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Show Us The Burisma Money
Filed under: DAMAGE
House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) wants to show us the money. Good.
At the end of yesterday’s hearing into allegations of improper financial conduct and potential obstruction of justice by then-vice president Joe Biden, Comer said he will issue subpoenas for the personal business and bank records of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and his brother, James Biden.
Comer revealed last week that Hunter received wire transfers of $260,000 from Beijing at his father’s address in Wilmington during April 2019. Comer links those payments to a letter of recommendation that Biden wrote for the children of Chinese businessman Jonathan Li.
Republicans have carefully built a case for possible administrative obstruction of justice through their witness interviews.
For example, IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf told the House Ways and Means Committee last week that David Weiss, who was serving as Delaware US Attorney, refused to cooperate with an investigation of Hunter. Batdorf is the third witness to point at Weiss running interference.
That testimony undercuts Attorney General Merrick Garland’s denials of any interference in the FBI investigation of Hunter Biden. Weiss clearly did not get the memo to cooperate.
Republicans contend that Joe Biden used the imprimatur of his office, in coordination with Hunter, to hoover up loose cash in the lawless environment of ‘state capitalism.’ Hunter was supposed to do this from behind a legal fig leaf (lit. ‘Chinese wall’ in legalese) and failed at his basic task.
Democrats are fooling themselves when they pretend that no ‘there’ is there. Something is there. We know that something is there because this has been the Biden family business for a long time.
“The president’s younger brothers — James and Francis Biden — sought to profit from their blood connection to the politician, according to interviews and public records,” the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
James and Hunter worked together with a CEFC China Energy that went bankrupt in 2020. In the meantime, they extracted $1,398,999 to the Lion Hall Group, a consultancy that belonged to James.
Francis would interrupt meetings because he had to talk to “the big guy.” Family members would “occasionally include [Joe Biden] in the conversations, a practice that was interpreted by some who witnessed it as an attempt to show off the connection to power.”
Despite this lucrative lobbying, there were disappointments for some, resulting in lawsuits that the Journal has examined. Complainants were clearly expecting favors in return for their investments in the Biden family business.
The entire article is worth reading, but of course what everyone wants to see is the Burisma money.
Hunter Biden received millions of dollars in exchange for access to what Hunter Biden and at least one of his business associates have referred to as the Biden “brand.” The Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid him up to $1 million annually to be on its board from early 2014 to 2019, when it was under regulatory scrutiny.
Partisans of both sides should prepare for disappointment, however. The Biden family business is shady, to be sure, and there will be Burisma money passing through Hunter’s accounts. This is bad enough and may rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors in the end, as the cover-up is always worse than the crime.
A ‘there’ is definitely there, but as we have seen with the ‘Steele dossier,’ raw intelligence product is always an admixture of truth and deception, which is why such products do not belong in the public domain. So when we do see the Burisma money, don’t expect to see more than what should be there.
As I explained last week, a partisan reading of recent American political history misses how everything, including the FBI, became political at a time when Russian and Chinese efforts to buy political influence in the US — or, failing that, to create damage for American politicians — were intensifying.
Two different whistleblowers tell one story about Hunter and Burisma. Former IRS agent Gary Shapley says that Hunter had unreported income from the company going back to 2014. An FBI confidential source has also reported a conversation with a Burisma executive who wanted to "pay the Bidens,” meaning Hunter and his father Joe, "$5 million each."
Contrarily, FBI whistleblower Johnathan Buma has disclosed that his primary Ukrainian source, a Burisma executive whom he code-named DYNAMO, provided a mix of information and disinformation, marking the latter when he passed it along.
According to Buma, the focus of one presentation was on “political adversaries” of a redacted name. Buma assessed that the information DYNAMO was passing to him “could have been an attempt by the [Russian Intelligence Services] to push derogatory information into the US intelligence community that would give the opposing political party, which had been shown to be favored by the RIS, a narrative to attack the character of Joseph R. Biden.”
In other words, the Kremlin was adding disinformation to the real information about Hunter Biden’s career with Burisma in order to affect an American election.
Moreover, Rudy Giuliani was swimming in the same financial seas as Joe Biden. Buma believes that Giuliani was compromised by Russian intelligence in 2020.
Buma is all the more credible because he cooperated with FBI agents investigating Hunter. “I later learned from the media that some of the allegations [against Hunter] appeared to have been true,” he says.
It is unclear whether DYNAMO is also Shapley’s source. Still, his story is consistent with Russian efforts to inject disinformation into American law enforcement and intelligence communities, piggybacking on real information.
The truth, as I say, is likely bad enough. If Joe Biden did in fact receive $5 million of Burisma money, that is bad. If he recieved $5,000, that is still bad. It remains to be seen what, if anything, he got from the Biden family business while it traded on his office.
Hunter Biden may or may not have understated his income. If he received $5 million in undeclared income, then it will be impossible to hide that money from a congressional subpoena. If he received just $5,000 in undeclared income, then he is still in trouble.
Whatever else James Comer’s subpoena uncovers, if it does not reveal the $5 million in Burisma cash that both Bidens are supposed to have received, then that story is clearly disinformation. Importantly, it is possible for a subpeona to uncover real crimes and still expose this story as Russian disinformation. Those outcomes are not at all incompatible.
Meanwhile, Giuliani has the stink of a Moscow mule all over him. Like his friend Charles McGonigal, who pleaded guilty last week to selling out American counterintelligence to foreign oligarchs, Giuliani has cashed in on his career as a lawman by selling out to crooks.
Buma further alleges that FBI management has protected Giuliani. This is not incompatible with a world in which David Weiss stonewalled the FBI investigation of Hunter Biden. In fact both episodes point to how the Department of Justice has been turned into a partisan battlefield.
I am ready to see the Burisma money. Good on James Comer for making it happen. A full accounting, so the public can properly disambiguate real information from disinformation, is long overdue.