According to documents on the laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware, Hunter introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to an executive at the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas firm Burisma at a dinner in Washington, D.C. Burisma was paying Hunter Biden $83,333 per month to sit on the firm’s board. Hunter’s Russian and Kazakh business partners also attended the dinner.
Hunter Biden invited guests to the dinner on April 16, 2015, held in the private “Garden Room” at Café Milano, a Georgetown restaurant whose catchphrase is, “Where the world’s most powerful people go.” The New York Post first reported on the emails on Wednesday.
The next day, Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Burisma, emailed Hunter Biden to thank him for introducing his father.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your fatherand spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskyi wrote on April 17, 2015. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
Hunter Biden also invited Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, corrupt former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, to the dinner. On February 14, 2014, Baturina had wired $3.5 million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC, a Delaware-based investment firm that Hunter had co-founded with Devon Archer, a former adviser to then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
The U.S. Treasury flagged the wire transfer in suspicious activity reports it provided to a Senate Republican probe into Hunter Biden.
Before the dinner, Hunter Biden told guests that his father would attend. In one email, he appeared to use his role on the board of World Food Program USA (the United Nation’s food assistance branch) as a cover story for the evening’s true purpose — introducing his father to his business partners.
“Ok – the reason for the dinner is ostensibly to discuss food security,” Hunter Biden wrote on March 26 to Michael Karloutsos, son of the then-head of the Greek Orthodox Church. “Dad will be there but keep that between us for now. Thanks.”
Karloutsos replied, “Everything is between us. All good! … I know you mentioned your dad would probably join the dinner as well.”
Hunter Biden also invited three officials from Kazakhstan, including Marc Holtzman, then the chairman of Kazakhstan’s largest bank, Kazkommertsbank. A Mexican ambassador and representatives of World Food Program USA appeared on the list, which Hunter Biden emailed to Archer three weeks before the dinner. The New York Post published the full list:
3 seats for our KZ [Kazakhstan] friends.
2 seats for Yelana and husband
2 [seats for] you and me.
3 seats for WFPUSA people
3 Ambassadors (MX, ?, ?)
It remains unclear whether everyone on Hunter’s list attended the meeting. Archer notified Hunter Biden that Baturina did not want to come, but he said her husband would attend. Archer concluded his email with this message: “Obviously save a seat for your guy (and mine if he’s in town).” The Post suggested Archer’s “guy” would likely have been Kerry, although the identity remains unclear.
Rick Leach, founder of the U.S. branch of the World Food Program, sent Hunter Biden an email after the dinner, saying, “What a fantastic and
productive evening — thank you!”
Kazakh banker Holtzman also emailed the VP’s son. “Deer [sic] Hunter, Thank you for an amazing evening, wonderful company and great conversation. I look forward to seeing you soon and to many opportunities to work closely together.”
The emails the Post surveyed did not identify the other two Kazakhs on Hunter Biden’s guest list. However, on the morning of the dinner, Archer had been invited to a “small private breakfast” with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov. The following year, Hunter Biden would describe Massimov in an email as a “close friend.”
Hunter Biden had business dealings in Kazakhstan with an associate of Massimov, oligarch Kenes Rakishev. His correspondence with Rakishev appears on the laptop. Rakishev’s company Novatus wired $142,300 to Archer’s firm, Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, on April 22, 2014, according to the Republican Senate report. The wire included a note claiming the money was “for a car.”
Massimov and Rakishev appear in an unverified photograph with Joe and Hunter Biden, which a Kazakh anti-corruption website posted in 2019.
The dinner raises serious questions about Joe Biden’s claim that he did not know about his son’s lucrative business deals. Hunter appears to have cashed in on his father’s influence, making deals in countries where then-President Barack Obama had designated his VP the point person. Tony Bobulinski, a former associate of Hunter’s, claimed that Joe Biden was personally involved in some of the China deals.
Joe Biden created a media firestorm by claiming that he leveraged $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine to force Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin. The fact that Shokin had an open investigation into Burisma led many to conclude that Biden was attempting to defend his son’s corrupt firm. Yet Biden’s story appears to have been a fabrication. Biden claimed that Shokin got fired the day Biden threatened to pull the $1 billion — yet Biden ostensibly made the threat while in Ukraine in December 2015 and the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016.
The emails revealing the meeting had been stored on a water-damaged laptop computer that Hunter Biden reportedly dropped off at the Wilmington, Del., repair shop of John Paul MacIsaac in April 2019. MacIsaac provided a hard drive containing the contents of the laptop to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, and Giuliani gave the Post a copy of the hard drive in October 2020, leading to explosive stories about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. The FBI seized the laptop in December 2019, apparently as part of a probe that Hunter Biden characterized as an investigation into his “tax affairs.”
Hunter Biden has acknowledged the laptop could “certainly” belong to him, but he insisted, “I really don’t know.” The White House has not yet commented on the news of the dinner.