VP Biden Briefed on Burisma and Zlochevsky in 2015
By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
JTN: Vice President Joe Biden’s office was warned in 2015 that the Obama State Department believed the Ukrainian gas oligarch whose firm hired Hunter Biden was corrupt and that some of the evidence supporting that conclusion had been gathered by the U.S. Justice Department, newly released diplomatic memos show.
Then-U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in Kiev alerted Biden’s top advisers to the concerns about Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky shortly before the vice president visited with Ukrainian officials in December 2015.
“I assume all have the DoJ background on Zlochevsky,” Pyatt wrote in an email to top Biden advisers in the White House. “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).”
Pyatt added that the asset forfeiture case “fell apart” when individuals in the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office “acted to thwart the UK case.”
The memos were released last week by Senate committees investigating Hunter Biden’s global business dealings.
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 as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, wrote her superiors in Washington that the American embassy believed Burisma had paid another bribe in the form of cheap gas to get Ukrainian prosecutors to drop remaining cases against the gas firm.
In 2014, Britain’s Prime Minister and the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder know more than they are telling with regard to Ukraine, Biden and Burisma.
On April 16, 2014, Vice President Biden met with his son's business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. That is kind of a big deal-- anybody meeting with the Vice President at the White House. Hunter Biden's business partner got to do that. Five days later, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine. The media described him as the public face of the administration's handling of Ukraine. The next day, April 22, Archer joined the board of Burisma. Again, Burisma is this company that is owned by what George Kent from the State Department called an ``odious oligarch,'' Mykola Zlochevsky. It is hard to say Ukrainian names
Six days later, after Archer joined the board, British officials seized $23 million from the London bank accounts of Burisma's owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Fifteen days later, on May 13, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma. And over the course of the next, approximately, 4 to 5 years, Hunter and his firms were paid more than $3 million for his and Archer's board participation. Again, Ukraine had just gone through a revolution. Their leadership was desperate for U.S. support. We all have to believe that Mr. Zlochevsky, an odious oligarch, would have made those Ukrainian officials well aware of the fact that the son of the Vice President of the United States, the public face of the administration's handling of Ukraine, was sitting on his board. So what kind of signal did that send to Ukrainians who were trying to stand up and were being pressured by U.S. officials to rid their country of corruption? It basically said: If you want U.S. support, don't touch Burisma The fact is, when all was said and done, Burisma and Mykola Zlochevsky were never held to account. The investigation, the prosecution of him was ceased. It never occurred. In terms of Russian disinformation, these false charges, these wild claims against me and Senator Grassley--I was way ahead of the curve when it came to Russian disinformation. Back in 2015, as chairman of the European Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I held three hearings focusing on what Russia does to destabilize the politics in countries--an attempted coup in Montenegro and other places in Eastern Europe. So I am well aware of what Russia is doing--well aware. I don't condone it. I condemn it. I am not having any part of pushing it
``Hi Andrii! I'm doing ok. Yes, definitely got some rest over the weekend. How about you?'' Zentos wrote April 4, 2016 to Telizhenko from her official White House email account. ``Survive the visit ok? Also, should we still plan for coffee this week? Maybe Wednesday or Friday? Hope all is well! Liz.'' A month earlier, a planned beer outing with Zentos got changed. ``Would you be up for doing coffee instead of beer though? I'm realizing that if I drink beer at 3 p.m., I will probably fall asleep while attempting to work afterward,'' Zentos wrote. Zentos and Telizhenko also discussed the sensitive case of Burisma and its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, in a July 2016 email exchange with the subject line ``Re: Z,'' the shorthand Telizhenko used to refer to the Burisma founder. Their email exchange did not mention Hunter Biden's role in the company but showed the Obama White House had interest in the business dealings of Hunter Biden's boss. ``Hi Liz, Yes, It would be great to meet, tomorrow whatever works best for you 12:30pm or 6pm--I am ready,'' Telizhenko wrote the NSC staffer, adding a smiley face. Zentos eventually replied when he suggested a restaurant: ``Ooh, that would be wonderful--thanks so much!'' Attached to Telizhenko's email was an org chart showing the structure of some foreign companies that had been connected at one point to Zlochevsky's business empire. The memos show Zentos first befriended Telizhenko when she worked at the U.S. embassy as far back as 2014. The memos show that officials at the Obama Justice Department, the NSC, and the State Department enlisted Telizhenko for similarly sensitive diplomatic matters dating to 2013 including: Arranging for senior members of the Ukraine Prosecutor General's Office to travel to Washington in January 2016 to meet with NSC, State, DOJ and FBI officials to discuss ongoing corruption cases. At the time, the Ukraine prosecutors had an escalating corruption probe of Burisma, where Hunter Biden served on the board. Within weeks of the Washington meeting, Vice President Joe Biden had pressured Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko to fire the lead prosecutor, Viktor Shakin. Securing a meeting in February 2015 at the U.S. embassy in Kiev with a deputy Ukrainian prosecutor whom U.S. officials wanted to confront about a bribe allegedly paid by Burisma. Facilitating a draft statement in November 2013 from members of the Ukrainian parliament to President Obama denouncing then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whom the Obama administration would help oust from power a few weeks later. ``We, people of Ukraine, appeal to you with request to support Ukrainian people in their standing for freedom, justice and democracy,'' the November 2013 draft statement from Telizhenko to the U.S. embassy in Kiev read. ``The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych proved that he is not the guarantor of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, freedom of choice and right for free expression.'' The draft statement was fielded by a military attache at the U.S. embassy who urged Telizhenko to get it to the embassy's political section for consideration. ``The ambassador has not shared with me what the position of the US government would be on such a statement, other than his message yesterday morning,'' the attache wrote. ``. . . I'm sure once you pass this statement to Ambassador Pyatt's political section, they will render a timely response.'' Photos taken by U.S. and Ukrainian government photographers show Telizhenko facilitated meetings between 2014 and 2016 with key lawmakers in Washington, including Democrat Reps. Engel and Marcy Kaptur and then-GOP Sen. Bob Corker, as well as other U.S. agencies. And the emails show U.S. embassy officials in Kiev routinely sought advice and insights from Telizhenko about happenings inside the Ukrainian government. ``Andriy, we have heard that there may be a briefing today. Do you know the specifics?'' embassy political officer Stephen Page asked in a January 2014 email.