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FIRST ON FOX: After leaving the White House as an adviser to then-Vice President Joe Biden in the summer of 2014 and becoming president of a DC-based company founded by a Chinese leader with ties to officials at some of the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party, Francis “Fran “Person The White House at least seven times between 2015 and 2016.
Person who frequently emailed Hunter Biden and his longtime business partner Eric Schwerin about business relations with the Harves Group in 2015 and 2016, made several visits to the White House during that time, including attending a White House vacation reception House in December 2015 with Bo Zhang, the Chinese leader who founded the Harves Group.
Visiting logs from the White House from 2015 and 2016 show that Person met with his sister, Anne Marie Muldoon (Person), who previously worked for Schwerin and Hunter at Rosemont Seneca Partners before joining the Vice President’s Biden’s office in May 2014, at least four times. Another listing for Person in March 2016 was a meeting with Steve Ricchetti, who was Biden’s Chief of Staff from 2013 to 2017 and is currently Biden’s White House adviser.
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A person who served in the Obama administration as an adviser to Vice President Biden and a special assistant to President Obama between 2009 and 2014, left the White House in late July 2014 for a “special advisory role” at the University of South Carolina, his Alma Mater, before becoming president of the Harves Group less than six months later in January 2015, where he “[h]elped guide the formation “of the DC-based company and established” global partnerships “in China.
A Politico profile on Person’s exit from the White House in 2014 revealed that Person traveled with then-Vice President Biden to 49 of the 50 countries he traveled to between 2009 and 2014, including China and Serbia. The article also included quotes from Biden and the then Second Lady Jill Biden praising Person.
“In times of urgency, everyone from the Secret Service to my communications and political teams is the first guy they go to, Fran,” Biden said.
“Fran has been like a son to Joe and me,” Jill Biden said. “For eight years we traveled the country, sharing vacations together … Fran may be leaving the office, but he will always be part of our family.”
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Fran Person responded to a Fox News Digital query Thursday night about visits to the White House, saying they were “personal in nature” and that he was “visiting old colleagues and friends” with whom he served for six years. under the Obama administration.
“These visits were of a personal nature, visits to old colleagues and friends that I served with during my six years working there, and completely unrelated to my work with Harves Entertainment, which created experiences and attractions with iconic brands on across the sports and entertainment industry, “said Person.
The person did not talk about whether he or Zhang communicated with or met with officials in the Obama-Biden administration outside the White House to discuss Harves-related business deals. Nor did he talk about whether he or Hunter has introduced Zhang to Biden.
FOX Business previously reported that Hunter’s private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca Advisors, had financial interests in several Harves affiliates.
In March 2017, Schwerin sent an email to Hunter disrupting their company’s interests, including a 5 percent stake in Harves Amusement Parks and ownership of Harves Sports and Entertainment, both of which fall under the Washington, DC-based Harves Group .
Hunter’s introduction to the Harves Group came almost two years earlier when Fran, then president of the Harves Group, sent him a message in July 2015 inviting him to meet Zhang and his family in China.
“Bo Zhang and his family would be our hosts,” Person wrote in the email. “They are an amazing family with great respect and relationships in China. Bo is a graduate of American Univ and is in his late 20s, and his parents own Harves Century Group of Shenyang – which is a top-class Chinese real estate development company. “
The person’s email went on to say that Zhang “is being cared for to take over his family’s dynasty” and that the trip was not about selling Biden on anything but more about “growing[ing] that relationship, “adding that” there will be lots of great things coming along the way that we can work on. “
“His mother is actually the chairman of the board of the company, which is unique in China,” Person wrote. “They are very private and will not tell anyone that you are coming. Bos’ father-in-law is actually the governor of Hainan (Chinese Hawaii), which he does not advertise at all.”
Zhang’s father-in-law, Liu Cigui, was later selected as the secretary of the Communist Party in Hainan Province in 2017. That is him considered a “loyalist” of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Harves Century Group, the China-based entity owned by Zhang’s parents, is backed by the state-owned China Development Bank. It is the parent company of several U.S.-based Harves-affiliated companies, including Harves Investment Group (HIG), Harves Sports and Harves Global Entertainment, of which Person is now CEO, according to his LinkedIn. He is also the CEO and co-founder of DreamCube Innovations, a company that Fast Company described as an “enticing new technology and brand that has already entered into agreements with the NBA as well as with Manchester United Football Club” set up “across China . “
It does not appear that Hunter was able to take on the China trip that Person had given him on in 2015. However, several emails that FOX Business has reviewed showed that Person and Zhang had met with Hunter and Schwerin in Washington on several occasions.
They had also sent an email back and forth to coordinate potential Harves-related business deals. Hunter described Zhang as his “good friend and business colleague” in a 2016 email.
One of the names copied on the email was James Bulger, the nephew of the infamous Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger. In addition to appearing Help Biden obtained a Chinese business license for his uncle’s telemedicine company just a few years earlier, Bulger played an influential role in Hunter’s Chinese business projects.
In addition to Schwerin, Hunter, and Person communicating about business deals, Hunter worked behind the scenes to send email pitches to raise money for Person’s failed congressional campaign in 2016, receiving $ 2,700 each from Schwerin and Hunter, including $ 1,000 from the then Second Lady. Jill Biden. Zhang and his mother, Jinglan Shao, both maxed out for Fran’s campaign with two $ 2,700 donations each.
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A White House official rejected a Fox News Digital media inquiry about Person’s visit to the White House during the Obama administration by criticizing “transparency” issues in the Trump administration.
“These are all meetings that have been public for years because both the Obama-Biden administration and this administration issued visitor records for the sake of transparency – a practice that was interrupted during the Trump years,” the official said.