Hunter Biden Hired by Romanian Oligarch to Overturn Conviction with VP Joe's Help
Gabriel Popoviciu, convicted of bribery in 2016, sought then-Vice President Biden's help
A criminal Romanian oligarch hired Hunter Biden in 2016 to get his bribery conviction overturned by leveraging help from then-Vice President Joe Biden's powerful connections, according to a bombshell new report.
In 2016, billionaire real estate tycoon Gabriel Popoviciu was convicted in his home country of Romania for bribing a university official to buy a 550-acre plot of government-owned land for a severely reduced price.
Popoviciu hired Hunter Biden and a former FBI director to represent him in meetings with high-level U.S. officials - explosive emails from Hunter's laptop have revealed.
Ahead of his conviction, Popoviciu appointed Hunter as part of an influence campaign to persuade anti-corruption prosecutors to either drop the case cut a sweetheart deal.
The hiring of the younger Biden was initially revealed in 2019, but the latest email leak exposes the extensive propaganda and persuasion campaign planned by Hunter for the Romanian criminal.
Hunter's shady campaign orchestrated while his father was serving as Obama's vice president.
Emails on Hunter's abandoned laptop reveal how Joe Biden's son and his colleagues leveraged their US government connections and plotted a propaganda campaign for the grafting Romanian tycoon.
The arrangement raises more questions about Hunter's dodgy business deals that threatened to compromise his father - the vice president.
Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), anyone advocating for foreign entities to US government officials, or acting as a publicist for a foreign entity in the US, must add themselves to a Department of Justice public register.
However, an exception applies for attorneys representing a client in a foreign court case, who are not required to register under FARA, according to The Daily Mail.
Emails show Hunter's colleagues Christopher Boies and Michael Gottlieb, partners in law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, seeking to set up meetings with the US Ambassador to Romania, after discussing among themselves whether he would intervene in Popoviciu's case.
Hunter brought in political heavyweight and family friend Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, to use his US law enforcement contacts for Popoviciu's advantage, and was offered a referral fee as a result.
Hunter and his colleagues also discussed a media campaign, including to major U.S. publication the Wall Street Journal, to support their client who was later found guilty of bribery.
None of them were required to register for this work under FARA, due to various exemptions including those for lawyers of foreign defendants.
Popoviciu was first mentioned in Hunter's emails in September 2015.
At the time, Hunter worked at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner.
Firm partner Chris Boies wrote to Hunter and his business partner Devon Archer with the subject line "Popoviciu," and the message: "Let's discuss when convenient… One of my partners is best friends with the newly appointed Ambassador to Romania."
The property tycoon didn't appear again in Hunter's inbox until May 2016, when he was on the brink of a bribery conviction in a Romanian court.
Hunter and his colleagues scrambled into action, with then-Boies Schiller attorney Michael Gottlieb even seeking the help of then-US Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm in a last-ditch effort to stop the corruption conviction.
"I have reached out to Klemm and asked him to help us broker the meeting [with Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors]," Gottlieb wrote to Hunter on May 17, 2016.
"We should put together a persuasive deck with all the procedural and substantive defects in the indictment / case against Gabs, and we should also probably put together the start of what would be a press strategy.
"And we'll want to line up the big names to bring over."
A legal source involved in the discussions reportedly told The Daily Mail that they never went through with the planned action.
"All of the ideas discussed in this email, including the preparation of a deck and press plan, were never implemented or executed," the source, who was a member of Popoviciu's legal team, said.
"All of this was being discussed as part of a potential strategy, which depended entirely on scheduling a meeting with the Romanian Government on the case.
"But that meeting was never scheduled, and never happened, because the Romanian Government declined."
Gottlieb complained to his colleagues about a Politico article praising Romanian prosecutors for cracking down on corruption.
"This kind of article is likely to make our efforts with the USEMB [the US embassy] an uphill battle, and why I expect HK [Klemm] has had little interest in taking any kind of public position," Gottlieb wrote.
Hunter weighed in, suggesting they enlist the help of Biden family friend and former FBI director Louis Freeh.
"Agreed Michael," Hunter wrote.
"Is now the time to begin to assemble a more high profile team that can speak to the injustice here.
"Who do we have at the firm that can speak with authority about anti-corruption.
"Mike I was going to reach out to Judge Freeh and if you can think of others of that stature I think now is the time to read them into the situation and see if they are willing to help.
"Ambassador Gittenstein mentioned names like former US Atty Patrick Fitzgerald."
The following week Gottlieb wrote an email to Hunter saying that he had spoken to the US ambassador – but was reluctant to describe his conversation in an email.
"Hans called me to discuss a development that is best relayed over phone," he wrote.
"Can we connect either tonight or first thing tomorrow?
"Bottom line is that we should proceed with requesting the meeting."
In a March 24, 2016 email titled "Re Meet with H. Klemm," Hunter wrote to Gottlieb: "Where are we meeting?"
A source involved in the meeting told The Daily Mail that Hunter did join Gottlieb and the U.S. ambassador in at least one meeting.
The source on Popoviciu's legal team reportedly revealed that "at no point did we ever ask the U.S. Ambassador (or anyone else at the Embassy) to make any statement about the case, or to intervene in any way."
The lawyer said the U.S. team explained to Popoviciu's foreign representatives "the reality that the U.S. Embassy, and U.S. Ambassador, would not intervene with the Romanian Government regarding a pending anti-corruption prosecution."
"The legal team was always attentive to limiting any 'ask' to the U.S. Embassy to be the making of an introduction to the relevant Romanian Government officials or the provision of advice about Romanian law or protocol," the lawyer said.
The overtures to American diplomats ultimately failed to prevent Popoviciu's conviction.
But on June 18 Hunter emailed Freeh for help, saying he had become "very close to the client personally" and claiming the tycoon was "being very badly treated by a suspect Romanian justice system."
Days later the ex-FBI director had signed a retainer with Popoviciu and described in an email a plan to "intervene with the special Romanian anti-corruption prosecutor" and even launch a propaganda campaign in the US.
"They were talking about us doing a report and then 'going to the WSJ'," Freeh wrote.
"I said this would most likely just inflame the prosecutor and make things worse for the client.
"We suggested doing a 'report' (perhaps being retained by a business partner or investor (client owns a $.5B real estate development in Bucharest), and then using that report to establish a dialogue with the prosecutor-resulting in some possible deal or remediated outcome."
Freeh did not respond to requests for comment, and it is unclear whether anyone on his team spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the case.
No favorable articles about Popoviciu appeared in the paper during that time.
But the former FBI director did quickly bring his extensive law enforcement contacts to bear to help the tycoon.
Flaunting his international connections, he wrote to Hunter on June 21: "I will see my good friend, Ron Noble [the former secretary general of international police organization Interpol], in NY on Thursday and most likely he knows this DNA [Romanian anti-corruption office] chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kobesi, very well.
"Let me talk to him and see what the possibilities may be to meet with her and to initiate a dialogue which would remediate the situation.
"I want to make sure I can add some value to this equation before proceeding."
Freeh then began to approach US government officials about the case.
He emailed Hunter on July 8 that he had spoken with the head of the FBI's criminal division about the case – and offered to pay Hunter a referral fee for involving him.
"I wanted to thank you again for referring Gabriel to us and we have finalized an attorney letter of engagement with him," Freeh wrote to the then-vice president's son on July 8, 2016, two weeks after Popoviciu was sentenced to nine years in prison.
"I will meet him in Paris Sunday and then we'll deploy to Bucharest and get to work.
"FYI, I have had conversations with the head of the FBI's Criminal Division and there is a sincere Bureau interest in meeting and debriefing Gabriel on other matters he may be willing to discuss.
"FBIHQ will relay its interest to the Legat [legal attaché] in Bucharest, with whom we'll meet next week.
"There is the 'timing' issue about when to make contact with DNA and SRI [Romanian intelligence service], which we'll strategize about with Gabriel next week.
"We have fortunately been able to enlist for our team a former FBI Legat in Bucharest--she's Romanian-American--who is a fluent speaker with excellent SRI contacts.
"We may also try to see the Ambassador."
In the email, Freeh also offered to give a referral payment to Hunter for getting him the job with Popoviciu.
"I would also like to make a small payment to you for this referral-and for your continuing work on this matter," Freeh wrote.
"This is a standard practice.
"It's strictly your call as I don't know your relationship with the client.
"We would just need your bank information in order to make a remittance."
Despite the extensive planned influence and media campaign, Hunter and his colleagues' attempts failed.
On June 23, 2016, Popoviciu was sentenced to nine years in prison.
But when police showed up at his Romanian home, they reportedly found the real estate mogul had fled.
He was later arrested in London in August 2017.
In a press release following the sentencing, Freeh claimed the verdict was "not supported by either the facts or the law" and that there were "numerous factual and legal deficiencies in the case against Mr. Popoviciu."