Two days before Burisma bigwigs pulled Hunter Biden aside to call his father, the Ukrainian energy executives received a memorandum detailing the U.S.’s plan to push Ukraine to implement recently passed anti-corruption reforms during then-Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Kyiv the following week.
This Dec. 2, 2015, memorandum, which the House Ways and Means Committee released earlier this week, renews questions about Hunter Biden’s phone call to his father just days before the vice president demanded Ukraine fire its top prosecutor. It also raises new concerns about whether the Obama-Biden administration provided special access to Hunter Biden-connected companies.
In advance of Thursday’s first impeachment inquiry hearing, the House Ways and Means Committee released a trove of documents incriminating Joe Biden in his family’s pay-to-play scheme. Of particular significance, when read together with other details related to the Ukrainian scandal, is the aforementioned memorandum Blue Star Strategies penned to Burisma Holdings, Ltd., regarding “U.S. Vice President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine Next Week.”
Hunter Biden had “help[ed] set Burisma up with … Blue Star Group,” which lobbied for the Ukrainian energy giant, according to Hunter’s former business partner Devon Archer. The recently released Dec. 2, 2015, memo raises the further question of whether Hunter Biden also helped Blue Star “set up with” members of the Obama-Biden administration.
“We participated in a conference call today with senior Obama Administration officials ahead of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine next week,” the memorandum opened. “We have prepared these minutes for your information,” it continued, before providing a summary of the conference call.
But why was Blue Star Strategies participating in a conference call with senior Obama administration officials? That conference call was set up as a press briefing on background. Typically, such calls are limited to select media outlets, raising the question of how Blue Star Strategies received an invitation to dial in.
Also troubling is the fact that the teleconference began with the admonition that “this call is on background, attributable to senior administration officials.” Yet Blue Star Strategies apparently ignored that directive, disclosing to Burisma that “Michael Carpenter, Vice President Biden’s Special Advisor for Europe and Russia, and Dr. Colin Kahl, the Vice President’s National Security Advisor, presented the agenda for the trip and answered questions about current U.S. policy toward Ukraine.”
The memorandum then provided a detailed summary of the briefing, highlighting, among other things, Kahl’s response to “questions about Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts and reforms of the Prosecutor General’s Office.”
“Dr. Kahl said that Mr. Biden will reiterate the message that Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, has been saying: more needs to be done to enable anti-corruption reforms and not have the Prosecutor General’s Office stand in the way of those efforts,” the memorandum explained. “During his trip, Mr. Biden will stress that it is not enough to set up a separate, special prosecutor for anti-corruption within the Prosecutor General’s Office, which has already been done. Rather, the entire institution needs serious reforms to overhaul its corrupt practices.”
Two days after receiving this memorandum from Blue Star Strategies, Burisma executives Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym Pozharskyi allegedly pushed Hunter Biden to call his father, the then-vice president of the United States of America. According to Archer, following Burisma’s Dec. 4, 2015, board meeting, Zlochevsky and Pozharskyi expressed concern over the pressure they were facing from Ukrainian investigators, and they sought an assist from Hunter, who then stepped away with the Burisma executives to call D.C. on their behalf.
The following week, during his trip to Ukraine, Vice President Biden threatened to withhold U.S. loan guarantees from the country unless the Ukrainian president fired the prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was later fired, with Biden bragging about his role in the axing.
Notwithstanding the close nexus between Hunter Biden’s reported call to the Big Guy on behalf of Burisma, Biden and his apologists claim the then-VP demanded Shokin’s firing because Shokin was not investigating Burisma and because it was U.S. policy to push Ukraine to take a tougher stance against corruption.
Of course, if Shokin were not investigating Burisma, it is hard to understand why Zlochevsky and Pozharskyi were complaining to Hunter and Archer about all of the pressure coming from the prosecutor’s office. And even if Shokin were not investigating Burisma and the U.S. wanted him fired for that reason, so what? That merely means the Biden family conned the Burisma executives out of millions for doing nothing extra.
But the Dec. 2, 2015, memorandum also raises an entirely different fallacy underlying the Democrats’ excuse that Shokin’s firing was unrelated to Hunter Biden’s work: That memorandum made clear the vice president would soon be discussing with Ukraine’s president the country’s need to implement anti-corruption efforts and further reforms. And Burisma had every interest in ensuring then-VP Joe Biden remembered when he traveled to Kyiv the following week that Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s payroll for a reason — to safeguard Burisma.
Hunter’s Dec. 4, 2015, call to his father served that purpose, even if the Big Guy only inquired about the weather.