Hunter Biden and his business associates attempted to get Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky a U.S. visa shortly after the president’s son became a board member of the Ukrainian energy firm, according to emails reviewed by the Daily Caller.
Biden and some of his associates were potentially “engaging in registrable lobbying activity,” and one email indicates that Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violations could have been occurring outside of the exchanges, a FARA expert who reviewed the emails told the Caller.
From 2014-16, Hunter Biden worked with former Burisma board member Devon Archer, Rosemont Seneca adviser Eric Schwerin, former Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP Partner Heather King and other business associates to assist Mykola Zlochevsky with his visa reapplication process after the State Department revoked his visa in 2014.
Zlochevsky is the “foreign national” involved in an alleged bribery scheme with President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene confirmed to the Daily Caller.
Greene, alongside other House Oversight Committee members, viewed a redacted version of an FBI FD-1023 form, where an informant allegedly detailed how Zlochevsky spoke to him about making a $10 million bribe to the Bidens, Greene said. FBI Director Christopher Wray redacted the foreign national’s name, according to Greene, but “within the same sentence, it says ‘him/ Burisma.’”
“If you’re anyone who is familiar with the whole Burisma story and the information on the laptop, it’s easy to make the connection of who it is. It’s like a no-brainer … No one has refuted that it’s not him,” she added.
Hunter Biden And His Associates Try To Get Zlochevsky To The U.S.
Hunter Biden and his partners communicated with Zlochevsky’s conduit, Burisma board member Vadim Pozharskyi, about Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa application beginning in May 2014, the emails demonstrate.
Pozharskyi emailed Archer on May 7, 2014, asking about “Nikolay’s visa issue” as a follow-up to “previous communications” between them. Pozharskyi frequently used the “Nikolay” moniker to refer to Mykola Zlochevsky in correspondence with Hunter Biden and his associates.
Pozharskyi emailed Hunter Biden and his associates biographical information about “Nikolay” in June 2014 describing his status as Burisma’s major shareholder. In October 2014, he sent Archer a bio of Zlochevsky with information about his time as Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, and Archer forwarded the document to Hunter Biden, emails show.
King emailed Pozharskyi in May 2014 about her communications with the U.S. State Department and the Ukrainian Embassy regarding Zlochevsky’s visa status.
When Pozharskyi responded, he referred to Zlochevsky as “Nikolay” and said Zlochevsky is “totally in line” with what King recommended. Pozharskyi said in the same email that he engaged in “joint conversations” with Hunter Biden about King’s suggestions with Zlochevsky.
King’s work with Hunter Biden and Archer on Zlochevsky’s visa situation began a week after Pozharskyi’s initial email to Archer in May 2014. King recommended to Archer and Hunter Biden a PR firm, an investigative research firm and a lobbyist to work on the visa because “me going on my own means I’d have to register” as a lobbyist, she said in a May 14, 2014 email.
She said she recommended a lobbyist to Pozharskyi specifically to work on getting Zlochevsky off the State Department’s visa “ban list” that he’d been added to after Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution in 2014.
In late May 2014, King sent Pozharskyi an update on Zlochevsky’s visa status from the Ukrainian embassy. She said the embassy could not disclose the reason why his visa was removed and suggested Zlochevsky contact the embassy directly in an email with both Hunter Biden and Archer cc’d.
Pozharskyi told King in early June that Zlochevsky was “prepared to apply to US embassy for US visa” and said he needed a reason to travel to the United States. Pozharskyi asked King’s company to send Zlochevsky an invitation to be “signed by one of companies lawyer/partner, namely H. Biden,” emails show.
“Two reasons for that, firstly having Hunters [sic] name on invitation will invite embassy [sic] to consider carefully that application. Secondly If [sic] he is denied in obtaining visa, then your company, that actualy [sic] invited Nikolay could work with state department on this,” Pozharskyi said.
Hunter Biden mentioned his work for Zlochevsky in a June 2014 email to Archer – where he uses “NZ” to refer to the Ukrainian businessman – in a conversation on how to use the media to their benefit by covering Zlochevsky positively.
“If we are worried about NZ or image issues they will just continue to bury us with the nepotism/ privileged BS. On the other hand, if we embrace it- say why we really think we are on the right side of the fence- argue over it- know our shit- speak intelligently about energy and the future of US foreign policy that depends upon it,” Hunter Biden said.
Pozharskyi asked King for an update June 25, 2014, and King replied by discussing a meeting she was setting up with the “Ukraine desk,” potentially happening that week or the next week, the emails show.
King sent the invitation Sept. 8 and told Pozharskyi she would make any changes he recommended. He responded by correcting King’s spelling of Zlochevsky’s name and thanked King for her “effort,” according to the emails.
“What’s the latest buddy?” Hunter Biden asked Archer after Archer brought him back in the loop on King’s invitation to Zlochevsky. Archer confided in Hunter Biden about how he thought the Ukrainians were getting “frustrated” with the fees King was allegedly charging them. Hunter Biden told Archer to speak with King and asked if he should be working on anything.
Archer kept working on trying to secure Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa and gave Pozharskyi an update at the end of September.
“I have spoken to the individual who is the contact on the DHS side. Can you forward me Nicoli’s bio and a short summary of the status of when and where he was granted his US visa. I will cross reference with Heather for any information I can use from State without crossing any boundary’s [sic] and forward the compiled case to DHS contact and have a phone call to insure we will not have an issue there,” Archer said.
Craig Engle, a FARA expert and partner at ArentFox Schiff LLP, told the Daily Caller that in this exchange, Archer or “maybe the company he works for could be engaging in registrable lobbying activity.”
“Here’s why: If you go outside of normal regulatory channels and try to influence other parts of government to influence the regulatory process then you lose your exemption from registration,” Engle said. “Second, this lobbying may not be a FARA event because the intended beneficiary is an individual. Not a foreign government or political party. If so, then any lobbying activity should be recorded under the LDA — our domestic lobbying reporting system and not FARA — which is generally used for foreign entities.”
Pozharskyi responded to Archer on Oct. 1 with Zlochevsky’s passport and U.S. visa copies attached in an email. He said the visa was issued in May 2011, when Zlochevsky was working as Ukraine’s Minister of Ecology, and that it was supposed to last for five years.
Zlochevsky’s “visa issue” not being resolved prevented Burisma from holding its upcoming board meeting in Washington, D.C., Pozharskyi said in an email Oct. 9. The board meeting was set for Dec. 5-6, 2014, in Cyprus to ensure Hunter Biden’s jury duty would not prevent him from attending the meeting.
Pozharskyi asked Archer for an update on the “visa issue” Oct. 20 and Archer immediately forwarded the email to the president’s son. “Any progress with DHS?” Archer emailed Hunter Biden.
This exchange between Archer and Hunter Biden “is not a FARA event, but it does indicate that there may be other FARA events that occurred prior to that email exchange,” Engle told the Caller.
Hunter Biden And His Associates Attempt To Get Zlochevsky Into Mexico
Hunter Biden and his team were also involved in attempting to secure Zlochevsky a Mexican visa while setting up a Burisma business meeting in the country, according to the emails.
Hunter Biden reached out to a Mexican connection, Miguel Aleman, otherwise known as “MAM” in the emails, to get Zlochevsky a visa and to assist with potential business opportunities in February 2015.
Biden contacted Aleman’s Interjet email address, confirming his identity as Miguel Aleman Magnani, a Mexican businessman and grandson of a former Mexican president.
Archer reassured Pozharskyi on Feb. 5 that “Hunter is checking in” with Aleman to “provide cover” for Zlochevsky on the “visa issue” for his trip to Mexico. The Ukrainian sent Archer Zlochevsky’s passport and revoked U.S. visa, emails show.
Hunter Biden emailed Aleman after Archer’s correspondence with Pozharskyi and explained how Zlochevsky’s “USA Visa was suspended and we are working on that” ahead of his Feb. 27 trip to Mexico. Biden also brought business associate Jeff Cooper into the fold to assist with Zlochevsky’s Mexico trip.
Archer emailed Pozharskyi on Feb. 16, 2015, about how Hunter was still working with “our contact” and suggested Pozharskyi come to Mexico by himself if they could not ensure safe passage for Zlochevsky.
“Me [sic] contact has said that he will take care of it— BUT I have not gotten confirmation yet that he has done so with 100% certainty. If he cannot give me complete confidence that there will not be an issue I agree the risk is too great. I will let you know as soon as I hear. I am asking everyday for an update,” Hunter Biden said.
The same day, Hunter Biden asked Cooper if he had heard from Aleman, and Cooper said Aleman delayed their phone call and promised to pay them $250,000 as “band-aid” for the inconvenience. Biden told Cooper he wanted to tell Aleman to “shove it” and said the delay “most likely jeopardizes my board position,” according to the email archive.
Cooper then suggested bringing Joe Biden into the mix to find out what was happening with Aleman’s family.
“Soooooo, we have to go with the theory that Miguel has been cut out, at least temporarily. Maybe a call from your [sic] or your dad to his dad? Maybe that shakes things loose? Whaddya think? I really don’t want to give up on it because I truly believe in this shit,” Cooper said.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden met with Aleman’s father, Miguel Aleman Velasco, at the Naval Observatory in November 2015, pictures from Hunter Biden’s laptop show, the New York Post reported.
Hunter Biden emailed Aleman months later in 2016 showing apparent frustration at the latter for going silent after inviting him to the White House.
“I want you at the plane when the VP lands with your Mom and Dad and you completely ignore me,” Hunter emailed Aleman Magnani in February 2016. “I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration and then you go completely silent.”
On Feb. 17, 2015, Pozharskyi emailed Hunter Biden and Archer about whether it was worth going to Mexico without Zlochevsky and wondered if they could go to Mexico on behalf of Burisma. Biden and Pozharskyi then scheduled a call for later in the day.
Hunter Biden and Pozharskyi’s next email exchange took place in March 2015, when the pair checked in and scheduled a call. Biden told Pozharskyi to “thank Nicolay for me” and mentioned a watch box he’d left in Pozharskyi’s hotel room.
Hunter Biden’s plan to work with Aleman and Cooper on Mexican business dealings culminated in an offer for Aleman in July 2015, emails show. Private equity investor Thomas Zaccagnino sent Archer an offer for Aleman and the offer was forwarded to Cooper.
A month later, Pozharskyi sent Hunter Biden and Archer the agenda for Burisma’s upcoming board meeting. Zlochevsky’s visa and an issue with the DHS were on the agenda for the board meeting, emails show.
Hunter Biden And His Associates Figure Out Next Steps
In November 2015, Zlochevsky’s legal issues in Ukraine were still unresolved, and Pozharskyi expressed his frustration with the lack of tangible results.
“The scope of work should also include organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy-makers to Ukraine in November aiming to conduct meetings with and bring positive signal/message and support on Nikolay’s issue to the Ukrainian top officials above with the ultimate purpose to close down for any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine,” Pozharskyi said, emails show.
Hunter Biden emailed Pozharskyi back and said he would call “Sally and Karen,” who are executives at the bipartisan international lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies. Pozharskyi responded positively and asked Schwerin to give him an update from “Sandwig” about the Visa issue.
Schwerin informed Pozharskyi that he brought in former Obama Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director John Sandweg to work with them on Zlochevsky’s visa. Sandweg said he asked individuals from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to search DHS and State Department databases for information on the visa.
“That said, the reason State cancels visas in situations like this is to force the visa holder to come into the embassy/consulate and answer questions related to the issues that are concerning State. As we discussed I do not recommend that the client make any effort to obtain a new visa until the other matters are resolved,” Sandweg emailed Schwerin.
Schwerin sent Sandweg’s correspondence to Pozharskyi and told him Sandweg recommended for Zlochevsky to stay in Ukraine until his legal situation was resolved. Schwerin told Pozharskyi they should discuss strategy for the visa issue and the other legal problems to be handled by Blue Star.
A source close to the matter told the Daily Caller that Sandweg worked solely with Schwerin and Zlochevsky. He did not communicate with Archer or Hunter and his work ended in November 2015, the source added. The Caller granted the source anonymity to allow them to speak openly on a sensitive matter.
Pozharskyi emailed Schwerin on Nov. 3, 2015, and said he expected Hunter Biden and Archer to confirm Blue Star’s plan. He also said they would have time to discuss the visa issue and crisis management at a later date.
The Blue Star lobbyists sent Burisma a contract proposal Oct. 30, 2015, and Hunter Biden and Archer advised Pozharskyi to sign the contract on Nov. 5, 2015. Schwerin had an assistant schedule a call for Pozharskyi, Archer and Hunter Biden to finalize the Blue Star contract three days later, according to the email archive.
Zlochevsky’s Legal Issues In Ukraine
Zlochevsky’s legal troubles in Ukraine were thought to be resolved in January 2017, when all the cases against him were cleared. Schwerin shared with Biden a February 2017 Kyiv Post article about Zlochevsky’s legal battles on the day it was published.
The Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General (PGO) investigated Zlochevsky for allegedly abusing his role as Minister of Ecology to unlawfully acquire business assets. Ukrainian authorities provided evidence to the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and presented their findings to the U.K. Central Criminal Court in January 2015. The British court ruled in Zlochevsky’s favor and found the SFO failed to provide evidence that would have bolstered Zlochevsky’s case. A district court in Kyiv, Ukraine, also ruled in Zlochevsky’s favor in September 2016 with regards to the PGO’s corruption case.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) subsequently investigated the PGO for allegedly failing to collect significant evidence against Zlochevsky for the SFO and reshaping the case into a tax investigation, according to the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Ukrainian watchdog.
The NABU later charged Zlochevsky and his associates in 2020 for attempting to send $6 million in bribes to shut down the case. Ukraine’s PGO said in 2021 that the investigations into Zlochevsky had been closed and that they would not be reopened.
Zlochevsky’s corruption case was initially prosecuted by Vitaly Yarema, who left his position as PGO head shortly after the U.K. criminal court’s decision. Former Ukrainian MP Sergey Leshchenko and former deputy prosecutors accused Yarema of colluding with Zlochevsky.
Victor Shokin replaced Yarema in February 2015. Numerous western officials and Ukrainian activists led by then-Vice President Joe Biden later accused Shokin of corruption. At a March 2016 panel with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Joe Biden bragged about using a $1 billion loan guarantee as leverage for Ukraine to fire Shokin. He told a similar story at CFR in January 2018 and described how Shokin was replaced by a “solid” prosecutor.
Then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Shokin managed to implement reforms to the PGO but had to resign because he lost public trust, according to local media reports. Zlochevsky’s allies supported Shokin’s dismissal because he was allegedly threatening to prosecute Burisma if he was not given bribes, The New York Times reported in 2019.
The Ukrainian PGO under Lutsenko conducted a separate investigation into whether Burisma failed to pay back taxes, and the taxes were later paid by an accountant for the company, according to the Kyiv Post.
Former President Donald Trump called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in September 2019 about reinstating Lutsenko and potentially investigating Joe Biden for getting Shokin fired, according to a transcript released by a whistleblower.
Trump accused Joe Biden of getting Shokin fired to protect Burisma and Hunter Biden in campaign ads ahead of the 2020 presidential election. He was impeached by House Democrats in 2020 because of his phone call with Zelenskyy.
Hunter Biden Investigations
The Justice Department charged Hunter Biden in June with a felony gun charge and two tax avoidance misdemeanors. The younger Biden pleaded guilty and will not face jail time. David Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney leading the Hunter Biden case said the DOJ has not closed its case against the president’s son.
Republican Kenucky Rep. James Comer, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, said June 5 the FBI is actively investigating the Biden bribery allegations. Greene told the Caller that Zlochevsky’s visa correspondence is in the broader scope of Oversight’s investigation.
“We’re investigating all of that, and we’re not finished with our investigation,” she said. “It’s a link to Burisma and the business deals and the use of power that Hunter Biden was selling and Joe Biden himself was involved in selling… getting people visas into the United States would certainly play a part.”
IRS Whistleblower Gary Shapley said in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee released in June that “[t]here were also potential FARA issues relating to 2014 and 2015” that Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia allegedly refused to act on. He accused the DOJ of slow-walking the Hunter Biden investigation and contradicted sworn testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Weiss said in a letter Monday that he did not seek Special Counsel authority to file charges outside of his district without the presiding U.S Attorney. An email Shapley sent in October 2022 showed Weiss did not have ultimate authority to charge the younger Biden. Weiss did confirm in his letter that the investigation into the alleged bribery scheme is ongoing.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer and his business associates did not respond to the Daily Caller’s requests for comment. DHS and the Ukrainian embassy did not respond to requests for comment. The State Department told the Caller that Zlochevsky’s visa information is classified.
BREAKING: Marjorie Taylor Greene brings receipts of Hunter Biden paying for a plane ticket for a woman, likely for sex, constituting a potential violation of the MANN ACT pic.twitter.com/N2XIJWxhi0
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 19, 2023
EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.