[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Daniel Greenfield’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
The release of an FBI informant’s allegations about the Biden family’s dealings with Burisma finally explains what a Ukrainian energy company wanted with a corrupt American political clan.
Why was Burisma paying a vice president’s son tens of thousands of dollars a month?
According to the allegations on the FBI’s FD-1023 form released to Sen. Chuck Grassley by whistleblowers, Burisma wanted to launch an IPO in the United States and was looking to first buy an American energy company. Such a move would have required regulatory approval and would have also potentially been very lucrative for anyone on the inside.
The allegations by the FBI informant describes Mykola Zlochevsky, Burisma’s co-founder and a former minister in the ousted pro-Russian Yanukovych government, saying that “it costs 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden”.
And yet the rewards could have been even richer.
While the informant urged Zlochevsky to launch his IPO by forming an American company or buying a shell company, Hunter Biden had allegedly told the energy boss that his company “could raise much more capital if Burisma purchased a larger US-based business that already had a history In the US oil and gas sector.” Allegedly some Texas companies were on the table.
Why did Hunter Biden allegedly pitch Burisma on a messier and more expensive process? An obvious potential answer is that the Biden family may have hoped to cash in by being on the inside. To understand Burisma’s plans and those of the Biden family, we need to look at what was going on with the oil and gas sector beginning in 2014, when Hunter started being paid a small fortune to sit on the Ukrainian energy company’s board, through 2016 when some of the initial conversations that the informant reported to the FBI were first taking place.
2014 was a good year for oil and gas IPOs. Texas’ Parsley Energy rode annual revenues below Burisma’s estimated $400 million to a big IPO, rising revenues and an eventual $4.5 billion sale. Looking at examples like these, Hunter and Zlochevsky could have envisioned bringing together a Texas oil company and a Ukrainian oil company united around a similar political business model. The Biden name would have cleared the way for permits in Texas and political cover in Ukraine. Indeed the one thing we know that Joe Biden did for Burisma was threaten to pull foreign aid unless the Ukrainian government fired Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor who had been looking into Burisma’s affairs, and was seen as a block to any successful IPO in America.
The plan, implied by the FBI informant, was for Joe Biden to clear away Burisma’s problems in Ukraine and pave the way for the takeover of a Texas energy company. The Biden family would have potentially been on the ground floor of the Texas deal (and Hunter and other Biden family members could have been cut sizable checks or received shares on the American end) before being on the inside of an IPO for a combined company that would potentially be worth billions.
But political developments in Ukraine and a roller coaster ride in the energy markets, made that a shaky proposition. The Texas deal and the IPO never happened. Burisma and the Bidens didn’t look like they had much of a future. In the fall of 2015, Joe Biden held a press conference with Barack Obama at which he announced that he would not run for president.
This is when the FBI informant began meeting with Burisma officials and they vented about Hunter Biden who was increasingly outliving his purpose, but who was also too dangerous to let go. Only in March 2017 was Hunter’s $1 million a year salary finally cut. By then Zlochevsky had been entangled in legal proceedings and a Burisma launch in the United States was impossible.
Any political future for Joe Biden or financial future for Hunter Biden seemed to be equally done.
As the Burisma deal began falling apart, so did Hunter Biden. His ex-wife Kathleen Buhle’s memoir describes his transition from alcoholism to heavy drugs beginning around the start of the Burisma deal. Between the various memoirs and investigations, it’s widely known that Hunter burned through a massive fortune.
“The board fee had morphed into a wicked sort of funny money,” Hunter Biden wrote in his own memoir. “It hounded me to spend recklessly, dangerously, destructively. Humiliatingly. So I did.”
But the Burisma millions may have just been the beginning of a much bigger pay day. Before his father visited Ukraine, Hunter wrote of the Burisma arrangements, “this is a huge step for us.”
“We need to have a plan on how we develop a corporate entity or LLP that allows us to draw on funds generated here to free us from existing (under-producing current commitments) and to build our own investment and expansion strategy.”
Hunter Biden was living like a guy who expected to be making much more than he was. Burisma, like his Chinese deals, remained unfulfilled. Hunter may have been out to be more than a mere millionaire on paper while trying to keep up with payments on his houses and his Porsche, but aspiring to become a billionaire. The vice president’s disfavored son had spent much of the Obama administration trying to monetize his dad’s position for the rest of the family.
Joe Biden had something Barack Obama did not: a brother and a son who could hustle aggressively. And yet with the Obama administration approaching its end, Hunter had come away with only a taste of the foreign money that the Clintons had gorged themselves on.
Burisma, like the China deals, had never delivered the big payoff that Hunter had been chasing. The foreign companies remained foreign and they quickly tired of paying Hunter. The deal of a lifetime was slipping away even as his father’s time was drawing near. By the end of 2015, a Biden presidency seemed wildly unlikely. The smart money was on Hillary Clinton winning and then serving two terms. As painful as that was for Republicans, it was even more so for Hunter who was watching the last opportunity to monetize his father’s career slipping away.
Any chance that Joe Biden had for a future presidential campaign would require big money.
Hunter’s debts were piling up and once his father left office, they would come due. It’s not surprising that Hunter’s substance abuse issues, which had been around for a while, became catastrophic. One way or another the good life was over and Hunter had decided to go out with a bang. Only when his father relaunched his political career did the spree become inconvenient.
Hunter Biden wrecked his last opportunities under Vice President Biden and made himself too toxic to be able to significantly cash in with foreign investors under President Biden.
The FBI’s informant lays out an implied picture of just how much money the Bidens were chasing. This was not about the millions of dollars, money that Hunter casually wasted on crack, prostitutes and a lifestyle beyond his means, but potentially billions of dollars.
It’s not hard to imagine how a Burisma – Texas deal could have come together and how it could have benefited a whole circle of Biden family members, associates and key donors. Had such an arrangement succeeded, Joe Biden would have gained an incredibly wealthy family and donor circle that could have given him a shot or later another shot at the White House without becoming too dependent on the political favors and donors that made him a puppet president.
When Joe Biden intervened to protect Burisma, was he just protecting his son’s income stream of five figures a month or was he looking to gain billions for his family and his political allies?
The difference is more than just a matter of zeroes.
Democrats and their media have insisted that Hunter’s sins were his own and that Joe Biden’s involvement was limited to helping his troubled son. This narrative has been undermined by not only the FBI informant’s disclosures, but also by allegations from past business partners, a WhatsApp message from Hunter explicitly threatening a Chinese business in his father’s name, and the lengths to which the FBI went to shut down any investigation of anyone beyond Hunter.
Joe Biden’s defense has been to argue that no one can show that he profited financially from Hunter’s business deals. While a web of shell companies was used to move money around to Biden family members, no one has yet conclusively proven that money went directly to the man described in various communications as ‘the big guy’. But the difference between a deal potentially worth millions and billions would be that the latter wouldn’t just subsidize Hunter’s Porsche or prostitutes, but Joe Biden’s future political career.
When Biden told Ukrainian officials, “we’re leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money”, was he hoping to buy his way back into the White House using Burisma’s money?
Did Joe Biden intervene for Burisma to help Hunter pay off his debts or to become president?