Memos: Burisma relentlessly pressured Obama administration

Former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden

State Department memos show the Ukrainian company that paid millions of dollars to Joe Biden’s son Hunter relentlessly pressured the Obama administration to drop corruption investigations.

“They keep trying through every channel they can,” one State official said during the summer of 2016 regarding the intense lobbying campaign by Burisma Holdings, reported Just the News.

JTN, which obtained the memos under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, said they “add new significance to a long-running Senate investigation into the Bidens’ activities and perceived conflicts of interest in Ukraine.”

Hunter Biden was paid $3.1 million to be on the board of Burisma, even though he had no experience in the industry, while his vice president father was in charge of U.S.-Ukraine policy for the Obama administration.

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JTN reported the memos show there was much more interaction between Burisma and the U.S. Embassy in Kiev than was acknowledged by witnesses during the Democrats’ impeachment hearings.

JTN said the memos had been withheld from Senate investigators, who learned of their existence during the FOIA.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told John Solomon in his “John Solomon Reports” podcast that his committee learned of the memos only through JTN’s FOIA case.

“We have been so frustrated in our attempt to get the documentation that we need before we can sit down and interview people, and as I understand it, the documents you just obtained in your FOIA request we haven’t received unbelievably,” Johnson said.

“I cannot tell you how frustrated and ticked off, I’ll use that word, ticked off about where we are here. So yeah, I subpoenaed the FBI. And, you know, expect additional subpoenas to be forthcoming,” he said.

The memos show the lobbying on Burisma’s behalf was headed by a Democratic company, Blue Star Strategies, and supported by the nonprofit Atlantic Council foreign policy think tank, the report said.

“Burisma representatives repeatedly pressed for meetings, at times invoking Hunter Biden’s name, starting with a Blue Star conversation with then-Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli in January 2016 before turning their attention to U.S. diplomats on the ground in Kiev, the memos show.”

They show State Department officials were concerned by the campaign and the fact Hunter Biden had a role at the company, the memos show.

“We had already offered our regrets to Blue Star. But they keep trying through every channel they can,” State Department official Catherine Croft wrote in an email to George Kent, one of the department’s top officials in the Kiev embassy.

Further, Burisma founder Mykola Zlochesky was applying pressure to stop corruption investigations.

Kent told Senate investigators he thought Burisma and Zlochevsky were corrupt and “Hunter Biden’s hiring at the firm created the appearance of a conflict of interest for the U.S. government because his father, Joe Biden, oversaw Ukraine policy,” JTN reported.

The campaign by Blue Star repeatedly lobbied Marie Yovanovitch, who was moving into the post of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the time, the report said. A short time later, an American lawyer, John Buretta, wrote to Yovanovitch “suggesting the corruption accusations against the Ukrainian company were unwarranted and asking U.S. officials to reconsider their views on Hunter Biden’s employer,” the report said.

“By late December 2016, Kent informed Yovanovitch that Burisma had managed to get Ukraine prosecutors to drop all investigations in return for the gas company paying a large tax penalty,” JTN reported.

Only days later, Kent was told the Atlantic Council group accepted a “large donation” from Burisma, which was celebrating the closure of the corruption probes.


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