On Tuesday, the new book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends by Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer debuted at #3 on the Amazon bestseller list.
A four-time New York Times bestselling investigative journalist, Schweizer has garnered a reputation for unearthing never-before-revealed facts about how political elites enrich themselves. His last book, Clinton Cash, sparked an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Now, in Secret Empires, he exposes how top Republicans and Democrats have engineered what he calls “the new corruption”—a system Washington elites use to grease highly lucrative deals by routing them through their children and family members.
The deeply researched book (it contains 859 endnotes) includes revelations involving George Soros, Barack Obama, Tom Steyer, Penny Pritzker, Jared Kushner, John Kerry, and myriad others. Four of the book’s central characters are Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao. In particular, Schweizer traces the intersection between these four individuals and deals involving China.
Here, then, are five China-related revelations Schweizer exposes in his new book:
1. Biden’s Son’s Firm Scored a $1.5 Billion Deal with the Bank of China 10 Days After Joe Biden and His Son Flew to China Aboard Air Force Two
As an exclusive New York Post excerpt reveals, Secret Empires uncovers the previously unreported Biden China deal. Schweizer reports that in 2013, Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s firm signed a billion-dollar deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China 10 days after Joe and Hunter Biden flew to China aboard Air Force Two. The newly formed investment fund is called Bohai Harvest RST. In a SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight radio interview, Schweizer explained how the Biden-China deal unfolded:
“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China,” said Schweizer. “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”
Elaborating, Schweizer said, “Well, I think the reason he goes soft on China is because with him on that trip, flying on Air Force Two, is his son Hunter Biden, and ten days after they return from China, Hunter Biden — who has this small firm, he has no background in private equity, he has no background in Chinese finance — gets a whopping $1.5 billion deal from the Chinese government. This is the Chinese government giving Joe Biden and a [John] Kerry confidante the management over this money, and they made huge fees off of this money, and it’s an example of this kind of corruption. That’s the first of three major deals that the Chinese government does with people who are either the children — that is the sons — or close aides to Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.”
2. The China-Backed Investment Fund Invested in Dual-Use Military Technology
As Schweizer explains: “So [Hunter Biden’s firm] get this $1.5 billion to invest, and what they are supposed to do is basically invest in companies that benefit the Chinese government,” stated Schweizer. “So just think about this for a second. This is the vice president of the United States whose father is supposed to be commanding American presence and power in the Pacific to deal with the rising challenge from China, and his son is investing $1.5 billion of Chinese government money. So what do they do? They invest in an American high-precision tools company called Henniges, which used to be owned by Rocket Company, but they produce anti-vibration technologies which have a dual-use application, so this transaction actually requires the approval of the federal government, as it has national security implications. So again, the vice president’s son is helping the Chinese government take over a dual-use military technology-related company called Henniges.”
3. The Obama Justice Department Charged One of the Companies with Stealing U.S. Nuclear Secrets
“But it gets even worse because another investment that they make is in something called CGN—China General Nuclear—which is an atomic power company,” says Schweizer. “They invest in this company in 2014. A year later, what happens? The FBI arrests and charges senior officials in this company with stealing nuclear secrets in the United States. Specifically, they’re trying to get access to something called the AP-1000 nuclear reactor that is very similar to the ones that we put on U.S. submarines. So again, you have the son of the vice president, a close aide to the secretary of state who are investing in a company that is trying to steal nuclear secrets in the United States. It’s a stunning story, and here’s the thing: none of this is required to be disclosed because they’ve figured out a way to get around these disclosure laws.”
4. Mitch McConnell and His Wife Elaine Chao Received a $5 Million to $25 Million Gift from a Family Member Who Sat on the Board of a Top Chinese Government Military Contractor
According to Secret Empires, in 1993, just months after Mitch McConnell married Elaine Chao (the current Secretary of Transportation), the senator and his father-in-law, James Chao, flew to China. Chao is the owner of Foremost Group, a shipping company that has done substantial business with the state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The two men went to Beijing at CSSC’s invitation and had a meeting with a classmate of Chao’s, Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Schweizer says McConnell was only the second Republican senator to visit China since the Tiananmen Square massacre.
“McConnell’s rhetoric and policy toward mainland China softened in the decades that followed,” writes Schweizer, before citing several policy examples. “As McConnell gained political weight on Capitol Hill and his position toward China softened, the Chao family saw its business ties with the Chinese government increase dramatically—to their financial benefit.”
Starting in 2007, “just as the U.S. Senate was taking up sensitive legislation concerning China,” Schweizer writes that the Chinese government’s CSSC Holdings, Ltd.—the financial arm of the Chinese government’s military contractor CSSC—appointed Mitch McConnell’s father-in-law to its board. CSSC Holdings also added Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law Angela Chao to the board as well.
“The fact that both the father-in-law and sister-in-law of Senator McConnell sat on the board of CSSC Holdings is highly unusual, to say the least,” writes Schweizer. “One could say it is unprecedented in American political history. In general, CSSC is a sensitive, critical asset of the Chinese government and operates under a veil of privacy and secrecy.”
Then in 2008, following the death of his wife, James Chao gave a gift to Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao for between $5 million to $25 million, according to Sen. McConnell’s Senate financial disclosure forms. Last week, the New York Post reported on the Secret Empires McConnell revelation and showed its impact on the McConnell family’s net worth: “In 2004, current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, had an average net worth of $3.1 million. Ten years later, that number had increased to somewhere between $9.2 million and $36.5 million.”
5. Mitch McConnell’s Sister-in-Law Sits on the Board of the Chinese Government’s Bank of China
Last week the Wall Street Journal highlighted the book’s revelation that the Communist Chinese government’s Bank of China appointed Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law, Angela Chao, to its small board of directors. “Mr. Schweizer also points to the appointment of Ms. Chao’s sister, Angela Chao, to the board of state-owned Bank of China, 10 days after the 2016 election,” reported the Journal.
Indeed, the Bank of China’s website lists Angela Chao in its online listing of board members and includes a photo and professional bio.
Book publisher Harper released Secret Empires nationwide on Tuesday, March 20.