Lost in Monday’s fuss about John Bolton’s forthcoming book was the bombshell dropped on former Vice President Joe Biden and the premise of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi documented how Joe Biden in early 2014 began leading the Obama administration’s foreign policy with Ukraine. The stated goal was to root out corruption.
Among the more corrupt entities in Ukraine was the gas company Burisma, owned by oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, the minister of natural resources under then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
In March of 2014, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into money laundering involving Zlochevsky and Burisma. Ten days later British authorities seized $23 million in a British bank account linked to Zlochevsky. One month later in April, Devon Archer met with Biden. Archer is a business partner of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Two days after the meeting, Hunter Biden joined Archer on the board of Burisma.
As all of this played out, media began questioning Hunter Biden’s appointment to Burisma’s board. Bondi highlighted a headline that said “The appointment of Joe Biden’s son to the board of Ukranian gas firm Burisma has raised eyebrows the world over.”
Chris Heinz, the step-son of then-Secretary of State John Kerry, was a business partner of Hunter Biden and Archer. He was so worried about Hunter Biden’s work on the board that he severed ties with Archer and Biden. He then sent an email to ranking State Department officials to distance himself from the obvious conflict of interest.
“The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationship with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden,” said a spokesman for Heinz at the time.
Bondi produced bank records that showed Burisma paid Hunter Biden and Archer $3.1 million between April 2014 and Oct. 2015. Biden and Archer were paid substantially more than other board members. Unlike Biden and Archer, the other board members had substantial experience and credentials for the work.
ABC News began to question the arrangement and others, reporting that Hunter Biden had accompanied his father on a trip to China in 2013. Less than two weeks later, Hunter Biden had a new investment firm in China involving a bank controlled by the Chinese government.
As Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s general prosecutor’s office asked the UK to unfreeze Zlochevsky’s $23 million.
“Someone in the general prosecutor’s office of Ukraine shut the case, issued a letter, and that money went puff,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, in a House Intelligence Committee hearing Bondi referenced Monday.
“They were paid a bribe to make the case go away?” asked attorney Steve Castor on a video of the hearing.
“That is our assumption, yes,” Kent said.
That event led to the appointment of Victor Shokin as Ukraine’s prosecutor general. Shokin quickly issued another order freezing some of Zlochevsky financial assets, as Hunter Biden continued serving on Zlochevsky’s board.
Shortly after Shokin froze the money, so he could investigate suspected corruption involving Burisma, Joe Biden — in his role as vice president — offered Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees. There was just one catch. The money was contingent on Ukraine firing Shokin.
Years later, during a television interview, Biden bragged about issuing a quid pro quo involving the money.
“I said ‘naw, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’ They said ‘you have no authority, you’re not the president, the president said…’ I said ‘call him.’ I said ‘I’m telling you you’re not getting a billion dollars. I said you’re not getting a billion, I’m going to be leaving here in I think it was, what, six hours, if the prosecutor’s not fired you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch he got fired.”
Bondi spelled it out with evidence. Joe Biden paid the Ukrainian government $1 billion to fire the prosecutor investigating the bank that was paying his son.
The Washington Post questioned the firing on July 22, 2019, writing “had he remained in his post he would have questioned Hunter Biden.”
Three days after the Post published the article, President Donald Trump spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Changing the subject briefly, Trump referenced what he was seeing in the media: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son. That Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. It looks horrible to me.”
Given the details Bondi documented Monday, Trump had a duty to ask about the suspected corruption. Rooting out corruption is and always has been a condition of giving American taxpayer dollars to foreign countries.
We aren’t hearing much about it in the news, But Bondi nuked the case for impeachment with a preponderance of evidence against the Bidens.
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