Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was being paid $50,000 to sit on the board of Ukraine Energy company, Bursima Holdings, while his dad, Joe Biden, who is now a top Democrat Party presidential candidate, was Vice President of the United States. Curiously, the sitting Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden had no experience in energy.
Hunter Biden, who was recently interviewed by ABC News, admitted to Amy Robach that he would not be on the board if it was not for his father being the Vice President of the United States.
“It’s impossible for me to be on any of the boards… without saying I’m the son of the VP.”
“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been.. on the board?”
Biden, responded, “I don’t know. Probably not. I don’t think a lot of things would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 15, 2019
Newly released memos show that one month before then-Vice President Joe Biden strong-armed Ukraine into firing Victor Shokin, the prosecutor who was investigating his son, Hunter Biden’s company for corruption,
According to John Soloman – Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son’s company for corruption, newly released memos show.
During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. (I filed that suit this summer with the help of the public interest law firm the Southeastern Legal Foundation.)
Just three weeks before Burisma’s overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.
Hunter Biden’s name, in fact, was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help, according to a series of email exchanges among U.S. officials trying to arrange the meeting. The subject line for the email exchanges read simply “Burisma.”
“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” a Feb. 24, 2016, email between State officials read. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).
“Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt,” the email added. “According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered.”
At the time, Novelli was the most senior official overseeing international energy issues for State. The undersecretary position, of which there are several, is the third-highest-ranking job at State, behind the secretary and deputy secretary. And Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies, a Washington firm that was hired by Burisma to help end a long-running corruption investigation against the gas firm in Ukraine.
Tramontano and another Blue Star official, Sally Painter, both alumni of Bill Clinton’s administration, worked with New York-based criminal defense attorney John Buretta to settle the Ukraine cases in late 2016 and 2017. I wrote about their efforts previously here.
Burisma Holdings records obtained by Ukrainian prosecutors state the gas firm made a $60,000 payment to Blue Star in November 2015.
The emails show Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016, and that State Department officials were scrambling to get answers ahead of time from the U.S. embassy in Kiev.
The records don’t show whether the meeting actually took place. The FOIA lawsuit is ongoing and State officials are slated to produce additional records in the months ahead.
But the records do indicate that Hunter Biden’s fellow American board member at Burisma, Devon Archer, secured a meeting on March 2, 2016, with Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition to serving on the Burisma board, Archer and Hunter Biden were partners at an American firm known as Rosemont Seneca.
“Devon Archer coming to see S today at 3 pm – need someone to meet/greet him at C Street,” an email from Kerry’s office manager reads. “S” is a shorthand frequently used in State emails to describe the Secretary of State. The memos don’t state the reason for the meeting.
“Steph” posted a video of Joe Biden saying he never spoke to his son about his foreign dealings under Trump’s original tweet:
I can't believe the babies took it down. pic.twitter.com/FqRn2Ngedm
— Steph (@steph93065) October 3, 2019
Within a few weeks of Tramontano’s overture to Novelli and of Archer’s overture to Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden took a stunning action, one that has enveloped his 2020 campaign for president in controversy.
By his own admission in a 2018 speech, Joe Biden used the threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid to strong-arm Ukraine into firing Shokin, a prosecutor that he and his office knew was investigating Burisma.
Biden has said he forced Shokin’s firing because he and Western allies believed the prosecutor wasn’t aggressive enough in fighting corruption.
Shokin disputes that account, telling both me and ABC News that he was fired specifically because he would not stand down from investigating Burisma. In fact, Shokin alleges, he was making plans to interview Hunter Biden about his Burisma work and payments when he got the axe.
John Soloman’s entire report can be read HERE.