In the waning days of the Obama administration, then-U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Ukraine George Kent sent an email to top State Department officials in Washington to alert them that Hunter Biden’s business dealings were undermining the embassy’s attempts to fight corruption in the country.
Just the News editor John Solomon obtained a copy of the Nov. 22, 2016, email, which he reported had been classified as “confidential” by then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. He noted that “confidential” is the lowest level of secrecy.
This email, hidden from the public for five years, shatters a key Democratic narrative — and it sure would have been helpful if Kent or Yovanovitch had spoken truthfully about it during their testimonies before Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff’s sham impeachment inquiry of then-President Donald Trump in 2019 over a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s pretty clear it wasn’t Trump who abused his power.
At that time, Solomon wrote, he had filed “multiple” Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain State Department documents about the Ukraine business activities of Hunter Biden and his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, yet he failed to receive a single document.
One of the recipients of Kent’s email was Jorgan Andrews, then-deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. One or two other recipient names are redacted. The subject line read: “Re: Zlochevskiy Meeting request – Herbst, Atlantic Council, and Blue Star.”
Mykola Zlochevsky was the owner of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. You will recall Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, had been offered seats on the company’s board where they earned exorbitant salaries although neither had any relevant experience in the energy industry. Archer joined Burisma in April 2014 and Hunter Biden the following month. (This sequence of events is detailed in a Senate report.)
In 2014, Joe Biden had been tasked by then-President Barack Obama to assist the Ukrainian government in fighting the corruption that has always plagued the country. The Democratic Party line at the time was that Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma did not affect these efforts.
In his email, Kent detailed Burisma’s long history of corruption, which included confirmation by Ukrainian prosecutors of a $7 million “bribe to shut the [criminal investigation] case” against the company.
“The real issue to my mind was that someone in Washington needed to engage VP Biden quietly and say that his son Hunter’s presence on the Burisma board undercut the anti-corruption message the VP and we were advancing in Ukraine,” he wrote.
“Ukrainians heard one message from us, and then saw another set of behavior, with the [Biden] family association with a known corrupt figure whose company was known for not playing by the rules in the oil/gas sector,” Kent noted.
Solomon said other emails in the chain, which he did not provide, indicated that State Department officials were concerned about allegations of corruption surrounding Archer, who was eventually convicted of corruption.
One official wrote, “I should note that there were two American members of the Burisma board: Hunter Biden and Devon Archer. Archer was recently indicted in a federal fraud case.”
Clearly, these emails should have been provided to both the Trump legal team and House lawmakers during the 2019 impeachment proceedings.
On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio appeared on Just the News’ self-titled news show and mounted a strong defense of Trump throughout the first impeachment. He told Just the News that, to the best of his knowledge, neither lawmakers nor Trump’s legal team had received this email.
“This is frightening,” Jordan said. “And the fact that we didn’t have this information during the impeachment, I think is maybe the biggest concern. I mean, the President of the United States is defending himself from a ridiculous impeachment process that the Democrats bring on him, where he wasn’t allowed to be in the depositions, wasn’t allowed to have his counsel there.
“And now we find out wasn’t allowed to have information that he’s entitled to have to put on his defense. I mean, frankly, we Republicans who were in the rooms in that bunker in the basement of the Capitol, we’d have liked to have this information that you just described, and other information that wasn’t available to us as well, that you’ve written about.”
“We’ve got to go back and review their transcripts,” Jordan said.
Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, also appeared on Solomon’s show. He said the State Department’s failure to provide the email chain to the defendant was a “very serious constitutional violation” of the Brady rule.
“The United States Supreme Court in the Brady decision ruled that when a defendant is on trial, the prosecutors cannot withhold evidence that could be exculpatory, or in any way helpful to the defendant,” Dershowitz said.
“And obviously, that has to apply to impeachment proceedings even more so,” he said. “Because in impeachment proceedings, the American public has the right to know all the evidence. And if the people who impeached President Trump — obviously I was one of the lawyers on the other side — were aware of exculpatory evidence or evidence that would in some way mitigate the charges, they had an obligation to turn it over to us so that we could use this information in defending our client.”
Solomon reported that after obtaining the email chain, Just the News “reviewed testimony given by more than two dozen people during the impeachment proceedings and Johnson’s Senate probe and found no mention of the Kent email but found numerous statements that Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma had no effect on U.S.-Ukraine policy.”
In a 2019 interview with impeachment investigators, Kent testified, “I was on a call with somebody on the Vice President’s staff and I cannot recall who it was, just briefing on what was happening in Ukraine. I raised my concerns that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.”
“The message that I recall hearing back was that the Vice President’s son Beau was dying of cancer and that there was no further bandwidth to deal with family related issues at the time,” he said.
In a 2020 Senate interview, Kent said, “Burisma’s owner was a poster child for corrupt behavior, and Hunter Biden’s position on the board could create the perception of a conflict of interest at the time when Vice President Biden was leading the policy charge, pushing [Ukraine] President [Petro] Poroshenko and Prime Minister [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk to take more decisive anti-corruption action.”
He was asked, “You know, for a fact, that Hunter Biden’s role on the board had zero impact on the decisions of the Embassy?”
“To the best of my experience and knowledge, that is correct,” Kent replied.
Kent told two different stories about the effect Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma was having on the Obama administration’s efforts to combat corruption in Ukraine — one to Congress and the other to his State Department colleagues.
This is but one instance of the Democrats’ massive and unprecedented campaign to sabotage Trump’s presidency.
The corruption runs deep. Yet so far, except for FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith — who pleaded guilty to altering an email that was presented to the FISA court in an application to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page, and received probation — no one has been held accountable.
Special counsel John Durham’s 33-month investigation might change that. So might a future Republican-controlled House. The last time the GOP held the House majority, the depth of the deep state’s malfeasance was just starting to come to light.
But if this uneven, Soviet-style application of the law is left to stand, America is lost.