On January 12th 2010 a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti. 200,000 to 250,000 people died from it. We look at such a massive tragedy and feel nothing but heartbreak. But for Hunter Biden, a lobbyist named Doug Davenport, and the CEO of Aqua Sciences? They saw an opportunity to make money.
That’s the center of today’s piece. One look at Aqua Sciences website and you’ll see their miracle device. A machine that can make drinking water from nothing but the surrounding atmosphere. Whether or not you think of Hunter Biden as altruistic or greedy for trying to make bank from setting these machines up in disaster zones is up to you.
All I can show you are the emails from the “hard drive from hell” that lay out the story.
In May 2010 we can directly connect Aqua Sciences CEO Abe Sher to the key people at Rosemont Seneca: Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, and Eric Schwerin. This context is the backdrop to the numerous emails brought up in this piece. That being: making political introductions for business deals.
In October 2010 we get the definitive element of a financial incentive. Doug Davenport reaches out to Hunter Biden and Eric Schwerin about the Aqua Sciences referral contract: “You now should have both – 5% for Ducool/Advantix sales and 9% for Aqua machine sales…….plz confirm receipt”
We have two different stories involving Aqua Sciences that run roughly parallel to one another. What
- DELAWARE: Hunter Biden is successful in getting Aqua Sciences some kind of deal, using his political connections to Delaware government officials to grease the wheels to make it happen. The main point of interest in this section is the election of Senator Chris Coons and analyzing what part this had to play.
- HAITI (and other international targets): Hunter Biden is (as far as I know) unsuccessful in directly arranging a purchase on behalf of Aqua Sciences. The focal point of concern is that Hunter uses his relationship with both Bill Clinton and the Haiti Clinton Bush CEO to get Doug Davenport an “in” to push Aqua Sciences product on to NGOs.
What intertwines them both is Hunter’s relationship to lobbyist Doug Davenport. In essence he acts like a fixer for Aqua Sciences dipping his toes into the political swamps of DC and elsewhere to try and score a deal.
4/12/2010, 3:23 PM. Abe Sher thanks Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, and Doug Davenport for setting him up for business in Delaware. “Meetings today were spectacular! Thank you again. We are in the car driving back and will immediately follow up and, of course, keep you posted. Thanks again.”
4/12/2010, 10:21 PM. Patty Cannon of the Delaware Economic Development Office gives Abe Sher an introduction.
“Thank you for the privilege of meeting with your team this morning! We are truly excited about the incredible opportunity your businesses have created for Delaware and the nation! It will be a pleasure to work with you throughout the process! As promised, we have included links below to various sections of Delaware code that ensure the protection of your confidential information by all State of Delaware elected officials, appointed officers and employees. We have included attachments that describe a couple of assembly/manufacturing facilities that are within 20 minutes of the main campus at University of Delaware, where we met this morning – simply something to have in your back pocket in the event that your pending large order comes through today. From the information we have gathered through your website and other business resources, we are confident you will find Delaware the best place to grow your business! However, such significant decisions require strong confidence for you, as well. We look forward to working with you to earn your trust!”
4/19/2010, 7:15 AM. Abe Sher gives Patty Cannon the Aqua Sciences business plans (and the plans for a spinoff company called Ducool that’s not mentioned as much in Hunter Biden’s emails). The point being that Patricia Cannon is more than interested in getting to work. “You and Dan referenced that model as a compelling area of interest, especially as it relates to the federal funding that was involved.”
5/17/2010. Doug Davenport sends along a memorandum of understanding to Hunter Biden and Rosemont Seneca for review and revisions. He gives a lot of leeway to them personally when it comes to whatever changes they want to make.
6/26/2010. Chris Coons emails Hunter Biden. “Dear Hunter, Thank you for your encouragement and strong offers of support in our meeting Thursday. I’m grateful for your help! Best wishes, Chris”
7/29/2010. Hunter Biden kept a close eye on behalf of Chris Coons in the 2010 Senate race. That included fundraising numbers. One email points to Doug Davenport getting in on this as well. $$$ to Coons means Davenport later has an in for Aqua Sciences.
9/24/2010. Hunter Biden connects Abe Sher of Aqua Sciences to Michael Adler at a Chris Coons event: “Michael- Hope all is well. I hear you had a great event for Chris Coons today with my Dad. I am glad you could do that. Chris is a great guy. On another note, I understand you got to talk to Abe Sher of Aqua Sciences. We do a lot with Abe, Aqua Sciences and Aqua’s sister company, Advantix and I think you would find what they do to be interesting. I wanted to make sure you both had each other’s contact info and can follow up directly.”
11/14/2010. Eric Schwerin asks Hunter Biden: “Were you thinking that you wanted to go to Coons’ swearing in reception tomorrow afternoon at the Capitol? Your Dad is doing the swearing in, not sure if he is staying for the reception or not.”
1/12/2011. “we need to raise it now that Barclay’s is in the mix…..” Doug Davenport tells Eric Schwerin and Hunter. This is in reference to the Delaware deal.
1/19/2011. ABE tells Patty of the Delaware Economic Development Office about what this official meeting is going to be about:
“I just finished a telcon with the Barclay’s team. As we discussed, they are very interested in setting up a meeting in Delaware during the first part of February. They tentatively are shooting for the week of February 7th and will get me dates within the next day or so to coordinate with your team. At this point, they are contemplating that attending from Barclay’s Capital will be Teddy Roosevelt IV, one of the heads of Barclay’s Cleantech practice in NY, Steve Berkenfeld, Managing Director and one of the lead investment bankers of Barclay’s in NY, George Murphy, another senior banker from NY, David Murphy of Aqua Sciences and me. I will also ask Hunter Biden and Eric Schwerin to attend. The purpose of the meeting in two-fold: for Barclay’s to meet with officials from the State of Delaware to confirm the State’s commitment for a partnership with Aqua Sciences’ establishment of development and manufacturing facilities in the State of Delaware; and to look at some of the potential sites where we might set up a plant.”
1/20/2011. Email exchange between Aqua Sciences, Barclay’s Capital, and Delaware officials nailing down a date and time for their meeting. Logistical stuff.
1/21/2011. 12:43 PM. They all nail down February 11th as a time that works for everyone.
1/21/2011. 1:08 PM. Patty Cannon of the Delaware Economic Development office tells Abe, Hunter Biden, and their respective parties: “Governor Markell and Alan Levin, DEDO Cabinet Secretary are the 2 most critical attendees and the February 11th availability for them is 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.”
The table was set.
2/11/2011. AND it sounds like all went well. “A gentle reminder… Monday is Valentine’s Day and I’m asking Cupid for Aqua Sciences manufacturing facility in Delaware!! However, the significant “other” in your life is probably wishing for something different:) Don’t forget to plan something wonderful on Monday for your loved ones and we will get to work planning a SPECTACULAR ribbon-cutting ceremony for Aqua Sciences in Delaware, SOON:)”
2/27/2011. Doug Davenport writes to Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, and Abe: “I am hanging out at the Republican Gov’s Conference and I decide to go across the street to Cap Grille. I walk in and sit down at the bar and start talking to a guy. It turns out that after 30 minutes, he is Chris Coons COS…..knows all about us……small world”
Hunter responds with a tidbit of his own. “Small world- I didn’t realize Coons had visited Aqua while in Israel.”
9/9/2011. Doug Davenport tells Abe Sher and Hunter Biden that he was having lunch with (now former) Delaware Governor Markell. But at this point the emails die off in this respect, as it’s clear Davenport had moved on to his next big lobbying score.
4/22/2010. Doug Davenport complains to Hunter Biden: “By the way, did u read that letter we got from the Haitian Ambassador? It is strong stuff – and I still can’t get a State or AID call back!”
The set-up is that Davenport attempts to get Aqua Sciences product into the country of Haiti. At the time, they were recently devastated by a massive earthquake. Recovery from it slated to take months, if not years.
5/10/2010. Doug Davenport points out that one Cheryl Mills is the Obama administration’s key person organizing the U.S. relief effort for Haiti. At the time she was a key player in the State Department. “In Washington Post today – page A-15. Title: An Effort for Haiti, still ongoing. All about her being the point person for the Admin on Haiti. Also mentions water challenges and health concerns. Seems like she could be the top person to see what Aqua did down there……..“
Another step on the road of Hunter Biden trying to personally benefit from an international tragedy.
5/19/2010. “It is clear from this hearing that Bill Clinton is THE key player on the recovery and rebuild efforts.”
5/25/2010. “Guy by the name of patrick gaspardt (sp???). He is pol dir at wh and is haitian american. He was supposed to be here in miami today, but couldn’t come. Apparently he is one of obama’s main sounding boards for reconstruction.”
5/27/2010. Abe Sher gives Devon Archer and Rosemont Seneca the company’s marketing materials. A motion that helps establish that Hunter Biden and Aqua Sciences were in a business partnership together.
5/28/2010. “However, for any expenditures by USAID to be counted against the US $3.5 billion pledge to Haiti they have to be proposed by one of three entities (LADB, World Bank or UN) and cleared by the World Bank Secretariat to the Haiti Recovery Commission. We are hoping to cut through this bureaucracy by simply expanding an existing USAID contract in Haiti pre-approved by the UN and World Bank before the earthquake.”
6/18/2010. “Hey, checked with Greg McDonald and he agreed that the best way to follow up on Clinton’s trip request is for you to email Doug Band. Is this is OK to send an email from you to Doug? (Very brief – just following up, am very interested if the President would still like me to go, mention Friends of the World Program Board membership, etc.).”
Here’s the email they sent to Bill Clinton’s guy, Doug Band.
“Hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up on a conversation I had with President Clinton when I saw him in Arkansas last month. He expressed interest in me potentially joining him on one of his future trips to Haiti. Should the opportunity still exist, I would love to join him – particularly given my role as a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of the World Food Program. I have been in the loop on their efforts on the ground in the country and it’d be great to see it firsthand. Let me know what you think the best way to follow up is. Hope to see you soon. Best, Hunter”
8/6/2010. Dollar signs light up Davenport’s eyes when it comes to the $63 billion commitment from the USAID Global Health Initiative: “You cannot tell me that there is not enough $$$ or will power to get our solution into this pipeline…..I welcome your comments…….”
8/25/2010, 5:06 PM. Hunter Biden wants to meet up with Abe Sher again because he has a new idea of where to market his product: “Would very much like to do that. I have an idea regarding Pakistan and Aqua that I want to discuss also.” He even knows how to get a foothold in the country. “I was thinking of working thru Raza Bokari and Musharraf to get a machine to Pakistan.”
8/26/2010. Doug Davenport recommends pushing Aqua Sciences product into Pakistan: “BTW, check out the Post today – A6 – ALL about $$$ going to aid Pakistan – gosh, we should figure out a way to play there”
8/31/2010. Doug Davenport salivates over the financial gains possible in Pakistan. “CNN right now….”Pakistanis grow desparate for food and water”……we should be all over this – per our conversations yesterday! I will be phoning USAID shortly…..”
9/7/2010, 9:53 AM. “I just found out yesterday that Gary Edson (former Bush guy) is CEO of Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Gary’s daughter and my daughter are best friends and Gary is also a very close friend of Josh Bolten whom I have gotten to know fairly well.”
9/15/2010. Doug Davenport has a successful lunch with Gary Edson of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Doug tells Gary: “Thank you so much for your time and advice today regarding Aqua Sciences. I realize you are quite busy and really appreciate getting to spend some time with you. I will send you those documents in my next email and will also put together my notes from lunch to make sure that I captured all of your great suggestions.”
Reminder that on October 13th 2010 is when Doug Davenport and Hunter Biden’s company have the official referral contract conversation. Something that guaranteed Hunter got a slice of the money from any Aqua Sciences business successes.
10/26/2010. Rosemont Seneca’s Michael Muldoon writes to Hunter Biden and Eric Schwerin about an enthusiastic intern. He makes a suggestion about where his talents fit best: “Rob/Eric – we should have him do some research on Aqua Sciences and the opportunities through FEMA.” As a reminder, FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the United States. Hunter Biden’s company hired someone to look into how they could profit off of disasters.
10/28/2010. 9:50 AM. “Anyhow, Hunter/Eric: please update Gary Edson – this seems like a great opportunity to get to the $$$$ with an incredibly well known NGO.”
10/28/2010, 10:04 AM. Doug Davenport specifically credits the help of Hunter Biden and Rosemont Seneca for making progress. As in: without Hunter’s political connections to the CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti fund, Davenport wouldn’t have gotten anywhere meaningful. “I think – though I don’t want to jinx it – that we may have just gotten a real chance to break thru the shit…..thanks to you guys and the Gary Edson lunch!”
11/2/2010. Doug Davenport updates Abe Sher and Hunter Biden’s company about his progress trying to get an in with USAID as a possible client for Aqua Sciences. USAID Deputy Chief of Staff Ben Hubbard introduces Doug Davenport to Paul Weisenfeld, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Latin America bureau.
11/5/2010. “what is it with USAID. Direct quote: “There is no need for what you have” at this time. “We sent you a letter saying NO on August 31st”………..”
11/10/2010. “Had a come to Jesus call with Abe today (with Doug as co-conspirator) and got Abe to agree to do whatever is required to get Manuel a machine, even if it is just as a lease so we could work on the PR within Haiti and gain grassroots support for what this machine can do.”
12/15/2010. Hunter Biden and Rosemont Seneca seem to have had an intervention with Doug Davenport and Abe Sher over Haiti. I can’t say for sure but the timing is relevant given how drastically less attention is given to the subject afterwards (in comparison to the Delaware deal.)
Eric Schwerin lays things out to Davenport: “We just wanted to impress on Abe that he needs to focus and that was the only way we knew how to do so. Really don’t worry – we are all good. Particularly with you. Call anytime if you are concerned.”
12/16/2010. 10:51 AM. Rosemont’s Muldoon lists a bunch of Aqua Sciences to-do items that demonstrates a fuller extent of all the things Hunter Biden was doing in his partnership with the company.
12/16/2010, 11:13 AM.
1/13/2011. Abe M. Sher passes along a memo to Hunter Biden and company that summarizes various highlights for Aqua Sciences throughout 2010.
The most relevant part to our interests is the Haiti portion:
“Aqua Sciences Deployed Atmospheric Water Generators to Haiti in Aftermath of Massive Earthquake: Aqua Sciences deployed its Emergency Water Stations to Haiti with the US Government in the aftermath of the recent Haiti Earthquake catastrophe. We were the primary supplier of water at the largest hospital in the country of Haiti, University Hospital in Port au Prince, which was staffed by leading physicians and medical personnel from around the world, including from Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Aqua Sciences was recognized by physicians at the hospital, including, among others, Dr. Thomas Kirsch, the Director of Operations of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, who published that our machine and key man on the ground Scott Morris “probably saved more lives than anything (he) did as a physician.” The water was used in Haiti for drinking, hygiene, wound cleansing, surgical scrubbing and for baby formula mixing. Our Emergency Water Generator was dubbed the “Miracle Machine” by hospital staff and assisted in saving thousands of lives. This success resulted in the Government of Haiti requesting to purchase up to 100 of our machines. Several US Senators including, among others, Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida have also written directly to or otherwise Secretary Hillary Clinton and Director Shah requesting that this order to Haiti be fulfilled and funded by the US Government.“
4/7/2011. Michael Muldoon drafts a follow-up email to send over to Gary Edson of the Clinton Bush Haiti fund.
7/10/2011. Abe Sher surprises Doug Davenport and Hunter Biden’s people by revealing he went on a trip to Haiti and Guatemala for Aqua Sciences business. “I just returned from my trip to Haiti & Guatemala with General Douglas Fraser, head of the US Army Southern Command. See attached photos. I think that I am the only private company person on this trip as Walmart cancelled at last minute. It was an excellent trip. I have a strong strategy going forward. Let’s speak this week and I will fill you in.”
April 2014 is when Doug Davenport tried to piggyback off of Hunter Biden’s position as a World Food Program Chairman to set up a business deal. Subject line read “Hunter Biden Friend” to state the obvious. June 2014 is when Doug Davenport begged Hunter Biden for White House tour tickets. Likely harder to do given the short notice Doug provided.
July 2014 was apparently the last straw as Doug Davenport contacted Hunter Biden while he was on vacation. Doug wanted to pass along a letter from a client to Hunter, who in turn was supposed to give it to his father, the Vice President. “Once our client gives us the letter for your Pops!” Davenport remarked on when he wanted to arrange a call.
Davenport was still a registered lobbyist for Aqua Sciences at the time. Although whether or not the letter pertained to that company is unclear. He ended his relationship with Aqua Sciences in April 2016. But a look at Davenport’s Open Secrets portfolio shows us that he keeps himself busy as recently as 2020.
All we can say for sure is the last time either Doug Davenport or Abe Sher reached out to Hunter Biden was when his brother Beau died.
Do their condolences mean anything, though? In relation to their history with Hunter Biden. At least with Amtrak’s leadership it made more sense. Hunter may have exploited his closeness with Amtrak’s board to make profits, but at least Joe Boardman and Tom Carper seemed to genuinely care about him.
If anything the theme of this piece is people using each other.