03:48 GMT24 January 2021
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    A probe was opened into Joe Biden's son on Wednesday, focusing on a wide range of issues, including his tax affairs and dealings in China and Ukraine.

    The diamond ring, reportedly worth $80,000, which Hunter Biden received from Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming, is part of an ongoing probe by the US attorney's office, CNN reported on Thursday, citing a person briefed on the matter.

    Last year, Hunter Biden told The New Yorker that former-CEFC chairman Ye sent the 2.8-carat diamond ring to his hotel room with a thank you note when he visited China in 2017, where he came to negotiate for large investments and aid donations. The gift reportedly came as a surprise for Biden's son, and he said he in no way thought it could be a bribe, claiming, "What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn't in office".

    However, he felt there was something weird about it, so he gave the diamond to his associates and has no idea what happened to it afterward. "I knew it wasn't a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird", the younger Biden was quoted saying. He also said the ring cost $10,000.

    The diamond ring allegedly was a stumbling block for Hunter Biden's divorce from his first wife, Kathleen Biden, as her legal team demanded that it be placed in a safety deposit box that could be accessed by both parties to the divorce. There is, however, no confirmed information about how that dispute was resolved.

    US President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed the mainstream media for not covering the alleged corruption dealings on the part of the Biden family. Particularly, Trump has accused Biden's son of using his father's connections in the course of lobbying activities.

    Prior to the current probe, the New York Post published an article that cited e-mails retrieved from Hunter Biden's laptop allegedly revealing that he had arranged meetings with foreign officials for his father at the time the latter served as vice president in the Obama administration. Twitter temporarily banned the NY Post's account, but later unlocked it, though it failed to explain its previous claim that the material in the article was "hacked".

    In addition to the investigation by the US attorney's office, Politico reported that the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York is interested in Hunter Biden's finances.

    Tags:
    bribe, ring, China, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, US
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