The Ukraine Scandal Spreads

I take it as a given that Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma paid the Biden family a $3 million bribe. That follows from the facts that 1) Hunter Biden doesn’t speak Ukrainian or have any experience in Ukrainian business, 2) Hunter Biden has no experience in the natural gas industry, 3) Burisma nevertheless paid Biden more than $83,000 a month (!) for three years to serve on its board of directors, a role that usually is only nominally compensated, and 4) Joe Biden at the time was responsible for Ukraine policy in the Obama administration. But there may be even more to the scandal than that.

John Solomon has been an indispensable source here, in part because of his own Freedom of Information Act requests. His most recent revelations concern Burisma’s relationship with the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the State Department:

A State Department official who served in the U.S. embassy in Kiev told Congress that the Obama administration tried in 2016 to partner with the Ukrainian gas firm that employed Hunter Biden but the project was blocked over corruption concerns.

George Kent, the former charge d’affair at the Kiev embassy, said in testimony released Thursday that the State Department’s main foreign aid agency, known as USAID, planned to co-sponsor a clean energy project with Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas firm that employed Hunter Biden as a board member.

At the time of the proposed project, Burisma was under investigation in Ukraine for alleged corruption. …

Kent testified he personally intervened in mid-2016 to stop USAID’s joint project with Burisma because American officials believed the corruption allegations against the gas firm raised concern.

The time line is important here. Hunter Biden started getting money from Burisma in 2014. In February 2016, Burisma’s top-shelf international lobbying firm used Hunter’s name to fast-track an appointment with a senior State Department official to deny reports of corruption involving Burisma:

A few months later, by mid-2016, the Obama administration had in place a plan for USAID to partner with Burisma, until Kent intervened to block it.

More:

Kent’s stoppage of the USAID project adds to a growing body of evidence that Burisma and its corruption issues were causing heartburn inside the State Department during the end of Joe Biden’s tenure as Vice President.

Another State official has reportedly testified he tried to warn Biden’s office that the Burisma matter posed a conflict of interest but was turned away by the vice president’s aides.
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Kent’s newly released testimony also confirmed several other elements of my earlier reporting about Ukraine, including that the U.S. embassy exerted pressure on Ukrainian prosecutors not to pursue certain investigations.
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For instance, Kent acknowledged signing an April 2016 letter that asked the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office to stand down an investigation of several nonprofits that had received U.S. aid, including the AntiCorruption Action Centre of Ukraine, or AnTac.

Kent also confirmed my reporting that AnTac was jointly funded by the State Department and one of liberal megadonor George Soros’ foundations.

So Obama administration corruption relating to Ukraine may well have extended beyond Burisma’s $3 million bribe to the Biden family. President Trump was entirely correct in wanting this Obama/Biden administration corruption to be investigated, but the Democratic Party press seems to have succeeded, bizarrely, in painting Trump as the villain of the story. Who says the “mainstream” press no longer has any power? The Biden family’s self-enrichment is a great example of the swamp against which Donald Trump ran for office, and America’s reporters and editors, with few exceptions, are swamp members in good standing.

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