Rep. Stefanik highlights 'damning' photo of then-VP Biden being briefed on way to Ukraine by son Hunter's State Department contact

 August 12, 2023

New and resurfaced older information continues to undermine President Joe Biden's oft-repeated and increasingly unbelievable claims that he had no knowledge of or involvement in his son Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings and alleged influence-peddling.

Now Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is pointing to a "damning" 2015 photo of then-Vice President Biden speaking with then-State Department official Amos Hochstein on board Air Force Two while en route to Ukraine to meet then-President Petro Poroshenko, the Washington Examiner reported.

The photo is potentially "damning" in that it has recently been revealed via emails and testimony that Hunter and Hochstein were in close contact with each other at the time about the efforts of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, of which Hunter was a board member, to navigate new tax laws and other regulatory obstacles.

Biden briefed by Hochstein during 2015 Ukraine trip

In a statement to Fox News, Rep. Stefanik said, "This damning picture of then Vice President Joe Biden on Air Force Two en route to Ukraine talking with Amos Hochstein is just further evidence that Biden and senior officials in the Biden Administration not only knew of Hunter Biden's corrupt foreign business dealings, but also that Joe Biden was intimately involved while Vice President."

"At the time of this photo, Hochstein was in communication with Hunter Biden and Burisma where Hunter served on the board," the congresswoman continued. "We also know that this photo was taken on Air Force Two ahead of Joe Biden's now infamous meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, where Biden threatened to have aid withheld if a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma was not fired."

Stefanik added, "All evidence points directly to Joe Biden being deeply compromised. House Republicans will leave no stone unturned in our investigations into Biden’s involvement in his family's influence-peddling scheme."

Hochstein was Hunter's State Department contact for Burisma problems

The Fox News report that Hochstein, who currently serves as a special presidential coordinator for President Biden, was at the time of the 2015 photo serving in the role of special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs in the State Department of the Obama-Biden administration.

The outlet noted that a number of emails from 2014-2015 show that Hunter Biden, while serving on the Burisma board, repeatedly made contact with Hochstein as his point man at the State Department to help address various tax and regulatory issues the Ukrainian company was dealing with.

Emails and White House visitor logs also reveal a number of meetings Hochstein had with then-VP Biden that typically coincided within days, though sometimes within weeks or months, of discussions Hochstein had with Hunter or his associates in relation to Burisma.

This doesn't look good for Joe

To be sure, Fox News noted that there is documented evidence and testimony which shows that Hochstein voiced his concerns about the appearance of impropriety with regard to Hunter Biden's position on the Burisma board, futile though his efforts proved to be.

That said, documented evidence and testimony also strongly indicate that he nonetheless served as something of a go-between for Hunter and Burisma's interests -- such as firing the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma's top executive at that time -- and the then-vice president.

Indeed, as Rep. Stefanik alluded to in her statement, that photo of then-VP Biden and Hochstein was taken just prior to Biden leaning on then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko to fire then-Ukrainian top prosecutor Viktor Shokin or risk losing a $1 billion loan guarantee -- an instance of apparent coercive extortion and quid pro quo that Biden himself later bragged about on video during a 2018 Council of Foreign Relations event.

This photo may not be the highly sought-after "smoking gun" that proves Joe Biden was corruptly involved in his son's dubious foreign business dealings, but it does seem particularly "damning" in conjunction with other emerging circumstantial evidence that undoubtedly has the Biden White House panicking and scrambling for any plausible explanation or excuse to continue the increasingly transparent charade that has been maintained for several years now.

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