Did Biden Save This Ukraine Firm Responsible for $1.8B in Missing Aid? His Son is on the Board...
In the last days of the Obama administration, Vice President Joe Biden took a "swan song" trip to Ukraine, a notoriously corrupt country where he had been the administration's "point person." On the eve of this trip, the country announced it would end a criminal investigation into a company connected to the loss of $1.8 billion in aid funding — a company whose board of directors included Biden's son Hunter.
The Biden family's dealings with this Ukrainian company involved getting one of the country's most notorious mob bankers, Ihor Kolomoisky, off the U.S. government visa ban list. Under Biden's leadership, $3 billion in aid went to Ukraine, and his son's company was implicated in the disappearance of $1.8 billion of that money.
Peter Schweizer reveals the former vice president's role in his new book "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends." The scandal drops with Biden reportedly mulling a 2020 presidential run.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. support for Ukraine's nationalist government in March 2014, a month after a mass uprising pushed pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych out of office and inspired a corresponding pro-Russian uprising in the east. Biden became the Obama administration's "point person" for the country.
On April 16, 2014, Biden met with Devon Archer, a former star fundraiser for John Kerry's 2004 presidential run and business partner in Rosemont Capital with Biden's son Hunter. (Federal agents would later arrest Archer in May 2016 for defrauding a Native American tribe.)
Less than a week later (April 22) came an announcement that Archer had joined the board of Burisma, a secretive Ukrainian natural gas company. On May 13, Hunter Biden would also join the company's board.
On the day before Archer's hiring, April 21, the vice president landed in Kiev for high-level meetings with Ukrainian officials. He spearheaded the effort to invest $1 billion from the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into Ukraine.
The vice president's presence helps explain a conundrum. Burisma hired his son and Archer despite the fact that neither of them had any experience in the energy sector. Schweizer notes, "The choice of Hunter Biden to handle transparency and corporate governance of Burisma is curious, because Biden had little if any experience in Ukrainian law, or professional legal counsel, period."
Furthermore, Hunter Biden "seemed undeterred by the fact that as he was joining the Burisma board the British government's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was seizing $23 million from [founder Mykola] Zlochevsky's bank accounts." Furthermore, a year after Biden joined the firm, "experienced industry observers warned investors that Burisma was still a company to be avoided."