Hunter Biden and others at Burisma Holdings had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department in 2016, “including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son’s company for corruption,” according to a bombshell new report from John Solomon.
We already knew that Hunter Biden was getting paid about $83,000 a month to sit on the board of Burisma Holdings despite having no experience qualifying him for the position or high pay. According to several sources connected with the company, Hunter Biden was regarded as “a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name” to protect the company during a time that it was facing multiple investigations.
Memos obtained by Solomon via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that three weeks after Ukrainian officials raided the home of Burisma’s owner who employed Hunter Biden, a U.S. representative for Burisma “sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against” the company. Hunter Biden was specifically mentioned in a February 2016 email between two State Department employees as a reason the Obama State Department should help quash the investigation.
Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption. She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member). Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt. According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered. Would appreciate any background you may be able to provide on this issue and suggested TPs for U/S Novelli’s meeting.
Novelli was the most senior official overseeing international energy issues for the State Department. Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies and an alumnus of the Clinton administration. Emails show a meeting between Tramontano and Novelli was to take place on March 1, 2016, but there are records that indicate whether or not the meeting took place.
However, Devon Archer, who sat on the board of Burisma, met with Secretary of State John Kerry on March 2, 2016. “Devon Archer coming to see [Secrtary of State] today at 3pm – need someone to meet/greet him at C Street,” reads an email from Kerry’s office manager.
On May 22, 2015, Hunter Biden set up a meeting with his father’s longtime trusted aide and Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken. That meeting occurred on May 27, 2015, and State Department records show that they met again for lunch on July 22, 2015. It’s not known what they discussed.
According to Solomon, “The new evidence of contacts between Burisma, Hunter Biden and Archer at State are certain to add a new layer of intrigue to the debate” over the appearance of a conflict of interest for Joe Biden. Joe Biden has repeatedly claimed that he never discussed his son’s business dealings, but these claims were previously undermined by the release of a photo showing the two Bidens playing golf with Devon Archer, and by Hunter Biden himself, who told The New Yorker back in July that they had discussed it at least once.
It’s clear that representatives of Burisma, including Hunter Biden, had multiple contacts inside the State Department, including Secretary of State John Kerry, while they were trying to quash multiple investigations into their company. Joe Biden would later brag about how he pressured Ukrainian officials to fire the nation’s top prosecutor. Are Burisma’s contacts with the State Department related to Joe Biden’s actions? There’s no doubt that this requires an investigation.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis