One of the four men indicted Thursday for a scheme to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians to buy political influence issued a cryptic warning to former Vice President Joe Biden about his and his son's Ukraine ties — all the way back in January 2017.
David Correia was among those charged with trying to buy influence from state and national U.S. politicians using money with ties to Russia. Two of the men indicted in the scheme are associates of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
In a now-deleted tweet to Biden's VP account, Correia referred to Hunter Biden's appointment to the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.
Biden had posted a tweet on Jan. 19, 2017, the day before Trump's inauguration, that said, "15.8 million new jobs. 20 million more people insured. 165,000 troops home from war. Serving as your VP was the greatest honor of my life."
Correia replied to that tweet on Jan. 22, 2017, saying, "I assume the day your son took his position in Ukraine was also a great moment? I have a feeling that chapter isn't closed."
Hunter BIden was named to the board of Burisma in May 2014, following a period of governmental turmoil and regime change that resulted in the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden had no known qualifications for the job, yet was paid about $50,000 per month. He left the board earlier in 2019.
Joe Biden has been scrutinized recently for allegedly using his influence as vice president, and as the Obama administration's point man on Ukraine, to fire a prosecutor who had been investigating Burisma.
In addition to Correia, two Giuliani associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — were arrested and charged with campaign finance violations for allegedly donating money to former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions (R) in an effort to influence the ouster of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born American, was also arrested and charged.
According to the indictment, Parnas, who is also a Ukrainian-born American was acting "at least in part" at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials. From the New York Times:
According to the indictment unsealed in New York, Parnas, Fruman and other defendants "conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments." The indictment does not mention Giuliani or suggest that he was part of the alleged crimes.
According to the Times, Parnas and Fruman worked with Giuliani to spur investigations in Ukraine into Joe and Hunter Biden. Giuliani is not mentioned in the indictments.
Parnas and Fruman donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump Super PAC, America First Action, in 2018 through a company called Global Energy Producers. Prosecutors allege that donation was part of a plan "to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working."