Matt Grocott

The Form 700 — Statement of Economic Interest, is not a familiar document to most. The form being filed with the state is to make transparent what may be a conflict of interest on the part of a government official, be they appointed or elected. A conflict could exist, for example, if a councilmember voted for something that might benefit their business or a business in which they hold a financial interest, even if it is minor. The conflict may also exist for an interest in which the elected official is not directly involved. For instance, if a spouse or close relative works for a company and the councilmember votes on a issue involving that company, a conflict can be said to exist. Having had to file these forms for 17 years, the story I am about to share is, for me, very troubling.

Given the responses to my last column, I know that many of you are giddy with anticipation over Joe Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States. I wonder if you would be so giddy if you knew the truth of what I am about to share. 

If you are unaware, I can understand. Last week I had been saving links about this story from YouTube so I could watch them again before writing. Three of the five had been removed and I had to seek out new sources to watch them over again. Also, before the election, this story was predominantly suppressed by the major media and most of social media as well. So again, if you were unaware, I understand.

In December of 2013, then President Obama sent his Vice President, Joe Biden, to China to negotiate with their government officials over two major issues: tariffs on American goods and the Chinese military constructing islands in the South China Sea. The result of the trip for America was abysmal. Tariffs were not reduced and regarding the islands, the agreement was for the United States to remove all military presence from the area. Subsequently, the Chinese built 3,000 acres of “new land” for military purposes, much to the chagrin of our allies in the region.

The fact that Vice President Joe Biden failed in his mission is no surprise, given the things he has had to say about the country. “A rising China is a positive development not only for the people of China but for the United States and the world as a whole.” Or as he opined while shaking hands with communist Chinese officials, “Our grandchildren will look back and say, ‘What a beautiful history we wrote together.’ ”

Perhaps he did not say these things with America in mind but more with his own family in mind because, on that same trip, he took with him his son, Hunter Biden. No surprise there. Spouses and children often go on official trips with high-ranking officials. What is surprising is the business deal Hunter negotiated with Chinese officials while in Beijing and the events that followed. Also surprising is Joe Biden’s claim to know nothing of his son’s business affairs despite 18 hours of traveling together on Air Force Two back to America.

What resulted less than two weeks later was a deal between Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC and China Bank, one of the Communist country’s largest state-owned banks. Why this is peculiar is because one of the three founding partners of Rosemont Seneca is Hunter Biden. Another is Chris Heinz, stepson of John Kerry, secretary of state under Obama.

Later in December of 2013, the Bohai Harvest RST Shanghai Equity Investment Fund Management Company, or BHR Partners, was founded. Notice the “RS” in the company’s name. It is there to acknowledge the involvement of Rosemont Seneca. Digging into the financial records of BHR, one finds the investment of Hunter Biden, along with Communist Chinese officials.

Since its creation, BHR has gone around the world acquiring companies to benefit the interests of the Chinese government and its military. One such acquisition was in 2015 when AVIC, a state-owned company of the Chinese military, bought the dual-use technology of Henniges, a company based in Michigan that manufactured anti-vibration technology for use in automobiles, rockets and other aerospace applications. The transaction took place despite AVIC being sanctioned by the Commerce Department a year prior. Regardless, the Obama administration, with Joe Biden on board, gave a green light to the transaction.

Given the Biden family history with the communist Chinese, it is not surprising the vice dean of the School of International Relations at Renmin University spoke so glowingly of an anticipated Biden presidency. Honestly, I think our concern should not be about a conflict of interest. Our concern should be about a common interest, like what happens in a marriage.

A former member of the San Carlos City Council and mayor, Matt Grocott has been involved in political policy on the Peninsula for 17 years. He can be reached by email at mattgrocott@comcast.net.

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(35) comments

Ray Fowler

Hey, Tafhdyd

"... in politics money has influence on all sides." Yep.

"... some of the right wing commenters rag on the Dems and conveniently forget the Repubs..." Yep.

"... and some think that the Repubs have never done a thing wrong and are pure as the driven snow." Yep.

And what's equally true is that you can swap "Dems" for Repubs" and vice versa, and "Yep" would still be a valid comment.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

Yep

trapfireclean

WTF San Mateo Daily Journal. Are you publishing any outright conspiracy theory as opinion pieces now? When can we look forward to the weekly QAnon report?

Ray Fowler

Hello

Are you suggesting all opinions be cleared by... you?

I would enjoy reading your take on the Hunter Biden investigation. The DJ is very receptive to publishing pieces submitted by readers. I believe an exchange of ideas is a good thing, and I'm sure you would get a reaction from across the political spectrum.

Terence Y

Hilarious! Mr. Clean only seems to awaken when “Biden bad” letters are published. Mr. Clean must have been in his Rip Van Winkle stage when the Christine Blasey-Ford, Covington, Jussie Smollett, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Russian collusion, and impeachment conspiracies, to name a few, were in the news. BTW, I have a bridge in your price range. They were designed by the famous designers, D. Uplo and L. Ego.

Ray Fowler

Hey, Tafhdyd

Hmmm... I would say the hard core left may be living in a glass house when it comes to slamming Trump for not telling the truth. You have heard me say many times that I do not support everything that comes out of the Oval Office or across the internet via Donald Trump's twitter account.

I don't want to use the "L" word... it's used to cavalierly IMO... but Joe Biden is no stranger to embellishment, prevarication, dissembling and fabrication.

Then there's Adam Schiff...

Tafhdyd

Ray,

I know you are one of the few on the right side of things that actually knows what is going on. I know you hold your nose and vote for Trump and with all of your explanations about what you don't like about him I still don't know why. Anyway that is a discussion over another drink on another day.

Then there's Mitch McConnell...

Ray Fowler

Touche, my friend

JME

President Trump, who declared “I don’t make money from China” in a presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office, Forbes reports.

Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.

JME

The Chinese government granted a total of 41 trademarks to companies linked to Ivanka Trump by April of 2019—and the trademarks she applied for after her father became president got approved about 40% faster than those she requested before Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, according to a new book by Forbes’ senior editor Dan Alexander.

Ray Fowler

This should not devolve into a contest of shoving examples of a president's family making business deals. I have no reason to doubt that Ivanka benefited in the way you have described. It's out in the open or we would not know about it. Thanks for that bit of research.

What about Chelsea? She benefited tremendously before and after graduation from Stanford. Hey... even Billy Carter got a beer named after him.

I know what you're thinking... this isn't supposed to be stacking one set of presidential family members against others. It's not. Ivanka has enjoyed success in business... but she did not enter a field where she has no experience. And her business contacts were established before her father was elected, plus they were not tied to the government. Hunter... so much. He has virtually zero experience in the energy field or international finance. Yes, his contacts were established before his father was elected but they were tied to his father being in government.

But the real crucial difference is this... Billy, Chelsea, Ivanka cannot be compared to Hunter. Only Joe's son has deposited millions of dollars from communist countries without explanation and is now being investigated for same.

I come back to the question asked earlier today... Joe Biden said he knew nothing about Hunter's business dealings. That is not true. How does the left explain that inconsistency?

Tafhdyd

Ray,

Sorry to be a pain in the whatever tonight but you bring up experience in the positions people have or have had and there relations to their political connections.

I know it is not the subject line but you and I both know that the only positions in the Trump administration are those of praise and money. If you give big bucks and praise the king you get a position, tell the truth and your fired before the tweet hits your computer. As for Ivanka, she used daddy's name to sell influence and preferential deals in real estate and as mentioned she got preferential treatment on trademarks.

Ray Fowler

Gosh... money influencing appointments in DC? Imagine that...

Do you see Biden supporters connected to big bucks getting jobs in the new administration? Yes. This goes all the way back to Ol' Hickory. His mantra... to the victor go the spoils. That's the way it's been ever since no matter who sits in the Oval Office. Kinda reminds me of a line from a Johnny Cash song: I don't like it but I guess things happen that way.

Tafhdyd

Ray,

I agree that in politics money has influence on all sides. My only point is some of the right wing commenters rag on the Dems and conveniently forget the Repubs and some think that the Repubs have never done a thing wrong and are pure as the driven snow. Just trying to keep the score even.

Rel

The ink is hardly dry on the Electoral College confirming Joe Biden's presidency, and the right wingers are floating conspiracy theories. If Hunter Biden had illicit transactions with China with or without his father's help, would it not be reasonable to observe AG Barr bringing charges with evidence? The hypocrisy of Mr. Grocott's essay is palpable. Where was all the outrage of the nepotism of the last four years of Trump having his family in the administration profiting by millions in relation to China and who knows elsewhere?

Ray Fowler

Whoa! The ink is hardly dry and right wingers are floating conspiracy theories? Do you remember the Russian collusion theory being floated four years ago?

Hunter Biden is innocent unless convicted in a court of law... we can all agree on that. Even if the AG doesn't bring charges, that doesn't mean there is no evidence... but it could mean just not enough evidence to convict. So, it's possible Hunter may never see the inside of a courtroom re: the reason the feds are investigating him. And he would be innocent in the eyes of law... But it's also possible that Hunter may not see the inside of a courtroom after having committed tax fraud or whatever the feds are looking at... n'est-ce pas?

Again, let's just be patient with respect to the investigation...

Oh, yeah... where was the outrage re: Trump's family? Try CNN and MSNBC

Rel

No whoa Ray! The Russian collusion theory was not a conspiracy theory as the Mueller report adequately illustrated. And you miss the point about the outrage over the Trump family - it never comes from the right but it does not stop them from now attacking Hunter Biden, who, as you say, may be completely innocent. Yes, let's be patient. How about allowing Biden to be in office before releasing the dragons?

Ray Fowler

Rel... Mueller said no conspiracy to collude with the Russians... OK. The suggestion that there was collusion can be described as a conspiracy by... wait for it... Hillary and the DNC behind the scenes paying for a fake dossier. Then pushing that fake dossier as grist for the media mill. Well, where else would you expect the outrage to come from re: the Trump family? The left side, of course. Now, there is outrage re: the Bidens. Where would that come from? The right.

The left was not patient. Why do they expect the right to be patient?

Ah, such bliss to be a NPPer... let the left and right duke it out.

Ray Fowler

What's interesting is that our left leaning friends are not disputing the ties between the Biden family and the Communist Chinese. But in a way... that's OK. Matt asked for patience as Republicans filed court actions to contest what they termed as voter fraud. So, turnabout is fair play... let's be patient with where the investigation of the Biden family may or may not lead. We'll see what happens.

Setting aside potential conflicts for the Bidens and any suggestions of wrongdoing... I am curious about one thing... OK, maybe two things. When asked on the campaign trail about Hunter's business dealings with the Chinese, candidate Biden said he knew nothing about Hunter's business affairs. That is not the case. What do left leaning readers have to say about that inconsistency? Secondly, details of Hunter's business dealings with the Communist Chinese were buried by the mainstream media and social media. Let's not go into whether that may have affected the election outcome, but I would like to hear what left leaning readers have to say about that purposeful shaping of the news in a way that hid this important story from Americans?

Tafhdyd

Hello Ray,

What is good for the goose...etc. If there are ties with Biden to the Chinese that need investigating then investigate. Are you saying Trump has no ties with China or Saudi Arabia or other countries that both he and America do business with that do not need investigating?

Ray Fowler

We agree... investigate.

C'mon, Tafhdyd... "well, what about Trump?" is not a response to my musings.

When asked on the campaign trail about Hunter's business dealings with the Chinese, candidate Biden said he knew nothing about Hunter's business affairs. That is not the case. What do left leaning readers have to say about that inconsistency?

and

Details of Hunter's business dealings with the Communist Chinese were buried by the mainstream media and social media. What do left leaning readers have to say about that purposeful shaping of the news in a way that hid this important story from Americans?

Dirk van Ulden

Thank you Matt for the courage to publish this sordid affair. Cindy's response reminds me of the see-nothing, hear-nothing monkeys when it comes to anything Biden-related. Of course, she and her type is exactly the voter group that the Biden campaign catered to. We are in for one heck of a ride.

JME

President Donald Trump, who declared “I don’t make money from China” in a presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office. Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.

Cindy Cornell

Is that the same bank where Trump was hiding money?

Terence Y

Actually, it might be the bank that wired millions of dollars to Biden bank accounts, or that was used to launder money to pay Where’s Hunter for access to Biden, or that was used to provide a $5 million “interest-free” loan to the Bidens, which will likely never be paid back, as per the “-free” part.

Patrick Henry

The Biden Administration looks a lot like the Obama administration. The crooks are back in town, ready to sell America down the river to the highest foreign buyer. Looks like most are white people, what happened to the diversity? Typical Democrats; Diversity, diversity, diversity up to the election, no so much after.

JustMike650

Chris, how is your move out of California going? Midland Texas welcomes you.

Terence Y

Why am I not surprised JustMikey is now following Pat around like a puppy dog through the DJ? Gotta love the devotion. I just wish JustMikey would exhibit some independence.

Tommy Tee

You mean like puppy dog you and Master Trump?? LOL

JustMike650

T Y I am at your beck and call. Just lead me the way.

Ray Fowler

This looks a lot like doxing...

Tafhdyd

Sorry to disappoint you but Trump sold off America a long time ago. There isn't much left and I am sure Trump and his crooked friends in the administration will raid what they can before the 20th. BTW, you should be happy if there are whites in the next administration. After all you support the bigot-in-chief and his white supremacist buddies.

Ray Fowler

That's a little harsh and a lot untrue...

Tafhdyd

Ray,

Maybe so, but when in the last for years has truth meant anything on the right? Whenever someone comes close to saying something truthful in the Trump administration they get there walking papers by tweet before they leave the podium.

Terence Y

Blah, blah, blah, another day, another Trump bad, Trump supporter bad comment from Taffy Dave. But why is Taffy showing his racist stripes? He'd better watch out, his fellow accomplices will soon cancel him if he doesn't get back in line.

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