House Republicans are noting apparent “collusion” between Hunter Biden’s business allies and then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office regarding the handling of messaging about Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, and citing a key date for evidence.
Records obtained by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee show that on Dec. 4, 2015, a Biden family business associate suggested talking points to the vice president’s office about Burisma. That same day, Hunter Biden “called D.C.” [an allusion to his father] to discuss the growing corruption investigation into the Ukrainian firm, according to testimony from a separate business partner.
House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., wrote Archivist of the United States Colleen Shogan on Wednesday to request records of communications between Biden’s vice presidential office and Hunter Biden or his business associates.
“There is evidence of collusion in the efforts to spin media stories about Burisma’s corruption while Vice President Biden was publicly pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine,” Comer said in a public statement. “Suspiciously, Hunter Biden’s associate had a media statement on Burisma approved by Vice President Biden himself the same day Hunter Biden ‘called D.C.’ for help with the government pressure facing Burisma.”
On Dec. 14, 2015, Biden family business associate Eric Schwerin wrote to then-Biden aide Kate Bedingfield in the Office of the Vice President at the White House. Schwerin suggested talking points the White House should use if reporters asked about Hunter Biden’s board membership at Burisma.
Later that day, Bedingfield responded to Schwerin by email saying, “VP signed off on this.”
Separately, former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer testified to the committee that on that same day, after a Burisma board of directors meeting in Dubai, the younger Biden “called D.C.” to discuss pressure that Burisma asked him to relieve.
In a 2018 speech, then-former Vice President Joe Biden boasted that he had threatened Ukrainian officials with withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid if they did not fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Burisma at the time. Biden alleged the prosecutor was corrupt and has said the leveraging of U.S. aid had nothing to do with his son or Burisma.
As a candidate for president in August 2019, Biden said: “First of all, I have never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their businesses, period. What I will do is the same thing we did in our [Obama-Biden] administration. There will be an absolute wall between the personal and private and the government.”
Comer says that’s clearly not the case.
“Joe Biden never built an ‘absolute wall’ between his family’s business dealings and his official government work—his office doors were wide open to Hunter Biden’s associates,” Comer said.
The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries for this story.
Specifically, Comer’s letter asks the National Archives and Records Administration to provide:
- The “complete and unredacted versions of all documents from records on Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their foreign business dealings.”
- “Communications to or from the Executive Office of the President (including but not limited to the Office of the Vice President) to, from, copying or regarding Eric Schwerin, Devon Archer, Vuk Jeremic, John Robinson ‘Rob’ Walker, or Jeffrey Cooper.”
- “Communications to or from then-Vice President Biden’s aides Bedingfield, Michael Carpenter, Kathy Chung, Amos Hochstein, Colin Kahl, and Alexander Mackler to, from, copying or regarding Hunter Biden or James Biden.”
- “Executive calendars created for then-Vice President Joe Biden dating from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017.”
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