KEY POINTS

  • Tony Bobulinski, Trump's latest debate guest, says he has evidence of improper business connections between the Bidens and China but refuses to release it or even say what it is
  • Trump and affiliated news organizations like Fox have nevertheless latched onto the theory, only the latest in a long line against Biden that eventually proved baseless
  • Trump himself has come under fire for business connections to China, including accepting millions from a CCP associate after taking office via an off-market penthouse sale

The final presidential debate gave Donald Trump one last opportunity to engage in a favorite campaign move: bringing along an attention-grabbing guest to rattle his opponent.

On Thursday, that guest was Tony Bobulinski, who accused Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden of misconduct. Bobulinkski is a former business associate of Biden’s son Hunter Biden and a former army intelligence officer. He has been making the rounds on conservative media outlets, saying he has proof of improper business connections between the Bidens and China.

With markets betting on Joe Biden to win the White House next month, eyes were on his final presidential debate with Donald Trump With markets betting on Joe Biden to win the White House next month, eyes were on his final presidential debate with Donald Trump Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON

But because he refuses to share that evidence, Bobulinski’s story has thus far failed to get much traction outside the right-wing circuit because  other journalists have been unable to verify his claims. The Wall Street Journal reported it had reviewed the allegations and found no evidence of a connection to Joe Biden.

Bobulinksi said he will provide his evidence to the FBI or Republican-led congressional investigations. There's some evidence he isn't just another political agent: Heavy reported he gave small donations to Democratic candidates in his home state of California throughout the early 2010s.

Heavy noted Bobulinski is embroiled in a legal battle with a former Chinese employer, China Branding Group Limited. It filed suit in July to force him to pay $634,000 he owes in legal fees involving a suit he lost in the Cayman Islands.

This isn’t the first time Trump has brought debate guests meant to rattle his opponent. When he debated against Hillary Clinton in 2016, he brought several women who had accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.

Trump alleged before Thursday night's the debate he had documentation of Biden’s impropriety but refused to provide any information beyond that. Biden campaign, Andrew Bates spokesman categorically denied the accusation.

“[Joe Biden] has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever,” Bates said. “He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him.”

Biden also denied any questionable dealings during the debate, inviting people to look over his tax returns to prove it.

President Donald Trump on a state visit to China in 2017 President Donald Trump on a state visit to China in 2017 Photo: AFP / Jim WATSON

Trump has attempted to prove misconduct through official investigations to no avail: An inquiry by attorney general William Barr into one of the many other sets of accusations that eventually fizzle out found no wrongdoing.

The complete lack of evidence has proven no barrier to Fox and the rest of the far-right media ecosystem, who have treated the latest misconduct theories as front-page news. Their coverage comes as Trump himself is under fire for  business connections to China, including accepting millions from a CCP-associated individual after taking office through an off-market penthouse purchase.