A year after Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma in 2014, the then-vice president’s son’s family connections apparently paid off – at least that’s what the latest materials obtained by the New York Post claim to show. In a 2015 email published on Wednesday, Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi thanked Hunter for an invitation to Washington, and for the “honor and pleasure” of meeting Joe Biden.
No details of the meeting are revealed, but a 2014 email between Pozharskyi reportedly shows the Burisma executive asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” to thwart a government investigation into the company, which hired him that year for a reported monthly salary of $50,000, despite Hunter’s lack of experience in the energy sector.
Joe Biden has repeatedly denied any knowledge of his son’s foreign business dealings, and has responded angrily when accused of peddling influence. Confronted by a voter at a town hall event last December, the Democratic nominee called the voter a “damn liar” and “fat.” Pressed by President Donald Trump in last month’s presidential debate, Biden replied that his son “did nothing wrong” at Burisma, and Joe has insisted since last year that he was uninvolved in Hunter’s work.
The emails seem to tell a different story. They do not, however, provide any more evidence that Hunter asked his father to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating the firm, as President Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed.
Joe Biden himself has claimed responsibility for the firing though, telling the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018 “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” referring to a billion-dollar Obama administration aid package to Ukraine. “Well, son of a bitch,” he quipped then, “he got fired.”
Biden’s supporters in the media have insisted that the former VP was just one of many international voices calling for the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to be fired for corruption, and that Shokin’s investigation into Burisma had gone “dormant.” Shokin himself told ABC News that he had six investigations into the company open at the time of his ouster.
Coming so close to next month’s election, the timing of the New York Post’s article has raised some eyebrows. According to the Post, the emails came from a laptop handed in to a repair shop in Delaware by an unnamed customer last April. When the store owner realized the laptop contained Hunter Biden’s emails and photos, he alerted federal authorities, who seized it in December. However, the owner copied the hard drive’s contents and gave them to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer.
Curiously, among the photos obtained by the Post is a bill for computer repair work made out to “Hunter Biden,” despite the store owner not knowing who the customer was.
Also among these photos are seemingly incriminating shots of Hunter asleep with what appears to be a crack pipe in his mouth, and according to the Post, a video of Hunter smoking crack while having sex with an “unidentified woman.” Hunter Biden’s struggle with drug addiction is well documented, and he has been to rehab at least six times. Joe Biden has claimed that he’s overcome his addiction.
With just three weeks to go until the presidential election, Giuliani himself promised on Wednesday that he had “much more to come.” Asked by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian what this might mean, Giuliani reportedly responded: “Print a headline saying ‘Lyin’ Joe’ and we can talk.”
Joe Biden’s campaign responded to the report later on Wednesday, with spokesman Andrew Bates saying that “no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” Bates did not, however, deny that the photo of Hunter with the crack pipe in his mouth was genuine.
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