The attention Democrats have tried to focus on President Donald Trump over his Ukraine call has actually resulted in more attention on the business dealings of Hunter Biden in regard to Ukraine and elsewhere.
Now senators are demanding answers from the State Department after new information has raised more questions about Hunter Biden, his business dealings and his name being used to help foreign entities.
From Free Beacon:
Sens. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairmen of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Finance, respectively, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for all records related to Hunter Biden, his business partners, and their companies on Thursday. The letter also requests information about Biden’s Ukraine dealings after documents emerged showing that a lobbyist for Burisma, an energy firm that paid Hunter Biden to serve on its board, dropped Biden’s name in emails to government officials.
The senators said the reports raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. The documents would help lawmakers “better understand what actions, if any, the Obama administration took to ensure that policy decisions relating to Ukraine and Burisma were not improperly influenced by the employment and financial interests of family members,” the letter said.
According to documents obtained by John Solomon under FOIA, while Burisma was under a cloud because they were being investigated for possible wrongdoing, Karen Tramonto who was connected to Burisma, reached out to arrange a meeting between Burisma and Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli, dropping the name of then Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, in the process. That allowed Tramonto to get a meeting on March 1, 2016, to argue on Burisma’s behalf with the U.S. government. Documents also show that one day later, another meeting was scheduled between Devon Archer, Burisma board member and partner of Hunter Biden, and then Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry’s stepson, who had partnered with Biden and Archer on Rosemont Seneca, however saw the problem with the relationship and cut ties with Archer and Biden over the connection to Burisma.
“Mr. Heinz strongly warned Mr. Archer that working with Burisma was unacceptable,” said Chris Bastardi, a vice president at Sunshine Sachs, in a statement to the Free Beacon. “Mr. Archer stated that he and Hunter Biden intended to pursue the opportunity as individuals, not as part of the firm. The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden.”
Johnson and Grassley requested all information regarding both the Tramontano meeting and the Archer meeting, as well as a pair of 2015 meetings between Hunter Biden and then-deputy secretary of state Anthony Blinken. The details of those arrangements were discussed in the emails obtained by Solomon.
“In light of the information recently released via FOIA and referenced in the letter, the senators are seeking additional details on any further actions by the State Department,” finance committee spokesman Taylor Foy told the Washington Free Beacon.
The deposition of George Kent, a career official with the State Department while meant by Democrats to see what they could get on Trump, turned up more concern about Hunter Biden when it was released this week.
Kent explained that he raised concerns about possible conflicts of interests of Hunter being on Burisma while his father Joe Biden was overseeing Ukraine policy as vice president. He said he raised the issue with the Vice President’s staff in January or February of 2015.
From Fox News:
“And when I was on a call with somebody on the vice president’s staff and I cannot recall who it was, just briefing on what was happening into Ukraine, I raised my concerns that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back, and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.”
He recalled that he was shut down by the staff who said that because of Beau Biden suffering from cancer, “there was no further bandwidth to deal with family-related issues at that time.”
There was more than Ukraine and just conflicts of interest or possible corruption. There were also national security concerns.
In October, according to the Free Beacon, three different agencies briefed Grassley staffers about the Obama administration’s approval of a business deal involving Hunter Biden and a Chinese aviation firm that previously stole U.S. military technology.
Hunter Biden was on the board of BHR, a conglomeration that came together after he made a deal with a Chinese company backed by the government. Then a Chinese aviation firm, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, also another state-backed entity, partnered with BHR to try to buy an American firm, Henniges Automotive, a U.S. auto company that produces technologies with military applications.
“There is cause for concern that potential conflicts of interest could have influenced CFIUS approval of the Henniges transaction,” Grassley wrote in the letter. CFIUS is the interagency committee that determines whether a foreign investment in the United States is a national security risk. “Accordingly, Congress and the public must fully understand the decision-making process that led to the Henniges approval and the extent to which CFIUS fully considered the transaction’s national security risks.”