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.

Zlochevski photo.jpg

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.

Theresa May and US attorney general Eric Holder (left) at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery in 2014.

Theresa May and US attorney general Eric Holder (left) at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery in 2014. Photograph: Getty Images

Per the Congressional Record:

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.

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