Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the final presidential debate against U.S. President Donald Trump at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • The Wall Street Journal found no evidence to support US President Donald Trump's claim that opponent Joe Biden did business in China.
  • The Journal's reporters reviewed corporate records, emails, and text messages.
  • Trump's claim, during Thursday's US presidential debate, came the same week it was revealed he himself had a secret bank account in China.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Former American Vice President Joe Biden had no role in a proposed investment venture in China, according to corporate records, emails, and text messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

At Thursday night's pre-election debate, US President Donald Trump repeatedly asserted that opponent Biden was involved in his son Hunter's business dealings, specifically accusing him of taking money from China — a charge he made the same week it was revealed he himself had secretly maintained a bank account in the country.

But there is no evidence to support the US president's accusation that the former US vice president was ever involved in his son's business dealings, in China or elsewhere.

Indeed, text messages and emails provided by the original source for the claim, Anthony Bobulinksi, "don't show either Hunter Biden or James Biden [the vice president's younger brother] discussing a role for Joe Biden in the venture," The Journal reported Thursday night.

Prior to Thursday's debate, Bobulinksi held a press conference where he alleged that Joe Biden took part in a 2017 meeting, when he was a private citizen, to discuss a proposed investment opportunity in China. He cited an email from another investor, James Gillar, referring to a potential equity share for a "big guy," claiming that was a reference to Biden.

"I am unaware of any involvement at any time of the former vice president," Gillar, a former business partner of Hunter, told The Journal. Of the proposed investment opportunity in China, he added: "The activity in question never delivered any project revenue."

In a statement issued Wednesday night to the New York Post, a right-wing tabloid, Bobulinski claimed the proposed investment was between him "and the Biden family," an assertion that The Wall Street Journal's conservative editorial page took as evidence that "Joe Biden was accepting influence payments, including from Chinese entities."

But corporate records reviewed by journalists at the paper — owned by the same parent company as the Post and Fox News — provided no evidence for that.

A spokesperson for Joe Biden told The Journal the former vice president "has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever."

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