GOP Report: Hunter Biden’s Burisma Ties ‘Very Awkward’ for U.S. Officials Seeking to Reduce Corruption in Ukraine
How do you feel about the committees' findings regarding Hunter Biden's business dealings?
What’s the story?
- Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Wednesday released an 87 page report into potential conflicts of interest arising from Hunter Biden receiving millions of dollars from Ukrainian energy company Burisma and other foreign nationals.
- Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine occurred while his father, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, was serving as the Obama administration’s “point person” for Ukraine. An article that appeared in Foreign Policy on October 30, 2016, outlined the vice president’s role:
“No one in the U.S. government has wielded more influence over Ukraine than Vice President Joe Biden. As the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine policy, he has rallied support for Kiev in the face of Russian military intervention and cultivated a personal rapport with its leaders. But he has delivered tough love as well, delaying financial aid more than once over concerns about rampant corruption.”
- In 2018, Vice President Biden recounted a story in which he threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless officials fired a prosecutor who the Obama administration and Western nations considered corrupt, and who was investigating corruption at Burisma: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the [$1 billion]. I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b****. He got fired.”
- The corruption allegations against Hunter Biden were mentioned by President Donald Trump during his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which prompted House Democrats to impeach Trump and the Senate to acquit him. Amid the controversy, Hunter Biden said in an interview with ABC that, in retrospect, he probably would not have been asked to be on the board if he wasn’t the vice president’s son.
What were the committees’ key findings in the Hunter Biden report?
In early 2015 former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”
In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.
Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board when Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to “shut the case against Zlochevsky.” George Kent testified that this bribe occurred in December 2014 (seven months after Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board), and that he and the resident legal adviser reported this allegation to the FBI after learning about it.
In addition to the over $4 million paid by Burisma to Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, for membership on the board, Hunter, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.
Devon Archer received $142,300 from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan, purportedly for a car, the same day Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.
Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina. Ms. Baturina is the wife (widow) of the former mayor of Moscow.
Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which resulted in millions of dollars in questionable transactions.
Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong that financed a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden. Hunter Biden also moved millions of dollars from his law firm to James Biden’s and Sara Biden’s firm. Upon being questioned about the transaction, Sara Biden refused to provide supporting documentation and information to more clearly explain the activity. The bank subsequently closed the account.
Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: acaben via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
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