In one, Mr. Schweizer had obtained a cache of emails from Bevan Cooney, the former associate of Hunter Biden who is in jail for fraud.
Using these emails, Mr. Schweizer and a researcher in his watchdog group, the Government Accountability Institute, published several articles, including one attempting to link Hunter Biden’s connections in China to efforts to his associates to organize meetings in Washington for the Chinese. business leaders under the Obama administration.
Mr. Schweizer’s institute, of which Mr. Bannon was a co-founder, received funding from Ms. Mercer’s family, according to tax records. The Mercers also funded Breitbart News, which was previously headed by Mr Bannon and published the articles by Mr Schweizer.
Separately, Mr. Schweizer was consulted in September on the allegations of Mr. Bobulinski, who in 2017 worked with Hunter and James Biden in a joint venture with a failed Chinese conglomerate.
According to two people familiar with the events, Mr. Bobulinski, an investor who had done business related to China, had approached Mr. Trump’s allies, asking for help in making his demands known.
Mr Bobulinski, who was admittedly bitter about how the proposed deal went, was referred to Mr Passantino, who previously worked at the White House attorneys office and works with a group affiliated with the campaign , Lawyers for Trump.
In an effort to verify Mr. Bobulinski’s allegations and documents, Mr. Passantino was referred by Mr. Gingrich, a long-time client, to Mr. Schweizer, who wrote a book in 2018 on business transactions involving Hunter Biden in Ukraine, China and elsewhere.