Firm Hired by Ukraines Burisma Used Hunter Biden as Leverage, Documents Show
Wall Street Journal | November 5, 2019 | Jessica Donati
FR Posted on 11/6/2019, 7:28:00 AM by karpov
WASHINGTONA consulting firm hired by Burisma Group mentioned that former U.S. Vice President Joe Bidens son served on the Ukrainian gas companys board so the firm could leverage a meeting with the State Department, according to documents and a former U.S. official.
The documentsemail exchanges between State Department staff members made public this weekshow that the consulting firm, Washington-based Blue Star Strategies, used Hunter Bidens name in a request for a State Department meeting and then mentioned him again during the meeting as part of an effort to improve Burismas image in Washington.
Mr. Biden was appointed to the Burisma board in 2014, when the company and its owner faced allegations of corruption, and he remained there until April of this year.
It isnt clear whether the younger Mr. Biden knew his name was being used by Blue Star in its contacts with State Department officials on Burismas behalf in early 2016. A lawyer for Mr. Biden didnt respond to a request for comment.
Hunter Biden served on Burismas board when his father, then the vice president, was overseeing U.S. efforts to get Ukraine to reduce corruption. That arrangement has drawn allegations from President Trump and his allies that the younger Mr. Biden sought to profit from his fathers name. Mr. Trump asked Ukraines leader to investigate the Bidensan act at the center of the Houses impeachment inquiry. Both Bidens deny any wrongdoing.
The email exchanges between State Department staffers show that Karen Tramontano, chief executive of Blue Star, cited Mr. Bidens position in trying to secure a meeting with a senior official at the State Department.
She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member), the special assistant [...] wrote in the Feb. 24, 2016, email.
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Burisma (cough) pressed the Obama admin to end corruption allegations which was hurting their ability
to get massive US foreign aid handouts. In Ukrainian, "pressed" is spelled Pre$$ed (as in money laundry).
Thanks Hunter-- my bank statement arrived. And Michelle loved the diamond from China you sent over.