Newly released diplomatic memos show Vice President Joe Biden’s office was warned in 2015 that the Obama State Department believed the Ukrainian oligarch who hired his son Hunter was corrupt.
Just the News reported Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, warned Biden’s advisers of Mikola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma Holdings.
The advisory came shortly before Joe Biden was to visit Ukrainian officials.
“I assume all have the DoJ background on Zlochevsky,” said an email from Pyatt. “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).”
Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board shortly after President Obama put Joe Biden in charge of Ukraine policy. The younger Biden received $83,000 a month, a total of about $3.1 million, for his service in an industry in which he had no experience.
The diplomitic emails indicated the asset forfeiture wasn’t completed because individuals in the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office “acted to thwart the UK case.”
Just the News said that 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.”
A year later, Pyatt’s successor, Marie Yovanovitch, told Washington the U.S. Embassy believed Burisma paid another bribe to get Ukrainian prosecutors to drop remaining cases against the company.
Pyatt’s message went to Kate Bedingfield, who then was Biden’s communications chief. She has been chosen as the White House communications chief if Biden assumes the presidency 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,” the report explained.
Pyatt has said he didn’t raise the concerns directly with Joe Biden.
Yovanovitch and Kent have testified to the Senate that Burisma’s hiring of Hunter Biden’s created an apparent conflict of interest that undermined U.S. efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine.
A Russian-backed media outlet in Ukraine wrote an expose it called “Ukrainian scam of the Biden family” that sent State officials scrambling, Just the News said.
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