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Tipsheet

Grassley Releases Form FBI Wanted Hidden Showing Biden's Alleged Bribery Scheme

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

After attempts from the Biden administration to restrict access to the FBI-generated FD-1023 form at the center of allegations that then-Vice President Joe Biden was engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the full document on Thursday afternoon to finally give the American people the full picture created by the unclassified document. 

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The document authorized for release to Grassley and House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has few redactions and provides the most information on these allegations against Biden to date. After releasing the FBI document, Grassley asked again: "What did FBI do to investigate serious claims from FBIs own trusted source??"

Here's what we now know from that trusted confidential human source (CHS) according to the FD-1023 that summarizes the CHS's meetings and conversations with executives and other individuals connected to Ukrainian energy company Burisma. The following is a transcription of the text on the FD-1023 released by Grassley:

First Meeting with Burisma Executives in Kyiv, Ukraine 2015/2016. In late 2015 or 2016, during the Obama/Biden administration, CHS was first introduced to officials at Ukraine natural gas business Burisma Holdings ("Burisma) through [REDACTED] Oleksandr Ostapenko (alternate transliteration - Alexander Ostapenko; for full identification of Ostapenko, see attachments to [REDACTED]CV[REDACTED]Serial 212, a FD-1023 by CHS serialized on 1/2/2018).

CHS and Ostapenko traveled to Ukraine and went to Burisma's office that was located 20 minutes away from the City Center. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Burisma's interest in purchasing a US-based oil and gas business, for purposes of merging it with Burisma for purposes of conducting an IPO in the US. Burisma was willing to purchase a US-based entity for $20-30 million.

At this meeting was CHS, CHS's former business partner, [REDACTED] (an USPER [REDACTED] Ostapenko, Burisma's CFO, Vadim Pojarskii (email Vadym.Pozharsky[REDACTED] telephone [REDACTED], Karina Zlochevsky (the daughter of Burisma's CEO and founder Mykola Zlochevsky) and her husband (FNU LNU). The conversation was in Russia, and thus [REDACTED] did not participate therein. 

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During the meeting Pojarskii asked CHS whether CHS was aware of Burisma's Board of Directors. CHS replied "no", and Pojarskii advised the board members included: 1) the former President or Prime Minister of Poland; and 2) Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Pojarskii said Burisma hired the former President or Prime Minister of Poland to leverage his contacts in Europe for prospective oil and gas deals, and they hired Hunter Biden to "protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems" (CHS was certain Pojarskii provided no further/specific details about what that meant).

CHS asked why they (Burisma) needed to get CHS's assistance regarding the purchase/merger of a US-based company when Biden was on their board. Pojarskii replied that Hunter Biden was not smart, and they wanted to get additional counsel. The group then had a general conversation about whether the purchase/merger with a US company would be a good business decision.

Meeting with CHS, Ostapenko, and Mykola Zlochevsky in Vienna, Austria in 2016. Approximately one or two months after the aforementioned Burisma meeting in Ukraine, CHS traveled to Vienna, Austria with Ostapenko and met with Mykola Zlochevsky at an outside coffee shop. The trio continued to talk about the feasibility of Burisma acquiring a US-based entity. CHS recalled this meeting took place around the time Joe Biden made a public statement about (former) Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin being corrupt, and the he should be fired/removed from office. CHS told Zlochevsky that due to Shokin's investigation into Burisma, which was made public at this time, it would have a substantial negative impact on Burisma's prospective IPO in the United States. Zlochevsky replied something to the effect of, "Don't worry Hunter will take care of all of those issues through his dad." CHS did not ask any further questions about what they specifically meant.

CHS asked Zlochevsky why Burisma would pay $20-30 million to buy a US company for IPO purposes when it would be cheaper to just form a new US-entity, or purchase a corporate shell that was already listed on an exchange. Zlochevsky responded that Hunter Biden advised Burisma it could rase much more capital if Burisma purchased a larger US-based business that already had a history in the US oil and gas sector. CHS recalled Zlochevsky mentioned some US-based gas business(es) in Texas, the names of which CHS did not recall. CHS advised Zlochevsky it would be problematic to raise capital in the US given Shokin's investigation into Burisma as nobody in the US would invest in a company that was the subject of a criminal investigation. CHS suggested it would be best if Burisma would simply litigate the matter in Ukraine, and pay some attorney $50,000. Zlochevsky said he/Burisma would likely lose the trial because he could not show that Burisma was innocent; Zlochevsky also laughed at CHS's number of $50,000 (not because of the small amount, but because the number contained a "5") and said that "it cost 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden." CHS noted that at this time, it was unclear to CHS whether these alleged payments were already made.

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CHS told Zlochevsky that any such payments to the Biden would complicate matters, and Burisma should hire "some normal US oil and gas advisors" because the Bidens have no experience with that business sector. Zlochevsky made some comment that although Hunter Biden "was stupid, and his (Zlochevsky's) dog was smarter," Zlochevsky needed to keep hunter Biden (on the board) "so everything will be okay." CHS inquired whether Hunter Biden or Joe Biden told Zlochevsky he should retain Hunter Biden; Zlochevsky replied, "They both did." CHS reiterated CHS's opinion that Zlochevsky was making a mistake and he should fire Hunter Biden and deal with Shokin's investigation directly so that the matter will remain an issue in Ukraine, and not turn in to some international matter. Zlochevsky responded something to the effect of, "Don't worry, this thing will go away anyway." CHS replied that, notwithstanding Shokin's investigation, it was still a bad decision for Burisma to spend $20-$30 million to buy a US business, and that CHS didn't want to be involved with the Biden matter. Zlochevsky responded that he appreciated CHS's advice, but that "it's too late to change his decision." CHS understood this to mean that Zlochevsky had already had paid the Bidens, presumably to "deal with Shokin."

Subsequent Telephone Call Between CHS and Zlochevsky.

2016/2017 Telephone Call. Shortly after the 2016 US election and during President Trump's transition period, CHS participated in a conference call with Ostapenko and Zlochevsky. CHS inquired whether Zlochevsky was happy with the US election results. Zlochevsky replied that he was not happy Trump won the election. CHS asked Zlochevsky whether he was concerned about Burisma's involvement with the Bidens. Zlochevsky stated he didn't want to pay the Bidens and he was "pushed to pay" them. (CHS explained the Russian term Zlochevsky used to explain the payments was "poluchili" (transliterated by the CHS), which literally translates to "got it" or "received it", but is also used in Russian-criminal-slang for being "forced or coerced to pay." Zlochevsky stated Shokin had already been fired, and no investigation was currently going on, and that nobody would find out about his financial dealings with the Bidens. CHS then stated, "I hope you have some back-up (proof) for your words (namely, that Zlochevsky was "forced" to pay the Bidens). Zlochevsky replied he has many text messages and "recordings" that show that he was coerced to make such payments (See blow, subsequent CHS reporting on 6/29/2020). CHS told Zlochevsky he should make certain that he should retain those recordings. Zlochevsky asked whether it would make any (legal) difference whether he voluntarily made such payments, or if he was "forced" to make them. Zlochevsky then asked CHS whether CHS could provide any assistance in Ukraine (with the Poroshenko regime) if something were to happen to Zlochevsky in the future. CHS replied that CHS didn't want to get involved in any such matters. 

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[Note: See previous CHS report dated 3/1/2017 [REDACTED] Serial 7, wherein CHS reported the foregoing, and stated the call took place during the week of 2/27/2017. At that time, CHS stated that Zlochevsky briefly discussed Hunter Biden, but the topic was not relevant to Burisma's interested in acquiring a US-based petroleum business for $50-$100 million. At this time CHS also reported aforementioned Vadym Pozharskyl (alternate transliteration Vadim Pojarskii) was assigned by Burisma to manage the acquisition, and he was planning to travel to Washington, D.C. in March, 2017.]

2019 Telephone Call. After the aforementioned 2016 telephone call, CHS had no interactions with Zlochevsky/Burisma whatsoever, until 2019. In 2019, CHS met with Ostapenko in London to discuss various business matters (which had nothing to do with Zlochevsky, Burisma, or the gas/oil industry; CHS noted that CHS's meeting with Ostapenko took place at a "Russian coffee house near Knightsbridge Street located near Harrods department store," and that Ostapenko's fiancé lives in London). At some point during this meeting, Ostapenko advised CHS he was going to call Zlochevsky. At this time, CHS understood Zlochevsky was living somewhere in Europe (NFI). During the call Zlochevsky asked CHS and/or Ostapenko if they read the recent news reports about the investigations into the Bidens and Burisma, and Zlochevsky jokingly asked CHS if CHS was an "oracle" (due to CHS's prior advice that Zlochevsky should not pay the Bidens and instead to hire an attorney to litigate the allegations concerning Shokin's investigation). CHS mentioned Zlochevsky might have difficulty explaining suspicious wire transfers that may evidence any (illicit) payments to the Bidens. Zlochevsky responded he did not send any funds directly to the "Big Guy" (which CHS understood was a reference to Joe Biden). CHS asked Zlochevsky how many companies/bank accounts Zlochevsky controls; Zlochevsky responded it would take them (investigators) 10 years to find the records (i.e. illicit payments to Joe Biden). CHS told Zlochevsky if he ever needed help in the future and wanted to speak to somebody in the US government about that matter, that CHS could introduce him to someone. 

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Regarding the seemingly open and unsolicited admissions by Pojarskii and Zlochevsky about the purpose for their retention of Hunter Biden, and the "forced" payments Zlochevsky made to the Bidens, CHS explained it is very common for business men in post-Soviet countries to brag or show-off. Additionally, it is extremely common for businesses in Russia and Ukraine to make "bribe" payments to various government officials. CHS noted that in corporate budgets for other Russian and Ukrainian business which CHS has inspected in the past, CHS observed budget-line-items in Russian called "Podmazat" (transliterated by CHS), which literally translates to "oil, lubricate, or make things run smoothly," which companies routinely use to account for anticipated bribe payments. As such, given the pervasive necessity to bribe government officials in Ukraine and Russia, CHS did not perceive Pojarskii's or Zlochevsky's statements to be unusual, self-serving, or pretextual. Additionally, regarding important business meetings, it is also common in Ukraine and Russia for persons to make covert recordings. However, CHS has only met Zlochevsky in person on one occasion and has spoken to him only twice on the telephone; as such, CHS is not able to provide any further opinion as to the veracity of Zlochevsky's aforementioned statements. 

/ / /

On June 29, 2020, CHS provided the following supplemental reporting:

Regarding CHS's aforementioned reporting that Zlochevsky said - "he has many text messages and 'recordings' that show he was coerced to make such payments" - CHS clarified Zlochevsky said he had a total of "17 recordings" involving the Bidens; two of the recordings included Joe Biden, and the remaining 15 recordings only included Hunter Biden. CHS reiterated that, per Zlochevsky, these recordings evidence Zlochevsky was somehow coerced into paying the Bidens to ensure Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired. Zlochevsky stated he has two "documents (which CHS understood to be wire transfer statements, bank records, etc.), that evidence some payment(s) to the Bidens were made, presumably in exchange for Shokin's firing. 

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Regarding aforementioned Oleksandr Ostapenko (alternative spelling, Alexander Ostapenko), who originally introduced CHS into this matter, Ostapenko currently "works in some office for the administration of President Zelensky (NFI)", and also works for Velery Vavilov, who is the founder/CEO of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology business BitFury.

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