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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
VP Biden's office tried to quash Bloomberg story about Hunter Biden at his firm's request, emails show
The office of then-Vice President Joe Biden tried to quash a Bloomberg News story about Hunter Biden at the younger Biden's firm's request, according to 2015 emails published Wednesday
Emails obtained by America First Legal (AFL) through its ongoing lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), showed a close relationship between the vice president's office, Hunter Biden's longtime business partner and the media.
On Dec. 8, 2015, The New York Times ran an article saying the "credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined" by Hunter’s serving on the board of Burisma Holdings with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.
Later that day, Eric Schwerin, who was president of Hunter’s now-defunct investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners at the time, asked the vice president’s then-communications director, Kate Bedingfield, whether there was any "follow up" by other news outlets on the Times article.
Bedingfield, who stepped down last month as White House communications director, responded to Schwerin within minutes, saying a Bloomberg reporter had asked about it but was "doing everything she can to not use it."
"…VP just finished an interview with the Bloomberg reporter traveling with us and she asked about it, though she assures me she's doing everything she can to not use it," she wrote. "I will have a transcript soon but my quick notes on his answer are: No one has any doubt about my record on corruption, I don't talk to my son about his business and my children don't talk to me about mine, I have complete faith in my son."
Schwerin responded, "I would just urge her (as I know you are doing) that there is no new news there. And even if she uses it — she should avoid getting into past stories (Navy, etc.) that have nothing to do with this."
"Absolutely," Bedingfield replied, "we have had two conversations about it — she will only use if her editors hold a gun to her head. She absolutely will not do the second thing."
The two appeared to be talking about Hunter's administrative discharge from the Navy Reserve over cocaine use in 2014.
Schwerin then asked Bedingfield to "keep us posted if you get inquiries from other outlets."
"Will do. Thanks Eric," Bedingfield responded.The next day, Bloomberg published a five-paragraph story at a now-defunct link quoting the vice president defending his son in an interview aboard Air Force Two, saying, "I don't have any doubt about my son" in terms of the propriety of his work.
Schwerin and Bedingfield expressed frustration after the story was published.
"Guess the Bloomberg reporter didn’t have the ability to convince her editors not to make her write the story," Schwerin wrote to Bedingfield on Dec. 9, 2015.
"Really frustrating," Bedingfield replied. "That said, so long as it doesn't elevate and trigger someone else to write, it's actually a good and straightforward response. So sorry I missed your call this morning. Underwater on a bunch of stuff. Can call in a bit if you are around."
"Nothing urgent," Schwerin replied a few minutes later. "Call my cell if you get a second but just making sure there were no more inquiries."
"Cool will do – but yeah, no more inquiries on this end," Bedingfield responded.
The Bloomberg story was deleted from the news website sometime in 2016, according to internet archives on Wayback Machine, and is currently only accessible through Bloomberg Terminal, a subscription-based professional software.
AFL, founded by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, said the emails showing the close relationship between the vice president’s office, the president of Hunter's company and members of the press "should deeply concern every American."
"AFL’s litigation against NARA continues to provide critical information about the Biden family’s influence peddling during the Obama Administration," Gene Hamilton, the group’s vice president, said in a statement. "But these additional records warrant special attention because they highlight for the American people the extent to which the Biden family and Rosemont Seneca expected the media to do their bidding. And they illustrate the influence over White House operations that Rosemont Seneca ha — advancing not only Hunter Biden’s interests but those of a foreign company and former foreign officials. The American people deserve answers and accountability."
The reporter being discussed between Bedingfield and Schwerin, according to AFL, was former Bloomberg senior White House reporter Margaret Talev, who did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
The White House and Bedingfield also did not respond to Fox News Digital’s inquiries.
Jessica Chasmar is a digital writer on the politics team for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to Jessica.Chasmar@fox.com.