Hunter Biden eased deal for Democratic consultants now under federal investigation
Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop show he was instrumental in setting up a consultancy deal between a Ukrainian energy company and two Democratic consultants under investigation for violation of foreign lobbying laws.
Biden and his colleagues at private equity firm Rosemont Seneca helped Burisma Holdings hire Blue Star Strategies, a company owned by former Clinton administration officials Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano. Biden’s emails show he played a bigger role than anyone else in organizing Blue Star’s consultancy work for Burisma. Neither Biden nor the founders of Blue Star have registered their work under the Lobbying Disclosure Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Biden’s work as a go-between could also explain why federal prosecutors have started looking at Blue Star’s work for Burisma. Republicans have scrutinized Biden on his work for the company, one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas producers, as well as with various Chinese companies. Federal prosecutors are also investigating Biden in his tax affairs and overseas business dealings.
Politics reported that Delaware federal prosecutors investigating Biden’s taxes have begun investigating whether Blue Star violated foreign agent laws by failing to disclose his work for Burisma. Biden and Blue Star executives met with U.S. government officials to defend Burisma, congressional testimony said. Biden also met Painter in November 2015 to discuss his potential work for Burisma.
Burisma appointed Biden and his partner, Devon Archer, to serve on its board of directors in May 2014. As members of the board of directors, the couple were responsible for finding investment projects for Burisma in the United States. and in Europe and to strengthen the company’s reputation. Biden and Archer received over $ 80,000 per month to serve on the board of directors.
Burisma hired Blue Star in late 2015 to try to kill corruption investigations into Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky, a former minister of ecology and natural resources. Zlochevsky was under investigation in the UK for allegedly paying bribes to secure drilling contracts in Ukraine.
Vadym Pozharskyi, director of Burisma sent by email Biden and his partners on November 2, 2015, with a list of “deliverables” he hoped Blue Star could provide to the Ukrainian company. Pozharsky has said he wants Blue Star to arrange for U.S. officials to express support for Zlochevsky. He said the “ultimate goal” of the initiative was to close cases against Zlochevsky in Ukraine.
Biden responded on November 5, 2015, telling Pozharskyi that he was confident Painter and Tramontano would complete the project and that Burisma would have to sign a contract with Blue Star.
“You should go ahead and sign. Can’t wait to get started on this, ”wrote Biden, who served with Painter on the Board of Truman National Security Project, a leading national security think tank.
Biden and one of his Rosemont Seneca partners, a former Clinton administration official named Eric Schwerin, spoke to Painter on November 11, 2015. Schwerin advised Pozharskyi in an email to execute the deal with Blue Star. He said he and Biden were planning to meet with Painter the following week to discuss meetings she had already had on behalf of Burisma.
Pozharskyi asked the Biden consortium on November 18, 2015 to forward a consulting contract to Blue Star so that the company could sign it. He said a $ 60,000 deposit would be transferred to Blue Star the same day. On November 23, 2015, a Blue Star associate emailed Biden, Painter and Pozharskyi to set up a conference call to discuss the “action plan” for Burisma.