Biden’s office warned in 2015 Ukrainian oligarch who hired Hunter was deemed corrupt

Biden’s office warned in 2015 Ukrainian oligarch who hired Hunter was deemed corrupt

Newly released memo shows U.S diplomat revealed DOJ assisted earlier effort to pursue Burisma Holdings chief.

By John Solomon

Vice President Joe Biden’s office was warned in 2015 that the Obama State Department believed the Ukrainian gas oligarch whose firm hired Hunter Biden was corrupt and that some of the evidence supporting that conclusion had been gathered by the U.S. Justice Department, newly released diplomatic memos show.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by STEPAN FRANKO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10426053c) (FILE) - Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, attends a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, 19 March 2012 (reissued 27 September 2019). An impeachment inquiry against US President Donald J. Trump has been initiated following a whistleblower complaint over Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The whistleblower alleges that the President had demanded Ukrainian investigations into US Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's involvement in the Burisma Holdings company. Mykola Zlochevsky, Kiev, Ukraine - 19 Mar 2012© Stepan Franko/EPA

Then-U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in Kiev alerted Biden’s top advisers to the concerns about Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky (Pictured above) shortly before the vice president visited with Ukrainian officials in December 2015.

“I assume all have the DoJ background on Zlochevsky,” Pyatt wrote in an email to top Biden advisers in the White House. “The short unclas version (in non lawyer language) is that US and UK were cooperating on a case to seize his corrupt assets overseas (which had passed through the US).”

Pyatt added that the asset forfeiture case “fell apart” when individuals in the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office “acted to thwart the UK case.”

The memos were released last week by Senate committees investigating Hunter Biden’s global business dealings.

By the time Pyatt had written the email, one of his deputies in the Kiev embassy, George Kent, had already alerted the FBI that State officials believed Ukrainian prosecutors had been paid a $7 million bribe to thwart the asset forfeiture case. Kent recounted his efforts in an email to a fellow ambassador a year later.

Former U.S. ambassador Marie YovanovitchPhoto: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A year later, Pyatt’s successor as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch (pictured above), wrote her superiors in Washington that the American embassy believed Burisma had paid another bribe in the form of cheap gas to get Ukrainian prosecutors to drop remaining cases against the gas firm.

Pyatt’s email, dated Dec. 6, 2015, was sent to Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s then-communications chief, Michael Carpenter, one of his security advisers, and Amos Hochstein, the vice president’s energy adviser for the region.

Bedingfield was appointed recently by Biden to serve as White House communications chief if he assumes the presidency on Jan. 20.

Pyatt’s communication provides the clearest picture to date of what Biden’s inner circle knew — and what the vice president should have known — about U.S. officials’ concerns about Burisma and Zlochevsky and the heartburn they felt about Hunter Biden’s position with the firm.

It also is one of the first government documents to discuss that the U.S. Justice Department had played a role in the 2014 asset forfeiture brought against Zlochevsky in the United Kingdom right around the time Hunter Biden was hired on Burisma’s board.

Multiple State officials have testified to the Senate recently that they believed Hunter Biden’s hiring as a Burisma board member around the same time Joe Biden took over U.S.-Ukraine policy created an awkward appearance of a conflict of interest that undercut U.S. efforts to fight corruption in the former Soviet republic.

Pyatt had previously given a speech in Odessa in September 2015 in which he personally called out Ukrainian prosecutors for thwarting the U.K asset forfeiture case against Zlochesvky.

His December 2015 email was in response to talking points Biden’s staff in Washington had created in which they suggested the vice president avoid talking about Hunter Biden’s board position or singling out Zlochevsky as an example of Ukrainian corruption.

“Have you asked Hunter to step down from the board? Has he discussed that with you?” the talking points anticipated being asked.

“I’m not going to discuss private conversations with my family. Hunter is a private citizen and does independent work,” the memo recommended the vice president answer.

If pressed by a question asking whether Joe Biden thought “Zlochevsky is corrupt,” the talking points suggested the vice president respond, “I’m not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals.”

Just a few days after Pyatt’s email was sent, a New York Times article surfaced alleging that Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma while it remained under corruption investigation in Ukraine was potentially undercutting U.S. anti-corruption policy.

Separately, a Russian-backed media outlet in Ukraine had written an even more scathing expose on what it called the “Ukrainian scam of the Biden family.” That article sent State officials scrambling to develop messaging for the U.S. government.

411154-thumb-largeCredit/InTime News

Pyatt (pictured above) was recently deposed by investigators for the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee about the Ukraine controversy. Though his staff had reported an alleged Burisma bribe and believed the Bidens’ conduct in Ukraine created an apparent conflict, Pyatt said he never felt compelled to raise such concerns with the vice president.

“So you never gave thought of raising a concern to the Vice President about this board position his son had?” a Senate investigator asked Pyatt during the deposition back in September.

“No,” the ambassador answered. “He’s the Vice President of the United States, and it would have been wildly out of place for me to raise something like that, especially insofar as it had zero impact on the work that I was doing.”

While Pyatt claimed the concerns about the Bidens had no impact on his work, it did for some of his top staff.

Kent testified how in 2016 he had to block an effort by Burisma to try to participate in a USAID clean energy project in Ukraine because of the corruption concerns. His memos also show he twice reported that Burisma was suspected of paying bribes and that the Bidens’ dealings made things awkward for the professional diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Kiev.


The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)


Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.


Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.


Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.