The “legal corruption” called up by the name Burisma Holdings may have just been the most publicized of Hunter Biden’s oligarchic exploits.
Hunter Biden is the target of a new book which claims that Hunter and his business partners were involved in pay-to-play politics with Ukraine’s adversary, Russia, state-owned businesses in China, and oligarchs in Kazakhstan. Author Peter Schweizer writes that the deals may have netted millions of dollars, according to Breitbart, which obtained a copy of the book, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.
Book claims new Biden corruption
Hunter Biden’s work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings has received significant media attention after Democrats moved to impeach President Donald Trump over his efforts to have Biden’s business in Ukraine investigated. But as Schweizer tells it, corruption came second nature to Hunter and other scions of the Biden family, and in Hunter’s case, the grifting didn’t stop with Kyiv either.
The younger Biden was also hazily involved with a firm called the Burnham Financial Group, co-founded by fellow Yalie and business partner, Devon Archer. Archer was a partner at Burisma and an intimate player in Hunter’s previously known financial involvement with China through Rosemont Capital — but according to Schweizer, Hunter’s corruption may have gone deeper.
Schweitzer alleges that Burnham all but sold access to then-Secretary of State John Kerry — whose stepson Chris Heinz was a business partner of Biden and Archer — to Kazakh oligarchs. A bank account associated with Biden received funds from a firm run by one such oligarch, the former son-in-law of the country’s vice prime minister, Kenges Rakishev, including a $142,300 payment in April 2014.
According to the book, a July 2013 e-mail addressed to Archer from the State Department mentions that Archer spoke to Kerry about “having him call [Kazakh] Foreign Minister Idrisov today” and asks for “topics Idrisov wants to talk about/any requests he’ll have of the boss.” Burnham was also involved with a pair of shadowy Chinese companies, a real estate firm called Kirin Global Enterprise and Harvest Global Investors, which was linked with the Chinese state.
The impeachment of Trump has made it clear that Democrats see the president as having taken advantage of a vulnerable country bordering Russia, but ironically, Burnham was involved with a Russian billionaire allegedly connected with the mob, Yelena Baturina, who poured millions into “various investment funds” tied to Archer. Burisma was similarly founded by a Ukrainian oligarch and former minister of the country’s ousted government, Mykola Zlochevsky.
The most infamous of the schemes involving Burnham was a bonds scam to ripoff Sioux Indians for millions of dollars, in which Archer was indicted as co-conspirator, though a federal judge later overturned his conviction. Hunter was accused of no wrongdoing in the scheme, but his name was invoked to raise money for it and push it to investors.
Dems seek to block Biden testimony
Whether Joe and Hunter Biden will testify in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which resumed Tuesday, remains an unresolved question until senators vote on the rules governing witnesses. Democrats have insisted that the trial is illegitimate unless all of their witnesses are called, especially John Bolton.
But Democrats have at the same time made clear that they think only their desired witnesses should step forward. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CBS that it would be an “abuse” of power simply to have Biden testify.
“It would certainly be fair for the president and his team to be able to call witnesses that can provide material information on the charges. It would not be appropriate for the president to seek to call witnesses merely to try to perpetuate the same smear campaign that was foiled when his plot was discovered,” Schiff said. “Hunter Biden, for example, can’t tell us anything about whether the president withheld military aid, whether he withheld that aid to coerce Ukraine to conduct political investigations. Or why he wouldn’t meet with the president of Ukraine.”
It looks like the Democrats want to have their cake and eat it too — but it remains to be seen if the trial will end quickly or turn into a protracted political circus.