as it never shows that Biden got the full $ 3.5 million.
Hunter Biden co-founded a company called Rosemont Seneca in 2009, but the partnership with Thornton – even if it uses the name Rosemont Seneca – could exist without other partners of Rosemont Seneca being associated with it. A business partner could have created this entity himself. Without Rosemont Seneca Thornton’s ownership documents – which are not public – we simply cannot know.
As part of the committee’s investigation, Republicans on Senate committees asked the Treasury Department to suspicious activity reports. These come from banks and other financial institutions and often involve large sums and foreign transactions.
Democratic staff on the finance and homeland security committees said the Republicans’ paper trail did not lead back to Biden.
“Democratic staff, however, have reviewed all known information from the committee files, including the confidential document cited by Republicans (in the report), and are not aware of any information in the hands of the committees showing that Hunter Biden had a financial interest in this matter. an entity or a transaction, ”they said in a statement.
We asked Republican staff if Hunter Biden was named in a report of suspicious activity. They did not respond.
If we receive clear evidence in the future, we will come back to it, but at this time the evidence that Hunter Biden received money through this transaction is not proven.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.