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Not looking good
The Senate Republican majority of the Homeland Security Committee and the Finance Committee released a joint report Wednesday revealing powerful allegations against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
The investigation of the younger Biden's actions connected to his time on the board of Burisma in Ukraine, which he joined in May 2014, uncovered damning new details of possible corruption, hindering of U.S. foreign policy, and assisting Moscow's effort to spread disinformation.
The report's "key findings" list a number of concerning areas when it comes to Biden and his international work and potential conflicts of interest.
KEY FINDING 1: "In early 2015 the former Acting 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.'"
The report states that Kent raised concerns to Vice President Biden's staff, but that he never heard anything back from Biden's office. Kent also recommended that Hunter Biden step down from his role on the board at Burisma in order "to avoid the perception of a potential conflict of interest." However, none of his recommendations were followed.
According to the committees, Hunter Biden's continued presence on the Burisma board the President Barack Obama's State Department repeatedly felt it had to "manage" when attempting to implement and execute the White House's Ukraine policy.
More than a year after Kent reported his concerns to the vice president's staff, he wrote to his superiors that Hunter Biden's role on Burisma's board was “very awkward" to those on the front lines pushing anticorruption efforts in Ukraine on a daily basis. Kent testified that he felt the need to “prepar[e] everybody for 'what about-ism,' because we're pushing what's right … and we have to be prepared for people who are critics, are opponents, to say, 'Well, what about? What about Hunter Biden?''" Indeed, Kent testified further that he “would have advised any American not to get on the board of [Burisma owner Mykola] Zlochevsky's company."
Kent also raised concerns to State Department higher-ups, making clear that it was "very awkward" for Bidens to be on the Burisma board while U.S. officials were trying to implement an anti-corruption agenda for Ukraine.
KEY FINDING 2: "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."
The report revealed that more than just Vice President Biden's staff had been informed of the State Department's concerns. The vice president himself had been told.
Then-U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein spoke directly to Vice President Biden about Hunter's ties to Burisma.
Hochstein said he raised the issue with the vice president because he was worried the Russians were using Hunter's Burisma duties to "sow disinformation," the report states.
Hochstein said he also discussed the situation with Hunter Biden himself.
"I shared with [Hunter Biden] that the Russians were using his name in order to sow disinformation — attempt to sow disinformation among Ukrainians," Hochstein testified to the committees.
KEY FINDING 3: "Although Kent believed that Hunter Biden's role on Burisma's board was awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals — Kent and former U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein — who raised concerns to Vice President Joe Biden (Hochstein) or his staff (Kent)."
Despite the many people purported aware of and concerned about Hunter Biden serving on the Burisma board, Kent and Hochstein were the only people who said anything to Vice President Biden or his staff. And their concerns were apparently ignored
Yet even though Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board cast a shadow over the work of those advancing anticorruption reforms in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals who raised concerns to their superiors. Despite the efforts of these individuals, their concerns appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
KEY FINDING 4: "The awkwardness for Obama administration officials continued well past his presidency. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had knowledge of Hunter Biden's role on Burisma's board, but when asked about it at a town hall event in Nashua, N.H. on Dec. 8, 2019, Kerry falsely said, 'I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No.' Evidence to the contrary is detailed in Section V."
Former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC's Amanda Golden on Dec. 8, 2019, that he had had no idea that Hunter Biden had joined the board of Burisma.
Golden asked Kerry, "[W]hen Hnger Biden joined the board of Burisma, were you aware of, did you know about it at the time and were you comfortable with the arrangement giving [sic] you were secretary of state at the time?"
Kerry answered, "I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No."
"Why would I know about any company or any individual. No. The answer is no," he added. "No communication. No nothing. I don't know who they are. I don't know what they were doing to this day, actually."
In a gaggle with reporters after @JoeBiden's town hall in Nashua, NH, I asked @JohnKerry, who was Sec of State at t… https://t.co/ygvnbiNsF8— Amanda Golden (@Amanda Golden) 1575833288.0
However, evidence shows Kerry did know.
In May 2014, Kerry's then-chief of staff, David Wade, briefed Kerry about inquiries about his stepson, Christopher Heinz, Hunter Biden, and Burisma.
Wade testified to the committees that Kerry learned about the Biden-Burisma connection from him.
Also, the report says, Secretary Kerry's adviser, David Thorne, sent press clippings and articles about Biden joining Burisma directly to Kerry.
KEY FINDING 5: "Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testified that confronting oligarchs would send an anticorruption message in Ukraine. Kent told the Committees that Zlochevsky was an 'odious oligarch.' However, in December 2015, instead of following U.S. objectives of confronting oligarchs, Vice President Biden's staff advised him to avoid commenting on Zlochevsky and recommended he say, 'I'm not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals.'"
According to testimony, State Department officials clearly saw Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, as corrupt. But despite Vice President Biden being viewed as "a leading U.S. figure who pushed for anticorruption measures in Ukraine," his staff was encouraging him to not link Zlochevsky to Ukrainian corruption.
The committees allege that it's "clear that members of Vice President Biden's staff wanted to distance him from an individual whom the State Department clearly believed was corrupt and an individual who employed his son."
KEY FINDING 6: "Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma's board (supposedly consulting on corporate governance and transparency) when Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine's prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to 'shut the case against Zlochevsky.' Kent testified that this bribe occurred in December 2014 (seven months after Hunter joined Burisma's board), and, after learning about it, he and the Resident Legal Advisor reported this allegation to the FBI."
Kent testified that Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to Ukraine's prosecutor general got get him to close the cases against him. That alleged bribe came in December 2014, not May 2014. Which would put the alleged crime as occurring months after Hunter took the job with Burisma.
KEY FINDING 7: "Hunter Biden was a U.S. Secret Service protectee from Jan. 29, 2009 to July 8, 2014. A day before his last trip as a protectee, Time published an article describing Burisma's ramped up lobbying efforts to U.S. officials and Hunter's involvement in Burisma's board. Before ending his protective detail, Hunter Biden received Secret Service protection on trips to multiple foreign locations, including Moscow, Beijing, Doha, Paris, Seoul, Manila, Tokyo, Mexico City, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Geneva, London, Dublin, Munich, Berlin, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Brussels, Madrid, Mumbai and Lake Como."
Hunter Biden was afforded Secret Service protection as the son of the vice president. While a protectee, he scheduled at least six trips to China, including a trip to Beijing in May 2014, just before he officially joined the Burisma board.
The report reveals that Biden took at least seven trips under Secret Service protection while a Burisma board member.
KEY FINDING 8: "Andrii Telizhenko, the Democrats' personification of Russian disinformation, met with Obama administration officials, including Elisabeth Zentos, a member of Obama's National Security Council, at least 10 times. A Democrat lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies, contracted with Telizhenko from 2016 to 2017 and continued to request his assistance as recent as the summer of 2019. A recent news article detailed other extensive contacts between Telizhenko and Obama administration officials."
Democrats have repeatedly claimed that Telizhenko is key to a Russian disinformation campaign to attack Hunter and Joe Biden. However, Telizhenko had a history of working with the Obama administration and the Democrat lobbying group Blue Star Strategies, the report states.
KEY FINDING 9: "In addition to the over $4 million paid by Burisma for Hunter Biden's and [Hunter Biden's business partner Devon] Archer's board memberships, Hunter Biden, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds."
Committee investigators found that Hunter Biden and his family and business associates pursued "financial arrangements" with other foreign nationals besides Burisma.
The Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals. In particular, these documents show that Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after. In addition to providing new and descriptive details about the nature, origin and extent of payments from Burisma Holdings to Hunter Biden, the documents acquired by the Committees also shed light on a much broader array of questionable financial transactions involving Hunter Biden, other members of the Biden family, and their associations with foreign nationals.
KEY FINDING 10: "[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."
On April 22, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia's actions in Crimea. The same day, Novatus Holding PTE. LTD. (Novatus Holding), a private holding company in Singapore, used a Latvian bank to wire $142,300 to Archer's company, Rosemont Seneca Bohai. The currency transaction report states, “For Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, … For a Car."
According to the committees, the payment raises "serious questions" — especially considering that Archer's Rosemont Seneca Bohai "does not deal in vehicles."
KEY FINDING 11: "Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow."
Baturina is a Russian businesswoman and the country's only female billionaire. Her riches came when her husband, the late Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, orchestrated a number of municipal contracts with her company. Luzhkov was fired in 2010 by then-President Medvedev over corruption allegations, the report says.
Baturina wired $3.5 million to Hunter Biden's investment firm for a "consulting agreement," the committee states.
KEY FINDINGS 12 & 13: "Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with [Vice President Biden's brother] James Biden and [James Biden's wife] Sara Biden." "Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People's Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow."
According to the committees, Hunter, James, and Sara Biden were authorized users of credit cards connected to an account set up by Hunter and a Chinese national named Gongwen Dong. The cards were used to purchase $101,291 worth of "extravagant items" from airline tickets to items from Apple stores, pharmacies, hotels, and restaurants.
The report also reveals:
Hunter Biden and Devon Archer engaged in numerous financial transactions with Chinese nationals who had deep connections to the Communist Chinese government. These Chinese nationals included Ye Jianming, founder of CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd (CEFC) and chairman of the board for its subsidiary, the China Energy Fund Committee (CE Fund). They also included Gongwen Dong, who was Ye Jianming's associate and reportedly executed transactions for his companies. Ye's connections to the Communist government are extensive and ... he has been previous affiliations with the People's Liberation Army. Based on the information received by the Committees, Ye was also financially connected to Vice President Biden's brother, James Biden. Thus, there exists a vast web of corporate connections and financial transactions between and among the Biden family and Chinese nationals.
KEY FINDING 14: "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.'"
The committee reports contains a very disturbing footnote about Hunter Biden's payments to women connected to prostitution.
Biden is already known to have had issues before with his relationships with women. The committees' investigation uncovered something that is potentially even uglier:
There is extensive public reporting concerning Hunter Biden's alleged involvement with prostitution services. Records on file with the Committees do not directly confirm or refute these individual reports. However, they do confirm that Hunter Biden sent thousands of dollars to individuals who have either: 1) been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; 2) an association with the adult entertainment industry; or 3) potential association with prostitution. Some recipients of those funds are Ukrainian and Russian citizens. The records note that it is a documented fact that Hunter Biden has sent funds to nonresident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine. The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what "appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring."
This story has been updated.
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