WASHINGTON DC (August 15, 2019) — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles "Chuck" Grassley is raising concerns over the process by which the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the acquisition of a US automotive technology company, Henniges, with reported military applications. Henniges was reportedly jointly acquired by Chinese government entities and an investment firm linked to family members of then-Vice President Joe Biden and other Obama administration officials. In his letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Sen Grassley is requesting documents associated with the approval of the transaction, as well as other details that may speak to the legitimacy of the decision-making process, including any potential coordination with the Obama-Biden White House.
“As with the Uranium One transaction, there is cause for concern that potential conflicts of interest could have influenced CFIUS approval of the Henniges transaction,” Sen Grassley wrote. “Accordingly, Congress and the public must fully understand the decision-making process that led to the Henniges approval and the extent to which CFIUS fully considered the transaction’s national security risks.”
“For example, one of the companies involved in the Henniges transaction was a billion dollar private investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). BHR was formed in November of 2013 by a merger between the Chinese-government linked firm, Bohai Capital, and a company named Rosemont Seneca Partners. Rosemont Seneca was reportedly formed in 2009 by Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry, and others.”
Both individuals are related to high-ranking Obama administration officials. Accordingly, Sen Grassley is raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest because in September 2015, BHR joined with a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to acquire Henniges. The Department of State, then under Sec Kerry’s leadership, is a CFIUS member and would have played a direct role in the decision to approve the Henniges transaction.
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.