Newly uncovered emails have revealed that then-Vice President Joe Biden’s White House chief of staff Ron Klain had reached out to his son, Hunter Biden, in 2012 to help raise funds for the Vice President's Residence Foundation, informing him to keep the discussion "low low key."
The email exchange, obtained by Fox News, occurred in September of 2012, showed Klain, who had left his vice president chief of staff position one year prior but was chairman of the foundation when the emails were sent, requested a portion of the $20,000 need to the foundation to remain a public charity.
"Hope you guys are doing well, and that Naomi is off to a good start at college … It’s such a change in the house when one leaves," the initial email began. "Hey, I have to tackle a piece of unpleasant business."
"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 continued in the email, sent of September 21, 2012.
"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," Klain, who currently serves as the White House chief of staff, continued. "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."
According to Fox News, Hunter Biden forwarded Klain’s email to his longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, who responded that the two could "discuss this and some other bills on Monday," and questioned whether the young Biden thought that "they would take a corporate check from Owasco," which appeared to be referring to Hunter's law firm, Owasco PC.
Three days later, Schwerin emailed Hunter to state that Klain was checking into whether the foundation could accept a check from Owasco, and it is unclear whether the foundation ultimately accepted a check from the law firm, or whether Hunter Biden assisted Klain in soliciting donations from other individuals.
A 990 tax form from fiscal year 2012, obtained by Fox News, shows that the foundation reached the goal set in Klain’s email, bringing in $20,500 in contributions that year.
The VP’s Residence Foundation is a nonprofit used to assist in the preservation and furnishing of the vice president’s official residence, which is located on US Naval Observatory grounds in northwest Washington DC.
According to VPRF’s tax forms viewed by Fox News, its operations involve "stable costs," which include insurance premiums and professional services, as well as "cyclical costs," which include decorating, refurbishing and transporting pieces to and from storage to the residence.
"The VPRF is organized and operated in a manner designed to attract public support and maintains a continuous and bona fide program for soliciting funds from the general public," its 2012 tax form states.
"The VPRF resumed fundraising at the end of its 2012 Fiscal Year and continues fundraising into the 2013 Fiscal Year," the tax forms state. "Funds raised in both of these years have been exclusively through public sources."
The revelation of these emails comes as Hunter Biden currently faces a federal investigation into potential violations of tax, foreign lobbying, and money laundering laws through his previous business relationships abroad.
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