Biden Is Finished! Ukraine Memos Show Obama Administration Helped End Burisma Corruption Probe

Posted by on November 5, 2019 11:23 am
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Categories: COUP D'ETAT

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine gas firm pressed Obama administration to end corruption allegations, memos show

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
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 3pm –
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.

Tramontano, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, Archer and Joe Biden’s
campaign did not return messages seeking comment on Monday.

In an interview with
ABC News last month, Hunter Biden said he believed he had done “nothing wrong at
all” while working with Burisma but “was it poor judgment to be in the middle of
something that is…a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah.”

Whatever the subject of the Archer-Kerry meeting, its existence
is certain to spark interest. That’s because Secretary Kerry’s stepson,
Christopher Heinz, had been a business partner with both Archer and Hunter
Biden at the Rosemont Seneca investment firm in the United States.

Heinz, however, chose not to participate in the Burisma dealings.
In fact, he wrote an
email to his stepfather’s top aides in May 2014
, pointedly distancing
himself from the decision by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer to join Burisma’s

Heinz’s spokesman recently
The Washington Post
that Heinz ended his relationship with Archer and Hunter
Biden partly over the Burisma matter. “The lack of judgment in this matter was a
major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer
and Mr. Biden,” Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi told the newspaper

A person who assisted Blue Star and Buretta in settling the
Burisma matters in Ukraine told me in an interview that the late February 2016
overture to State was prompted by a dramatic series of events in Ukraine that included
when that country’s top prosecutor escalated a two-year probe into Burisma and
its founder, the oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.

Zlochevsky’s gas firm hired Hunter Biden and Archer as board
members for Burisma Holdings in spring 2014, around the time that British officials
opened corruption investigations into Zlochevsky’s gas firm for actions dating
to 2010 before Hunter Biden and Archer joined the firm. Ukraine officials
opened their own corruption probe in August 2014.

A firm called Rosemont Seneca Bohai began receiving monthly
payments totaling more than $166,000 from Burisma Holdings in May 2014, bank
records show. The records show Devon Archer was listed as a custodian for the
Rosemont Seneca Bohai firm and that Hunter Biden received payments from it. You
can read those bank records here.

In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey
Pyatt gave a speech imploring
Ukrainian prosecutors to do more to bring Zlochevsky to justice, according
to published reports at the time.

By early 2016 the Ukrainian investigation had advanced enough
that then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin authorized a court-ordered seizure
of Zlochevsky’s home and other valuables, including a luxury car. That seizure occurred
on Feb. 2, 2016, according to published reports in

The same day that the Zlochevsky seizure was announced in
Ukraine, Hunter Biden used
his Twitter account
to start following Deputy Secretary of State Tony
Blinken, a longtime national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden who
was promoted to the No. 2 job at State under Secretary John Kerry.

The Feb. 4, 2016 Twitter
notification from Hunter Biden
to Blinken was captured by State email
servers and turned over to me as part of the FOIA release.

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
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.

Ukraine prosecutors have said they do not believe the Bidens did
anything wrong under Ukraine law. But some of the country’s prosecutors made an
effort in 2018 to get information about Burisma to the U.S. Justice Department
because they believed American prosecutors might be interested in some activities
under U.S. law. You can read about that effort here.

Some experts and officials have been quoted
in reports
saying Joe Biden’s actions created the appearance of a conflict
of interest, something all U.S. government officials are supposed to avoid. The
questions about conflicts were previously raised in a 2015 article by the New
York Times and the 2018
book Secret Empires
by author Peter Schweizer.

The new evidence of contacts between Burisma, Hunter Biden and
Archer at State are certain to add a new layer of intrigue to the debate. Those
contacts span back to at least spring 2015, the new memos show.

On May 22, 2015, Hunter Biden emailed
his father’s longtime trusted aide, Blinken, with the following message: “Have
a few minutes next week to grab a cup of coffee? I know you are impossibly
busy, but would like to get your advice on a couple of things, Best, Hunter.”

Blinken responded
the same day with an “absolutely” and added, “Look forward to seeing you.”

The records indicate the two men were scheduled to meet the
afternoon of May 27, 2015.

The State Department records also indicate Hunter Biden met
Blinken in person for lunch on July 22, 2015, when State officials gave the
name of a person to meet to help him enter the building. “He has the VIP pin
and can escort you upstairs for your lunch with Tony,” the
email said.

The emails don’t indicate whether the meeting had to do with
Burisma or one of Hunter Biden’s other interests.

But they clearly show that Hunter Biden, his business partner
and Burisma’s legal team were able to secure contacts inside the State
Department, including to one of his father’s most trusted aides, to Secretary
Kerry and to the agency’s top energy official.

The question now is: Did any of those contacts prompt further
action or have anything to do with Joe Biden’s conduct in Ukraine in March 2016
when he forced Shokin’s firing?