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Hunter Biden wanted ‘credit’ with Burisma for Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine as part of his ‘advice and thinking’

Hunter Biden
Joe and Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden wanted to show his value to Ukrainian energy company Burisma by taking credit for influencing his father Joe Biden who was then-vice president of the United States, to travel to Ukraine and deliver a message.

According to emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee, Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer “pitched then-Vice President Joe Biden’s official April 2014 visit to Ukraine — and the contents of a speech he delivered while there — as evidence of their influence and value to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma” writes National Review.

An email that Hunter sent to Archer weeks ahead of his vice president father’s Ukraine trip sheds light on the opportunity Hunter had identified: In the email, Hunter forecasts how instability in the region could affect energy markets and predicts an opportunity for Burisma to build political goodwill by stepping up to offset the energy shortage caused by hostilities with Russia. Hunter also told Archer they should characterize Joe Biden’s trip as the direct result of their influence in order to impress Burisma. Just days after the email exchanges, both Archer and Hunter began getting paid $83k per month by Burisma as “board members.”

“The announcement of my guy’s upcoming travels should be characterized as part of our advice and thinking — but what he will say and do is out of our hands,” the younger Biden wrote to Archer, referring to his father. “In other words, it could be a really good thing or it could end up creating too great an expectation. We need to temper expectations regarding that visit.”

National Review details the timeline of how everything went exactly according to Hunter’s plan:

Burisma needed all the goodwill it could muster. Its founder Mykola “Nikolai” Zlochevsky had been identified as one of the many faces of Ukrainian corruption by the Obama State Department, his assets in London were days away from being seized by the U.K. government, and he was on his way to being officially investigated by Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin.

In addition to urging domestic-energy independence, Biden told Ukrainian lawmakers during his speech in Kyiv that they needed to crack down on endemic political corruption in their country if they wanted to rely on U.S. support in the fight against Russian aggression.

“To be very blunt about it . . . you have to fight the cancer of corruption,” he said.
At the time Biden delivered his speech, Hunter was working with his Burisma colleagues to ensure that Ukrainian efforts to root out the “cancer of corruption” did not touch Zlochevsky. Less than a month after Biden’s Kyiv speech, on May 14, Hunter was appointed to the Burisma board, joining Archer. That very day Pojarskii, the Burisma CFO, sent an email to the pair requesting assistance with the “urgent issue” of Zlochevsky’s legal troubles.

“We urgently need your advice on how you could use your influence to convey a message / signal, etc .to stop what we consider to be politically motivated actions,” Pojarskii wrote.

As Zlochevsky’s legal troubles mounted, Burisma executives became concerned that the perception of corruption would prevent the company from cashing in on a U.S. IPO. When the concern was raised in a meeting, Zlochevsky, the Burisma CEO, replied something to the effect of, “Don’t worry Hunter will take care of all of those Issues through his dad,” a businessman who attended the meeting told the FBI, according to a record of the FBI’s interview with the informant released by Senator Chuck Grassley.

During his next trip to Ukraine, in late-2015, then-Vice President Biden threatened then-Ukrainian president Poroshenko that the Obama administration would withhold $1 billion in congressionally approved U.S. funding unless Kyiv fired Shokin. Biden later bragged about the threat in a 2018 interview at the Council on Foreign Relations.