Democrat 2020 hopeful Joe Biden has consistently denied any wrongdoing on the part of his son, Hunter, with regard to Ukraine and, in particular, a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma Holdings, which gave a lucrative board position to Hunter Biden while his father was vice president. But new evidence just released by the State Department could blow up that narrative.
According to the Washington Examiner, newly released emails show that “a consultant for Burisma Holdings and associate of Hunter Biden reached out to the State Department” in 2016 to set up a meeting about what she described as “troubling events” in Ukraine.
“Troubling events” in Ukraine
Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian oil and natural gas firm that has long been accused of corruption, in 2014, according to The Washington Post. Two years later, according to the Examiner, a Burisma consultant with connections to Hunter Biden named Sally Painter reached out to William Russo, who was at the time a top aide to then-Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, about some “troubling events.”
She did not mention Burisma or either Biden by name, however.
“Per my conversation with Tony [Blinken] at the Truman event, Karen Tramontano and I would like to have a brief coffee with Tony at his earliest convenience regarding some troubling events we are seeing [in] Ukraine. (He said yes),” Painter wrote to Russo, according to the Daily Caller. “Karen was President Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and we are just back from [Kyiv]. Many thanks for your help.”
Russo now works for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, according to a 2017 report from Margie Fishman at the News Journal/Delaware Online. Tramontano, for her part, worked with Painter at consulting firm Blue Star Strategies. She was previously listed as the firm’s co-founder, but her page has since been scrubbed.
Biden and Burisma
Details about the “troubling events” Painter described were not specified. However, subsequent communications from Tramontano indicate that the message could have been related to Burisma.
“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” a State Department official wrote in a February 2016 email, according to the Daily Caller. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).
“According to Tramontano, there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered,” the official added.
In May 2019, The New York Times reported that Hunter Biden put Burisma in touch with Blue Star Strategies as part of an effort to battle corruption allegations.
The Daily Caller has also cited State Department records showing that Hunter Biden sought a meeting with Blinken in 2015 in order to get his “advice on a couple of things.” Blinken is said to have “absolutely” agreed to the meeting, although it is not known what topics were discussed.
Only time will tell if more information soon comes forward. In the meantime, there’s no doubt Hunter Biden — like the staffers on his father’s ongoing presidential campaign — is shaking in his boots at the prospect.