Update (1135ET): Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has responded to the Biden probe, saying that after Trump was impeached "for directing a scheme to extort a foreign partner to announce an investigation into Vice President Joe Biden's son," that "Trump's most willing allies in Congress quickly took up that mantle, and carried out his demand..."
Schiff accused the two Senate Committee Chairs of "promoting the same Russian disinformation," adding "the Kremlin must be very pleased."
The California lawmaker notably didn't address any of the core claims in the report.
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A long-awaited Senate report on Hunter Biden's financial dealings with Ukrainian, Chinese and Russian businesses created potential "criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns," and alarmed US officials who perceived an ethical conflict of interest and flagged potential crimes ranging from sex trafficking to bribery.
The findings are contained in a joint report by the GOP-led Senate Homeland and Government Affairs and Senate Finance Committees, released just six days before the first Presidential Debate between Joe Biden and President Trump.
OUT TODAY: Report with @chuckgrassley found millions of dollars in questionable financial transactions between Hunter Biden & his associates and foreign individuals, including the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. https://t.co/R1MxQ4xGKP— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) September 23, 2020
According to the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross, suspicious financial transactions between Hunter Biden's firms and foreign nationals from Russia and China - including a CCP-linked Chinese businessman, raised serious concerns. What's more, Hunter's seat on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma while his father served as the Obama administration point-man for Ukraine, worried State Department officials in 2015 and 2016.
One official, Amos Hochstein, told the Senate Homeland Security and Senate Finance committees that he said to then-Vice President Joe Biden in October 2015 that Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma “enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.”
As Ross notes, while the report does not produce direct evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden, Republicans say the evidence paints a troubling picture of Biden receiving "millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after."
Hunter Biden also received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow, according to the report.
And as Just The News' John Solomon writes, "Perhaps the most explosive revelation was that the U.S. Treasury Department flagged payments collected overseas by Hunter Biden and business partner Devon Archer for possible illicit activities."
The so-called Suspicious Activity Reports flagged millions of dollars in transactions from the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, a Russian oligarch named Yelena Baturina, and Chinese businessmen with ties to Beijing's communist government, the report said. Senate investigators have yet to determine if the FBI or others investigated the concerns. -Just The News
"The Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals," reads the 87-page report. Other transactions involving Biden-controlled firms were flagged for "potential criminal financial activity," including wire transfers to Hunter's Uncle, James Biden.
The report focuses on millions of dollars in wire payments that Hunter Biden’s firms received from Ye Jianming, the founder of CEFC China Energy Co., and Gongwen Dong, a U.S.-based associate of Ye’s.
According to Republicans, Ye has “extensive” connections to the Chinese government.
The Senate report says that on Aug. 4, 2017, a subsidiary of Ye’s company called CEFC Infrastructure Investment (US) LLC, wired $100,000 to Owasco, the Biden law firm.
A month later, on Sept. 8, 2017, Hunter Biden and Gongwen Dong applied for a $100,000 line of credit under a shell company they formed called Hudson West III LLC, according to the Senate report.
Biden, his uncle James, and James’s wife, Sara Biden, accessed the account through credit cards, and spent $101,291 on what Republicans call “extravagant items,” including plane tickets, hotels, restaurants and items at Apple stores. -Daily Caller
Meanwhile, according to US government records cited in the report, concerns were raised over potential ties to sex and human trafficking rings.
"Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring," the report reads.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson told Just The News that the sheer volume of potentially illegal activity in Hunter Biden's foreign dealings left Joe Biden vulnerable to illicit influence or extortion.
"The report raises serious questions that former Vice President Biden needs to answer. There are simply too many potential conflict of interest, counterintelligence and extortion threats to ignore," he said.
The Biden campaign has called the Senate report an effort to "subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars" and to push a "long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory."
Biden campaign's @AndrewBatesNC calls Sen. Ron Johnson's report on Burisma/Hunter Biden an effort to "subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars" and to push a "long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory" pic.twitter.com/LRDKEdu0fK— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) September 23, 2020
And of course Biden's media defenders are hard at work today:
The findings, as compiled by the Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra:
- In early 2015 the former Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent, raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed, and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”
- In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.
- Although Kent believed that Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board was awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals — Kent and former U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein — who raised concerns to Vice President Joe Biden (Hochstein) or his staff (Kent).
- The awkwardness for Obama administration officials continued well past his presidency. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had knowledge of Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board, but when asked about it at a town hall event in Nashua, N.H. on Dec. 8, 2019, Kerry falsely said, “I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No.” Evidence to the contrary is detailed in Section V.
- Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testified that confronting oligarchs would send an anticorruption message in Ukraine. Kent told the Committees that Zlochevsky was an “odious oligarch.” However, in December 2015, instead of following U.S. objectives of confronting oligarchs, Vice President Biden’s staff advised him to avoid commenting on Zlochevsky and recommended he say, “I’m not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals.”
- Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board (supposedly consulting on corporate governance and transparency) when Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to “shut the case against Zlochevsky.” Kent testified that this bribe occurred in December 2014 (seven months after Hunter joined Burisma’s board), and, after learning about it, he and the Resident Legal Advisor reported this allegation to the FBI.
- Hunter Biden was a U.S. Secret Service protectee from Jan. 29, 2009 to July 8, 2014. A day before his last trip as a protectee, Time published an article describing Burisma’s ramped up lobbying efforts to U.S. officials and Hunter’s involvement in Burisma’s board. Before ending his protective detail, Hunter Biden received Secret Service protection on trips to multiple foreign locations, including Moscow, Beijing, Doha, Paris, Seoul, Manila, Tokyo, Mexico City, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Geneva, London, Dublin, Munich, Berlin, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Brussels, Madrid, Mumbai and Lake Como.
- Andrii Telizhenko, the Democrats’ personification of Russian disinformation, met with Obama administration officials, including Elisabeth Zentos, a member of Obama’s National Security Council, at least 10 times. A Democrat lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies, contracted with Telizhenko from 2016 to 2017 and continued to request his assistance as recent as the summer of 2019. A recent news article detailed other extensive contacts between Telizhenko and Obama administration officials.
- In addition to the over $4 million paid by Burisma for Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s board memberships, Hunter Biden, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.
- Archer received $142,300 from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan, purportedly for a car, the same day Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.
- Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.
- Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden.
- Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow.
- Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
Imagine if this was anyone with the last name Trump?