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Tipsheet

New Details: It's Looking Even Worse for the Bidens...and the FBI

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

On Friday, we analyzed a just-released FBI 'FD-1023' document, in which a trusted FBI informant asserted that executives from Burisma -- the Ukrainian energy company that famously employed then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, despite his dearth of relevant expertise, while the elder Biden was running point on Ukraine policy in the Obama administration -- had described a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme that enriched both of the aforementioned Bidens.  The Bureau's confidential human source (CHS) told investigators that the Burisma leaders held a dim view of Hunter Biden's personal value and intellect, but kept the generous payments flowing to him because Hunter would "take care of all of those issues through his dad.”  The function of the younger Biden, the company's CFO reportedly said, was “to protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.” 

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One such problem, allegedly, was an investigation by a Ukrainian prosecutor into Burisma, which the firm's leadership wanted to go away.  To that end, per former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy's summary of the CHS' accusations, "the founder of Burisma recounted being pressured by then-Vice President Joe Biden to put Biden’s son Hunter on the Ukrainian energy company’s board, and for $10 million in bribes — $5 million each to Joe and Hunter Biden — in order to use Biden’s political influence to force the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma."  That man was, in fact, fired, after Vice President Biden explicitly linked the firing as a prerequisite for unlocking $1 billion is US taxpayer aid.  Biden subsequently boasted about this very episode in public remarks.  

The Federalist's Margot Cleveland immediately noted that the CHS' account directly contradicted Biden's explanation for triggering the firing, writing that the Burisma executive's alleged statement to the CHS "proves significant because Joe Biden had long claimed he pushed for Shokin’s firing because Shokin was not investigating Burisma — which is the exact opposite of the details summarized in the FD-1023."  The FD-1023 includes a recollection from the CHS, who said Burisma bigwigs weren't concerned about the claimed $10 million in bribery funds ever being discovered because they "did not send funds directly to “the big guy” (a reference to Joe Biden), and that the payments to the Bidens had been routed through so many companies and bank accounts that it would take investigators ten years to trace the payments to Joe Biden."  As we pointed out, House Oversight Committee Republicans have produced bank records showing millions of dollars in foreign (largely Chinese) money flowing to nine different Biden family members through an intricate series of shell corporations -- quite possibly underscoring a modus operandi, at the very least.

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My reaction to all of this was to highlight the serious nature of the informant's allegations, while also remaining healthily skeptical and asking more questions.  One central question was whether any of the CHS' statements in the document were ever corroborated.  If not, was that because they weren't investigated, or because they were probed and found to be unreliable?  And if so, wouldn't that be a big deal?  Again writing at The Federalist, Cleveland cites a source "familiar with the briefing" who says FBI agents did confirm several components of the CHS' story before handing the information off to the Delaware investigation -- who seem to have dropped those leads.  If this is true, this isn't just more smoke engulfing the Bidens; it's another scandal at the DOJ and FBI:

The Federalist has now learned that the Pittsburgh FBI office had corroborated several details contained in the FD-1023 as part of the intake process that former Attorney General William Barr established before the election under the leadership of the Western District of Pennsylvania’s then-U.S. Attorney Scott Brady. Significantly, in briefing the Delaware U.S. attorney on the results of their office’s screening of evidence related to Ukraine, the Pittsburgh FBI agents told the Delaware office they had corroborated multiple facts included in the FD-1023, an individual with knowledge of the briefing told The Federalist. Following the late June 2020 interview with the CHS, the Pittsburgh FBI office obtained travel records for the CHS, and those records confirmed the CHS had traveled to the locales detailed in the FD-1023 during the relevant time period. The trips included a late 2015 or early 2016 visit to Kiev, Ukraine; a trip a couple of months later to Vienna, Austria; and travel to London in 2019. 

The Federalist has also learned that the CHS’s handler corroborated the CHS’s claim that he had met with Oleksandr Ostapenko. According to the source with knowledge of the matter, the CHS’s handler told Pittsburgh’s FBI agents that the CHS told his handler he had an upcoming meeting with Ostapenko. The CHS’s contemporaneous claim of the planned rendezvous with Ostapenko tracked the timing of one of the visits the CHS claimed in the FD-1023 to have had with Ostapenko...That the Pittsburgh FBI office not only provided the Delaware office with a summary of the damning FD-1023 and its conclusion that it bore indicia of credibility but also identified several pieces of corroborating evidence is huge because, to date, it appears the Delaware office did nothing to investigate the allegations contained in the FD-1023. 

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If elements of the FBI actually corroborated multiple elements of the FD-1023, wouldn't that make it a more vetted and confirmed document than, say, the infamous Steele Dossier?  And if the Delaware investigators ignored the CHS evidence, the obvious question is, why?  Law professor Jonathan Turley said on Fox News Sunday yesterday that when it comes to the Biden family, it appears as though the FBI is where "evidence goes to die." Cleveland adds more context, tying these revelations back to last week's IRS whistleblower testimony before Congress:

The Pittsburgh office lacked the authority to subpoena witnesses or records or to use grand jury proceedings to further corroborate the FD-1023. That responsibility fell with the Delaware office. But not only did the Delaware office apparently ignore the allegations contained in the FD-1023, as well as the corroborating evidence already allegedly accumulated by the Pittsburgh FBI office, but U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s office allegedly secreted the very existence of the FD-1023 from the whistleblowers. Both IRS whistleblowers testified last week that they did not even learn of the existence of the FD-1023 until Barr publicly confirmed he had sent the information to Delaware for further investigation.  Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf also excluded the IRS agents working the Hunter Biden investigation from the meeting at which the Pittsburgh FBI agents briefed the office on the FD-1023 and the corroborating evidence they had already uncovered.

On Special Report Friday, one of the IRS whistleblowers (the gay registered Democrat, I'll note) said he'd never had access to the 1023 form or its explosive allegations over the course of his extensive work on the case.  He added that having such information in his possession could have been very important and relevant to his investigation.  And then there's this, which could be very significant:

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Hunter Biden would dial in his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, on speakerphone into meetings with his overseas business partners, according to testimony expected before Congress this week from Devon Archer, the first son’s former best friend.  Archer, 48, who is facing jail for his role in a $60 million bond fraud, is scheduled to testify to the House Oversight Committee about meetings he witnessed that were attended by Joe Biden either in person or via speakerphone when Hunter would call his father and introduce him to foreign business partners or prospective investors. One such meeting was in Dubai late in the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, after a board meeting of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which was paying Hunter $83,000 a month as a director. Archer, who also was a director, is expected to testify that, after dinner with the Burisma board at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, he and Hunter traveled six miles north to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach to have a drink with one of Hunter’s friends. 

While they were sitting outside at the bar, Vadym Pozharskyi, a senior Burisma executive, phoned to ask where they were because Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, needed to speak to Hunter urgently. Soon afterward, the two Ukrainians joined Hunter and Archer at the Four Seasons bar and Pozharskyi asked Hunter: “Can you ring your dad?” At the time it was early afternoon Friday in Washington, DC. Hunter then called his father, put him on speaker, placed the phone on the table, and introduced the Ukrainians to Joe Biden by name as “Nikolai and Vadym.”  He also said words to the effect that the Burisma bigwigs “need our support.”  VP Biden greeted the Ukrainians but spoke only in vague pleasantries during the short call, and in other such interactions with Hunter’s overseas business partners, Archer is expected to testify.

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Consider this alleged timing:

They will note the context, that three days after the speakerphone call, the then-vice president, who was the Obama administration’s point man for Ukraine, was due to fly to Kyiv to address the Ukrainian parliament, known as the Rada, on Dec. 9, 2015, about the “poison of cronyism, corruption, and kleptocracy.”  Ten weeks before the call, on Sept. 24, 2015, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt had given a speech about corruption in Odessa, in which he targeted Zlochevsky by name.  By then, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma for corruption and, within two months, on Feb. 2, 2016, would seize four houses in Kyiv, two plots of land and a Rolls-Royce belonging to Zlochevsky, who was living in exile in Dubai. A month later, Shokin was fired, after Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in US aid to Ukraine.  

It's a sure bet that Democrats will impugn Archer as a fraudster and a criminal (what would they consider Hunter Biden?), and will say that even if the conversation in question took place, Joe Biden's "vague pleasantries" aren't incriminating.  There are reasons to be skeptical of Archer, but there are reasons to be skeptical of the Bidens, too.  And according to Archer, Hunter looped dad in on foreign business calls "as many as two dozen times" in his presence.  Remember, it's not just Devon Archer who says 'The Big Guy' was indeed a part of Hunter's overseas business schemes.  Another Biden business associate, Tony Bobulinski, has repeatedly stated on the record that Joe Biden was absolutely aware of, an even involved in, such dealings.  Including evidence.  There are also multiple reports confirming that the older Biden met in person with various figures in Hunter's business orbit, including some photographic evidence.  Biden has flat-out denied any such discussions, knowledge, or involvement, on multiple occasions.  It seems more clear-cut than ever that those denials are false (watch to the end):

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I'll leave you with my reactions this morning to these developments, including former Speaker Pelosi ridiculing the whistleblower hearings last week as a "clown show:"


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