Guest post by Larry C. Johnson
Have you seen this headline? “Progeny of Senior US politician uses dad’s influence to garner millions of dollars and supports sex trafficking of Eastern European women.” Yeah, me neither. Virtual crickets. If this story were about the misdeeds of Eric or Don Trump Jr., the media would be on fire with outrage. And justifiably so. We would watch old timers like Wolf Blitzer run in concentric circles with his hair on fire while furiously decrying the corruption. But this has nothing to do with the Trumps. It is all about Hunter Biden. The evidence is clear and damning. Instead of reporting, the media is channeling Helen Keller–they are deaf, dumb and blind. They see nothing. They hear nothing. They say nothing.
The facts presented this week in a report on Hunter Biden, Burisma and the Ukraine by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs require no assumptions on the part of the reader. The report details multiple nefarious deals that Hunter Biden made while his dad, aka Sleepy Joe, was Vice President. These are more than basic quid pro quo deals. They represent a level of corruption not seen since the days of Warren G. Harding. Being Joe’s son was a profitable deal for Hunter.
On May 14, 2014, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian Holding Company focused on the energy sector. The founder of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, is described by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev as a corrupt, “odious oligarch”. George Kent, the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, complained to Vice President Joe Biden’s office in early 2015 about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board.
Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board (supposedly consulting on corporate governance and transparency) when Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to “shut the case against Zlochevsky.”
Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal was widely known among senior members of the Obama Administration. Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, made news in late 2019 when he denied ’ having any knowledge about Hunter Biden or Burisma. NBC reporter Amanda Golden asked former Secretary of State John Kerry on December 8, 2019 if he was aware that Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board during his time as Secretary of State. Kerry responded:
“I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No. What would I know about any no. Why would I know about any company or any individual No. The answer is no. No communication. No nothing.”
But Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, had made sure that step-dad Kerry was alerted to the fact that Hunter Biden had signed on with Burisma. Kerry’s Chief of Staff, David Wade, testified to the Senate Committees that Kerry knew on May 14, 2014:
Question: What was Secretary Kerry s reaction to you informing him of these news inquiries about Mr. Heinz and the additional information regarding Mr. Archer’s [ Mr. Hunter Biden’s connection and involvement with Burisma?
Wade: He knew nothing about it.
Question: So he learned about this information from you?
Wade: I believe so, yeah.
Question: And when you told him that the information that you were able to confirm with Mr. Heinz that Rosemont Seneca had not invested or bought Burisma, what was Mr. Kerry’s reaction to that?
Wade: If I recall, his reaction was that he was comfortable answering a press question if he got it.
Besides being briefed by his Chief of Staff, John Kerry also received an email from Senior Advisor David Thorne with a slew of relevant news clippings about Hunter’s cushy new job:
Hunter’s shady dealings with Burisma are only the tip of an iceberg of improper, unethical and even illegal dealings that marked his father’s tenure as Vice President. According to the Johnson/Grassley report, U.S. taxpayers funded Hunter Biden junkets to 28 foreign locations in 103 days, complete with Secret Service protection. These included:
Moscow, Beijing, Doha, Paris, Seoul, Manila, Tokyo, Mexico City, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Geneva, London, Dublin, Munich, Berlin, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Brussels, Madrid, Mumbai and Lake Como.
2014 was a profitable, busy year for Hunter. Besides raking in cash to the tune of $50,000 a month from Burisma, he also climbed figuratively into bed with a Russian oligarch closely tied to Vladimir Putin–Elena Baturina. Baturina is the former wife of the late Yuri Luzhkov, who was the mayor of Moscow and was fired in 2010 by then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations. In February of 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to a company Hunter co-owned with the step-son of John Kerry and a Mr. Devon Archer. The money was sent to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC bank account for a “Consultancy Agreement DD12.02.2014.” It would appear that Hunter Biden happily colluded with a Russian oligarch as long as the money was right.
Hunter Biden’s association with shady people involved in human trafficking and prostitution are particularly troubling. According to the Senate report:
There is extensive public reporting concerning Hunter Biden’s alleged involvement with prostitution services. Records on file with the Committees do not directly confirm or refute these individual reports. However, they do confirm that Hunter Biden sent thousands of dollars to individuals who have either: 1) been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; 2) an association with the adult entertainment industry; or 3) potential association with prostitution. Some recipients of those funds are Ukrainian and Russian citizens. The records note that it is a documented fact that Hunter Biden has sent funds to non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine. The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what “appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
The report from Senators Johnson and Grassley is just a beginning. Lots of issues left hanging. For example, the allegations concerning Hunter’s involvement with human trafficking only appear as a footnote. The evidence and further presentation of evidence is warranted. Another unaddressed concern is how former Cofer Black, a former senior CIA official and former Coordinator for Counter Terrorism at State wound up on the board of Burisma. Why would Cofer allow himself to serve under someone with such a terrible reputation as Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma? And Cofer is linked directly to Senator Mitt Romney. This Burisma issue does not only touch Democrats, it involves bipartisan seaminess.